May 18, 2020
On Wednesday of this week FCS will be honoring our seniors as they participate in a Senior Parade through the campus. Along the way each member of our senior class will be receiving their yearbooks, graduation robes and caps, awards they have earned, and some surprises as well. Later this month there will be a virtual graduation event which will virtually honor every 2020 senior, and God willing we will have a live graduation event in late July on campus, so that our graduate’s family and friends can share in the event and capture the memories in real time.
Through the abrupt interruption of this school year via COVID-19, our teachers never lost focus and never stopped loving those who God had placed in their care. I am so proud of our FCS faculty and thank each of them for working hard to bring some normalcy to an otherwise abnormal last quarter of the school year. Recently, during our teacher appreciation week members of our faculty and staff were honored for their outstanding work throughout the year, as selected by their peers. This year’s Teacher of the Year awards went to:
PK-Elem, Julie Caldwell; Elementary, Tracy Cuesta; Middle School, Elena Dossett; High School, Kristina Rodriguez; and the Servant’s Heart award, Maria Martinez. We are so proud of these teachers and staff and thank the Lord for each member of our staff and faculty for an awesome year.
Every year at this time I am reminded once again why the influence of godly teachers on our students is such an amazing opportunity as well as a responsibility. As these past weeks have unfolded, the reality of their dedication and commitment was brought to new heights. They have used the opportunity to reassure our students that God is still in control. Although we don’t understand why everything has turned out as it has this year, our teachers have faithfully welcomed students into their classroom at the beginning of the year, and virtually gone into their students’ homes to complete the year. They have welcomed students from different backgrounds, who possess different learning styles, and taught not only the academic curriculum, but the truths of God’s Word and about their personal experience with Jesus Christ. For some of our students, our faculty became one of the most influential people they have ever had in their life. What an amazing thought, and what a great responsibility.
As I think about the closing of this school year I am reminded of the story in the Bible where Jesus met a man who had been blind from birth? His disciples immediately asked Jesus, “…who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:2. I’m sure that many people today have wondered why God would allow such a terrible pandemic to take place in the world. Why are nations teetering on chaos and financial disaster? In this Bible story, Jesus told his disciples, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life,” John 9:3. Jesus used the opportunity to dispute a widely held belief that a person’s blindness and other afflictions was caused by some sin in the person’s life. So rather than focus on the man’s blindness, Jesus focused on the man’s needs. How much do you think the blind man knew about Jesus when he met him? I can’t imagine that he knew very much. So, what did he know about Jesus that would cause him to go down to a dirty public bathing area and wash some mud out of his eyes? Jesus did not produce some magic clay, nor was there any healing power in the waters of Siloam. Jesus simply allowed the man to demonstrate his faith. But the real story is that somewhere between meeting Jesus and being healed, this man was convinced that Jesus cared for him so much that he would heal him. No matter what he might have heard about Jesus before, he demonstrated that he believed Jesus really cared about him. I believe that the circumstances that caused this school year to turn out as it has, is not about God punishing us, but rather an opportunity for God to be seen through the caring and love demonstrated to students by their family, teachers, and friends. They will never forget this year, and the faithfulness of those in their life who loved them through such a difficult time.
I believe that we have the opportunity as parents and as teacher to demonstrate to our own children, and to our students, that we care about them. In fact, I believe it is an appointment by God to help us reach out to our students and reinforce the love we have for them. For some of our students, they needed that one special teacher that they had this year, who was just the right one to reach them and meet their need, just like the blind man who had an appointment with Jesus. The blind man was born to be healed by Jesus. I believe that some of our teachers have received students into their classroom this year who were “born” to be influenced by that teacher. Some of our students have received Jesus as their Savior this year and our teachers have been instrumental in bringing them to Jesus. There is no greater influence we can have on an individual life than influencing them to find and follow Jesus.
So, I am so grateful for our teachers, and I thank them so much for another great year, even in the challenges of these past weeks. But mostly, I appreciate our faculty for focusing on the needs of each student who walked into their classroom every day (or logged into a Zoom meeting). The blind man trusted Jesus to do what he said he would do, even though all of the people believed his blindness was the result of sin. Our students have experienced that kind of trust in their life and our teachers have met the needs in so many of their lives. Truly there can be no greater calling than to be the instrument God uses in a child’s life to give them the chance to become what God wants them to be. I am grateful to parents for your trust in our teachers, and their opportunity to come along side you in raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I am grateful to our administrators and faculty who have remained faithful during these challenging days so that God’s hand could be seen in the midst of all the uncertainty.