July 1, 2014
Online Journal - “I’d Rather Go Without Food to keep My Children in a Christian School” Says Mother
Donald McIntyre, Superintendent of Schools, Ontario Conference, Oshawa, ON

“I’d rather go without food and new clothes just to keep my children in a Christian school,” she told me.

I was at the Windsor Adventist School with a team of evaluators when she was introduced to us as one of the active parents in the PTA. When we learned that she had five children in the school, a sixth at Kingsway College, and that she was doing this all by herself, I had to speak with her. I wanted to know what motivated her.
 
Her testimony was so compelling that it demanded attention, yet she did not seek any. She was coy about telling her story. She told me that all she wanted for her children was to have a good Christian education, and for that she would sacrifice any comforts for herself.
 
Sometime ago, shortly before the school year was due to begin, she and her six children arrived in Canada from the United States. Although she did not know anyone in Windsor, she decided to settle there. Her first priority was to find a Christian school. Unaware of any Adventist presence in Windsor, she was ready to settle for any Christian school where her children would be educated in a Godly environment. When someone told her of an “excellent Christian elementary school” near where she lived, she immediately set out to find it. To her pleasant surprise, she discovered that it was a Seventh-day Adventist school set on the grounds of a Seventh-day Adventist Church. “I had no reason to debate,” she said and without hesitation, enrolled all five elementary-aged children.

Excitedly, she then told me that the person who directed her to the “excellent Christian school” was not an Adventist, but had her child attending there. This gave me renewed hope for our schools. Here was someone outside the church who has found so much value in what our schools have to offer our children that she was not hesitant in telling others about “our” school.

As I eagerly continued to engage this parent in conversation, I could not help but notice how satisfied she seemed, so I asked what the school means to her. “I love it,” she said. “I’ve never made a better decision. I can scarcely afford it, but an alternative is no option.”
 
She told me that there are some months when she does not know where the money is coming from, but she trusts God, and He always provides.
 
“On my meager salary,” she said, “if you calculate it on paper to see how I manage from month to month, it does not add up mathematically, but I am faithful to God and to my children. Oh yes, I fall behind sometimes, and it gets scary, but my children have to get the kind of education that God is pleased with. I just can’t compromise their spirituality for ‘cheap’ education.”
 
She is full of praise for the teachers and compliments them for the warm, friendly, caring and safe environment they have created for the children. She wishes that the school was larger, offered a greater choice of programs and had more teachers, but she is optimistic that a time will come when more parents will understand and appreciate the rich value and importance of giving their children an Adventist Christian education by enrolling their children in the school. “In the meantime,” she said, “I will do my best to ensure that my children get a Christian education, even if it takes the last cent from my pockets.”
 
This mother’s testimony is just one of many other compelling testimonies that may be heard from parents with children attending our schools.  God has given His church this blessing of education, and the testimonies of these parents illustrate a dedication to accepting that blessing.  I would ask that parents everywhere, beginning with those within our churches, support Adventist Christian education by enrolling your children in our schools. Give them the opportunity to build a relationship with God and, in the meantime, receive an education that filters out the ‘contaminants’ that have compromised the purity of ‘true’ education.