Homeschooling your children can be quite an adventure. It starts off simple enough with science experiments on the 5 senses and learning about the phases of the moon and then one day you wake up and you have joined a co-op. You and your children are loving it. The boys are learning to play the recorder, your daughter is singing and everyone is learning how to give oral presentations, even the 4 year old. A few more years past and you find yourself and your best friend planning to teach one another’s children together the next year, so that the children can partake in more of the group learning sessions they have grown to love. You don’t plan small, you plan big! You are allowed to use a local building that previously housed a small Christian school. Grace Academy is born. The years go by and most of the original families of Grace have moved on and your circle of co-op members meets less and less for educational support, but more for social and spiritual support. You start reassessing.
You close your eyes and it is the winter of 2016, you look back on the ups and downs of homeschooling, your oldest is off to college, the next two have enrolled in your local high school and your baby, well, she is the only one left at home and she is already in junior high. You visit with your best friend and her story is much the same, her oldest daughters are away at college, her son is heading into high school and she will have only a few left at home. The two of you sit, talk, reminisce, and delight in the stories of the children’s learning adventures and close friendships. As you sit sipping tea, you take stock of the beautiful friendship with one another that has developed over the years and realize how blessed you have been.
This peaceful scene is interrupted by a constant nagging and tugging of the heart-strings, am I doing all I can? Am I doing His will or mine? What IS His will for me? After much, much searching and prayer, God made it clear, actually crystal clear. I am to spend my time serving Him in the mission field of Grace Academy. All the hours Lisa and I spent planning and dreaming of helping students learn how to learn, was now about to become a reality. I wasn’t sure we were ready for it, but God has a funny way of supporting you when you need it most.
God sent us a man, Norm Elvin. Norm retired from the restaurant business and graciously donated his building to us and we haven’t looked back since. We continue to move forward toward a goal that only God knows.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
We wake up everyday to put one foot in front of the other and ask, what will it be today Lord? Initially it was asking for the building, then cleaning it out, selling off what we didn’t need and buying what we did. Then we planned how we would use the building, we painted, added walls, and built bookshelves, oh many, many, bookshelves. As the months passed we worked on projects big and small to get the building ready for learning. Along side all the physical preparations was the legal operating of the business. Months of paperwork and meetings with lawyers, accountants, benefactors, and volunteers. By the time September rolled around, I realized that summer had passed me by and all the long listless days of planning my classes while sipping iced tea had faded along with it. We knew we couldn’t wait for things to be perfect so we just began. Once all the pieces were in place we had a private hybrid school, support group, enrichment program and plans for a local tutoring center. Only God knows how it all happened and only He continues to lead us down this exciting path. Today’s post, A New Chapter For Grace is just that, a new chapter.
We will be writing more about the good deeds of Mr. Norm Elvin in future posts. For now enjoy the pictures of Norm giving me a tour after agreeing to donate the building to Grace Academy. This is what we started with, a large, well equipped restaurant with all the bells and whistles. Norm does everything well!