Derek and I always assumed our children would attend public school. We both attended public schools and knew we would live a community with a strong school system. That assumption changed in a moment during Derek’s commute to work back in 2008. He was listening to talk radio and heard a quote credited to Plato: “Society has two great questions: Who is going to teach the children? and What will they teach them?” That evening, Derek told me about the quote and said he felt we had to send our children to a Christian school. God spoke to us through the radio that morning and our lives have been forever changed.
Ten years ago we visited Southeast Christian in our quest to find ‘the perfect school’. From our first step through the door, we knew that Southeast would be our school home; our school family. We signed a contract and made a financial commitment, but more importantly we entered into a covenant with Southeast. A covenant is defined as an agreement which brings about a relationship of commitment between two parties. In choosing a Christian education, we entered into an intimate relationship with the school to grow our children in a Christ centered environment.
In the decade we have spent at SECS, we have witnessed countless changes. In our time, Southeast has faced with trials of the changing economy, charter school growth, shifts in autonomy from SECC, and facility challenges. We have matured to know that there is no such thing as a perfect school. The one constant in our tenure has been the steadfast confidence we have in “who is teaching our children and what they are teaching them”. There is no question that staff and faculty at SECS is committed to growing our children into confident, capable, and compassionate children of God.
As any non-profit business or organization evolves, there are financial demands that must be met. This fall, we had a few meetings with administration and board members to discuss these needs. The needs of the school have always been on our radar and while we have freely given of our time, we have only cautiously given of money. In making financial gifts, we often give what is comfortable, or want to have say or control in how our gifts are used. When we try to maintain control, or only give what is comfortable, we are not really giving and certainly not trusting in God. We had to learn to surrender our gifts to God. Little did we know that through this process of becoming educated and coming to terms with selfish desires, God was independently preparing our hearts to do His will.
In December, Derek shared with me that he was really feeling led to give a substantial gift to Southeast. He warned me that I might be shocked by the number that was in his head. I agreed that my heart was being drawn in the same direction of giving. As we spoke about SECS, he tearfully shared the amount with me and I began to cry because God had placed that same amount on my heart. When God orchestrates and you allow Him to take the baton, it is an indescribable feeling!
Our decision to give to Southeast was less difficult to make than the decision to share our story with you. Not for one moment do we want accolades for following God’s call and, on the flip side, we hesitated to share for fear of judgement by our peers. It is not our nature and far beyond our comfort level to share this publicly, but we feel God is calling us to step outside our comfort zone with more than just our giving. Just as God orchestrated our hearts to independently grow to a place of comfort with giving freely, His desire was to share our walk with you; to stretch us well beyond what is comfortable to grow His kingdom. We pray that each of you reading this will have the opportunity to open your heart to what God desires for you to give to grow His kingdom; your talents, your time, your money. As we all have made a commitment, covenant to the future of our children.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Parents: Derek and Meredith Johnson
Children: Bryce, Cole, Libby, Edie