A Theme for the Year
The great British hymnwriter, Frances Havergal, gave us a wonderful gift with her New Year’s Eve hymn, Another Year Is Dawning, written in 1873. Havergal’s third stanza goes like this:
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be.
On earth or else in heaven, another year for Thee.
At the beginning of 2019, after meeting with our school advisory board, we came away with a clear understanding that, while 2018 was a year of focused outreach, 2019 would be a year of focused training for Wellspring Christian Family Schools, our families, and our affiliates. And so it was!
Please take a moment with us as we share about some of the training “for holier work above” that we’ve been privileged to be a part of this year, both at home and abroad.
Training Affiliates Overseas
In February, Gary had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and United Arab Emirates for a 10-day training seminar with Homeschool Global, one of the four affiliates in our Heritage Educational License Program (HELP). Gary was delighted to have in-person meetings with HG leadership and staff. He was able to discuss WCFS philosophy, troubleshoot record keeping questions, and provide practical help and encouragement to HG’s staff who are servicing over 600 students enrolled in WCFS’s Academy program (in addition to several thousand other homeschooling families world-wide).
Gary’s visit provided the structure for continued guidance and training throughout the year, which included a visit at the WCFS campus by HG’s executive director, Ryan, and his wife Isobel. We are excited to continue working with Homeschool Global in 2020, as well as our other three affiliates, Joshua International Academy (South Korea), Global Homeschool Academy (South Korea), and Westminster Christian Family Schools (Maryland).
Training the Next Generation
In March, the WCFS Student Council received training in America’s Christian heritage on our special trip to Washington, D.C. with evangelist and historian Bernie Beall. The students were treated to a U.S. Capitol tour, stops at the Library of Congress and U.S. Supreme Court, and a visit to the world-class Museum of the Bible.
Eleven students completed WCFS’ Biblical Foundations of Self-Government (BFSG) class, which was taught in conjunction with the Nathaniel Bowditch Mentorship clinic, held weekly from September through May. Six students are currently attending the 2019-20 BFSG, with training from I and II Peter and the life of George Washington Carver.
For the second year in a row, the June WCFS Commencement Exercises were held at Walkersville Christian Fellowship, the parent church for WCFS, in Sabillasville, MD. Six graduates of the WCFS Class of 2019 (another six could not be present) celebrated this special milestone amidst a full house of friends and family.
Training Local Homeschooling Families
Despite a week’s delay due to the wintry weather, WCFS held our Mid-Year Conference in January, with the themeof “Profound, Profane or Redeemed?” Families were encouraged to help their children understand that their identity is not in their own self-importance, or in what others say about them, but in what Christ has done for them.
The WCFS 2018-19 Workshop Series focused on sacrificial parenting, along with practical and spiritual insights for moms. Meantime, the elementary students gleaned insights from Jesus’ parables and played a little dodge ball along the way. The Student Council also met to plan for the several fundraisers they conducted throughout the school year.
May brought a unique iteration of the Family Heritage Expo as we combined it with a Family Field Day and Picnic at WCFS Campus. In addition to the usual student presentations and displays, there were tug-a-war and donut eating contests, go-karts, corn hole, and lots of great fellowship! And God even blessed us with dry weather 😊
In August, WCFS hosted the 31st Family Leadership Conference at Roxbury Holiness Camp in Pennsylvania. The theme of the conference was “Behold! Your Light Has Come!” and included special sessions training families in how to complete WCFS Course Registrations.
Both this spring and fall, WCFS families have enjoyed several field trips, including visits to the Catoctin Creek Park and the National Fire Heritage Center.
Training at the WCFS Campus
Our summer was a flurry of activity as we had the joy of having several part time staff and interns work on numerous projects at the WCFS Office. Through organizational efforts of our summer staff, we saw three new offices created in our building, our resource library completed, new equipment installed and IT systems updated. Work on a new database continues to be in the works, with a hopeful rollout in 2020.
Training Government Officials
We have continued to have positive interactions with Maryland’s Department of Education, with several in-person meetings with MSDE officials throughout the year.
MSDE current officials’ willingness to understand more about WCFS and to work with us resulted in the MSDE formally recognizing the WCFS Academy program as a church-operated school in Maryland. This relieves us of some administrative burden and solidifies a status we have actually had since our founding in 1983.
We also had the opportunity to advocate for freedom, Biblical morality and common sense by opposing the MSDE’s new Educational Equity rule. While the rule was ultimately passed, we were grateful to help rally a significant number of Marylanders to get their opposition to the rule on the record.
2020: Another Year for the Lord
While we don’t yet know specifically what the Lord has in store for WCFS in the new year, our request is that we ever remember that our work (whether more training or more outreach or both!) is for the Lord. Please pray for us that God will continue to direct our steps and our focus to the work He wants us to accomplish. We could not do any of it without your faithful prayers and support for us.
We pray that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season, and that you see the fruit of the training God has been doing in and through you in the days ahead.