This Thanksgiving I’m giving thanks for a victory nearly ten years in the making. It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of victory. I had given up hope that it could ever happen. In fact, the situation recently got even worse – just before the Lord stepped in and gave us the huge victory.
A little history is necessary to understand the magnitude of the situation, even though it is a little more private than I’d usually like to get into. My wife, Christie, has four kids from before she met me and got saved. The youngest, Hannah, has a different father than the older three. That alone is a story of God’s grace and ability to forgive and restore.
We tried to either home school them or send them to a Christian school (we actually held them out of the public school and started home schooling briefly), but lost the decision in court (after spending $3,000 in the effort). The courts almost always support the status quo.
The difference, although real, has not been as pronounced with the older three because their dad is a nominal Lutheran, and reasonably conservative, but Hannah’s dad is about as far left as one can go. He’s a professing atheist, hostile to Christianity, church, and God. He’s a Bernie Sanders welfare-state supporter. He’s avidly into “rap music”. He’s pro-homosexual and pro-abortion. Poor Hannah, who is 12 now, has been having to live in both worlds, and that’s a lot for a little girl to have to deal with. She understandably had struggles, challenges, and bouts of depression because no matter what she did, somebody was unhappy.
Since she was not yet school age when we married (she was three), she spent most of her time with us in those formative years. And that carried into her first few years of school. She loved learning and excelled in school. She became the best Christian in the family. She led several of her classmates to Christ. When one classmate turned her into the teacher for “talking about Jesus in school” – she witnessed to the teacher! The teacher was so impressed she called us to compliment her behavior. Hannah also witnessed to her father – but to hostile response from him
The tables had turned. Now she was spending equal time with each parent, and the majority of her time in the public school, which generally supported her father’s anti-Christian, pro-homosexual views. Again, that’s a lot for a girl of 8, 9, or 10 to withstand – especially all coming from “authority” figures that she is supposed to heed. From about the 3rd grade on, we could see our Hannah drift away a little every year. She started hating school. She was unhappy in either home. She was exposed to the ungodly world, music, carnality, TV, philosophy, etc. Most of you have no idea what it feels like to see your little girl drift slowly but steadily away from the Lord right before your eyes, and there be nothing more you can do about it. I was handcuffed and shackled. It was heart-wrenching. We could only do our best to set an example for her to look back on when she becomes an adult. We were resigned to this being the situation.
Then the situation got progressively worse. She started getting more depressed and the depression grew deeper. Recently, her father began cheating on his wife, and confiding in Hannah about it (just what an 11-12 year old kid needs dumped on her ). She became distraught being at his house. I’ll avoid more gory details, but all this eventually resulted in two stays at the hospital for threat of attempted suicide. Kids in school started harassing her and she dreaded having to go back to school. She was caught in a whirlpool.
The Lord has a way of giving “beauty for ashes”, and He used these tragic circumstances to take away her father’s rationale to object to an alternative education. Enough professionals had heard Hannah’s account, and they did not object to us removing her from the public schools.
Of course her father tried to object. He insisted on meeting with our Christian school superintendent Dick Clayton (who has been principle/superintendent at WCS for over 40 years). Bro. Clayton answered his every objection with home run after home run answers. Hannah’s dad had no choice but to relent.
So, one minute we were at rock bottom, fearing for Hannah’s well-being, her spirituality, and possibly her life. Then Jesus Christ stepped into the picture just in the nick of time – and suddenly and unexpectedly we were ENROLLING HANNAH IN WYLDEWOOD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL! Hallelujah!
It has not yet been two weeks and already the results have been noticeable and profound. She is smiling and happy again. She looks forward to going to school again. She enjoys living. She has already caught up what she was behind and is now plowing ahead. And now the 35 hours a week the devil has had her in the public schools have been reversed and God gets her all that time! Praise the Lord!
Tuesday morning as I left for a preacher’s fellowship in Racine, WI at the same time she was leaving for school, I gave her a hug and said, “I hope you have a good day in school.” She replied, “When DON’T I have a good day at school?” I almost didn’t need a car to float to Racine in the clouds
Every “fatted calf” in Wisconsin is in danger right now (Luke 15:22-24)
Oh, by the way, I am a full-time creation evangelist. Even while preoccupied with the trials with Hannah the past several weeks, I did have some meetings.
One was at Weston Biblical Baptist (Pastor Joseph Barnhardt) in Scofield, WI (near Wausau & Weston). They’re starting a new church.
The other was my monthly visit to minister at Door Bible Baptist in Brussels, WI (Pastor Mark Englebert). That church has been a repeated blessing to my wife and I. I will be there again next week with a brand new message I just put together on the human genome. I endeavor to take technical stuff and make it understandable and interesting to the rank and file. A list of most of what I provide can be found at: http://genesisevidence.org/home/what-gem-offers/
I have several events on the docket for next year. Meetings scheduled in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, West Virginia, and likely Alabama for starters. But I have openings every month. I’m from the northern Midwest. I even go to cold places in the winter where others fear to tread
A few pictures with Hannah. The battle is not over. The devil will not take this sitting down. Please keep us in your prayers.