As I looked around the room last weekend, enjoying a breakfast for all of the Dordt College grads, I realized I was quite obviously the most senior person graduating.
After a few years of hard work, I was graduating with my master’s degree. I had taken the opportunity to attend the ceremony in Sioux Center, Iowa, and walk across the stage to receive my hood.
But, before the actual graduation ceremony, all the grads were treated to a breakfast with the college president, Dr. Erik Hoekstra, who spoke about the things he wished for all of us. While his talk was mainly directed to the young college grads, I was really struck by what he said.
In fact, his thoughts are exactly how I feel towards the students who will be moving on from grade 8 in about a month from now.
1. WE PRAY
As teachers and administrators, we have prayed for each of our students and we will continue to pray for them, individually, as they move on from this place.
2. WE LOVE
We love our students. Honestly, this sounds trite but it is the truth. Every student in our building is loved by the staff here, and every student is prayed for. It is not always easy to like every student, but, with God’s help, we love every one of them!
3. WE EXPECT
As a school community, we expect that our students will move on and live a life in service to their Lord. It is our hope that each one of our students develops an “attitude of gratitude” that fosters a desire to care for His creation, live as His image bearers, and through all things, serve God. School is often about learning “stuff” but we expect our students to learn wisdom and then act wisely. High expectations for sure!
4. WE CHALLENGE
We hope and pray that our students from Abbotsford Christian School will go out and have an impact. We hope and pray that they will be shapers of God’s world. One of the speakers at the Dordt grad described it as a “roar that could be heard around the world.” I see what our grade 8 students are doing as part of their “Here I Stand” projects, or what all our middle school students are doing in their service projects, and I think we are legitimately challenging them to be culture-shapers!
And so, grade 8 grads… Will you rise to the challenge with this “senior” graduate to live, serve, and roar for the Lord?