45 Years of Grace and Love!
Dear Friends of WCFS Ministry,
I trust you all had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!
As I sit down to write our year-end thank-you letter to update you, the dear friends of this ministry, I realize that this year contains several ministry anniversaries. On December 16, Sally and I will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary, the foundational event of all our ministries. On June 13, Sally and I celebrated our 40th year in the pastoral ministry here at WCF Church; and this year marks the 35th year for our WCFS home school program. Our life’s work has centered on Treasuring God’s Design For The Family® for 45 years. Thank you for your prayers and support all through the years.
A Look Back
Not only will Sally and I celebrate 45 years of our happy marriage, we also both celebrated spiritual birthdays of 45 years. Sally was 19 and I was 20 the year we were married. When God said, “Will you?” We said, “I do!” We both had a clear vision that our call to marriage was missional. We didn’t know specifically what God had in store for us, but we both embraced God in His call to marriage and family. It was a surrender of all that we might imagine or desire to become what He would make of us in due time. Nothing has changed except our age. We are still embracing the call. Counting spouses, God has given to us 63 eternal souls as part of His spiritual heritage. This includes the loss of two children and five grandchildren, whom God has witnessed as having completed His earth-ordained purpose (Psalm 139:16); we claim them all! Our quiver includes 3 foster care-adoptees and our first great-grandson. We are also grateful for the 9 spouses of our married children and grandchildren.
After five years of training (in construction and Bible College), God brought us to Frederick, Maryland to begin a non-denominational church fellowship. Preaching remains one of the greatest privileges and joys of these many years. 35 years ago, God moved us to begin home schooling our children. Being familiar with some of the legal nuances of Maryland’s education laws during my 8 years of teaching in Christian Schools, we began WCFS as a church-operated educational institution with the primary intent of teaching our own children. God chose to bless the institution, and we opened our doors to Christian families outside of our church. 2012 saw the Lord providing physical facilities for our church and school.
Today over 300 Maryland churches have formed WCFS-styled home-instruction programs; nearly 12,000 students are homeschooled annually through these church schools. In Maryland, another group of over 12,000 students are supervised by their local school board using WCFS-styled elements of supervision that God gave us 35 years ago in the heat of our early legal battles with the state.
Besides our regular Academy and Review programs, WCFS has 4 affiliate programs in South Korea, the Philippines and the USA; we also have direct enrollment with families in 7 others states and foreign countries. "Indeed, these are but the outer fringes of his ways! How faint is the whisper we hear of him! But who can understand the thunder of his power?" (Job 26:14 NET)
A Look At Today
With our new administrator, Joel Fischer, we have launched The WCFS Nathaniel Bowditch Mentoring Clinic. The clinic also offers a Gary/Joel team-taught Bible Course, Foundations in Self-Government: Cultivating a Biblical Identity that satisfies new WCFS core-course requirements. Another first is the new WCFS High School Student Council. The Student Council is providing an outlet for high school students to be creative, gain practical experience, and “do life” together with parents, siblings, peers and mentors alike. These new offerings are a part of preparing families to be vital and faithful in their manner of life in today’s culture that grows increasingly hostile to a biblically Christian Worldview. In addition, this year we are re-launching multi-location Dads Meetings to stimulate practical conversation with our Dads regarding their increasingly difficult role as Husband, Father and Mentor. Pray for us as we seek to faithfully strengthen biblical faith in family living.
A Look At Tomorrow
"The following is the message which God revealed to Habakkuk the prophet: How long, LORD, must I cry for help? But you do not listen! I call out to you, "Violence!" But you do not intervene! Why do you force me to witness injustice? Why do you put up with wrongdoing? Destruction and violence confront me; conflict is present and one must endure strife. For this reason the law lacks power, and justice is never carried out. Indeed, the wicked intimidate the innocent. For this reason justice is perverted." (Hab 1:1-4 NET)
Prudent living in a post-Christian world is growing more difficult with each passing day. These verses were written about Judah just prior to the Babylonian Captivity; however, they sound eerily up-to-date with our own post-Christian culture in 2017. We are praying for wisdom to discern our role in the Maryland legislature, the Maryland State Board of Education and to churches and individuals. New and confusing MSDE school regulations have great capacity to harm the foundation of our children’s biblical identity. Not only does confusion reign, but there is great risk from attacking the means by which parents can counsel and direct their children to embrace their identity that was given to them by God at birth and realized experientially through the new birth. A truly Christian identity demands that the believer live by faith, stirring up gratefulness and worship, giving God all the glory.
On a personal note; our son Daniel is running for Maryland Delegate in our District 4. Running for office is a privilege afforded to us by our founding fathers who valued their religious freedom from oppression. Pray for Dan and Valerie as they navigate through the election process and raise their family at the same time.
Thanks for your support and prayers!
The enclosed coupon updates our year-end giving needs. Many of you have requested this information to assist you in your prayerful giving. Your fellowship with us has truly blessed us; God has used you for over 40 years to bless us through your prayers and gifts. Pray for significant contacts with pastors in Maryland. Spiritual leadership in church-sponsored educational programs is of the utmost need today. Our affiliate program is a turn-key system which can easily be adapted to every local church ministry setting and we are looking for a few good churches to join with us. What if…?