2020 Matching Gift Challenge

by Renee T. Doyle, Headmaster

Dear Friend of Genesis Classical Academy:

Christmas greetings from the Board, staff, students, and families of Genesis Classical Academy. What a different world we live in since we wrote last year!

And yet, at Genesis Classical Academy, we have received many blessings in the midst of this most difficult year: a beautiful campus on five acres, the addition of 9th grade, completing our first quarter fully in-person and on-site, highly-qualified new staff, our own hot lunch program, an expanded music program, and a developing athletic program. And 91 beautiful students.

With the blessings have come new challenges. Owning our own building adds additional expenses, and as our enrollment increases, our scholarship program is vital to carrying out our goal of turning no child away for financial reasons.

Jeremiah 12:5 – “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

Jeremiah 12:5 is our theme verse this year. God warns Jeremiah that, if he thinks the times are tough now, how will he keep up in the days ahead. And if Jeremiah can’t navigate where it is safe, how will he manage where it is dangerous? At Genesis, we take this challenge to heart. We know that preparing students for the world today is not good enough. We must be preparing them for the world to come. It is fun to watch the Genesis students who started in fourth grade become high-schoolers this year. Their thoughts, actions, and discussions reflect wisdom, a spiritual understanding, and education beyond their years. But in just three years, they will graduate, and we hope and pray that these students, who have been in training to “run with horses,” will be leaders.

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New Spaces – and New Faces in 2020

Genesis Classical Academy has just completed the first quarter of the 2020 – 2021 school year on our new campus at the edge of town, and we are settling in nicely to our new spaces. We also have added many “new faces” this year, including 24 new students and several highly-qualified teaching and support staff.

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The Star Thrower

by Judy Ness

I just ordered a new poster for my wall—a modern-day parable. In many ways, it defines the work of our dedicated staff, families, and volunteers at Genesis Classical Academy.

There are multiple versions of this modern-day parable in print, but all are based on “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley, an American educator, philosopher, and natural science writer. Here is one adaptation of Eiseley’s original story:

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Equipping Our Children

by Jamie Bonnema

If I had written about a chapter of my life, specifically of the past year and a half, I would have begun the chapter by describing how challenging life has become. As this chapter drags on, I would say life is no longer a challenge—it is an intense battle. I think we can all agree that we long for a new chapter to begin soon. Hopefully, this part of the story is similar to stepping out of the desert, leaving behind slavery, plagues, and hearts that wander aimlessly away from God. Life lately has become about reflection, and part of looking further inside involves my responsibility and privilege as a parent.

Our parenting has always been about raising our kids to be good stewards of what God has given and helping them find their identity in Christ. All of this, plus keeping them alive and healthy, seems like an enormous undertaking that can break at any point. Our family depends on God’s grace every moment.

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The Real Enemy

by Jamie Bonnema

Nearly two months ago, I found myself in situations where I’d rather not be. I reacted to what was going on around me, responded to an opinion, or took a stand and ended up walking in front of a crowd to be stoned. It happened over and over again. Please don’t pity me—I make my own decisions, right or wrong, and make them with good intentions. Good intentions don’t always lead to friendly places, though, and can lead to misunderstandings that may cost relationships or reputations. Good intentions can even reveal differences that cannot be reconciled while also holding onto God’s best for our lives—but that is another topic for another day. But whether it was filling up with too much reality (or social media), or if I was just feeling too many stones hit me square, I got to the point where I couldn’t look around and not be angry. I had to walk away to examine the condition of my heart. I needed to reassess my actions and the reasons for my choices. Knowing that so many others are feeling the same thing, this is what I wrote then, and I’ll update you at the end:

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Surviving the Storm

by Judy Ness

My husband and I enjoy sailing as a leisure activity. He grew up learning to sail, but for me it was much later in life when I fell in love with the sea. We have been blessed to sail the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean on several occasions.

On a trip this past year, we enjoyed sunny skies, balmy breezes, and gentle seas. But then, the weather changed abruptly. Although we were not in any real danger, gusts of wind heeled the sailboat over uncomfortably. The wind seemed to shift without warning, and the sea swells came from every direction. Although there is no proof, a panicked first mate MAY have pleaded with the captain of the boat to “DO SOMETHING!”

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Gardening Tips for Playing in the Dirt

by Sarah Stensland

The past few weeks and months have brought a lot of changes, and even fear, to our lives. Our idea of “normal life” has been drastically changed. Rather than living in a life of fear, I suggest we spend our time planning and producing. As I have been limited in my trips to the grocery store, I’ve been comforted by the thought that soon my garden will be up and running, and I’ll readily be able to shop for vegetables in my own grocery store in my yard—my garden.

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Alone in the Wilderness

by Connie Clay

I sometimes enjoy watching television after supper. It feels good to relax after a day of work. Tonight, my husband, Dennis, and I were weary of the news—all of the fear and all of the distress in our world, caused by a virus we can’t even see. So, I suggested we watch one of our favorite DVDs, called Alone in the Wilderness. It is the rough captured video of a man in his fifties, who left the Midwest to live by himself in Alaska. It seems he needed a change. He lands by plane in the wilderness with some gear and treks over to a mountain cabin owned by a friend, where he will remain until he can get his own cabin built.

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A Song on Our Lips

by Jamie Bonnema

I won’t be afraid anymore of the terrors by night
Or the arrow that flies by day
And though a thousand may fall at my side
And though ten thousand may fall
In Him I’ll put all my trust
–Lincoln Brewster

I woke up this morning, took a shower, and put on my favorite cozy flannel shirt and jeans. I stepped outside to feed my furry babies—something I always look forward to. Everything had been kissed by rain last night, and I was reminded that summer will soon be on its way to us. I headed to the kitchen with chocolate chip pumpkin muffins on my mind, intending to get them done before the kids awoke. I was greeted in the kitchen with a hug from my husband, and we chatted about our plans for the day.

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