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This week, our fourth grade class has been studying the Crucifixion of Jesus. At lunchtime, the kids watched the Superbook episode about the Last Supper, which included as part of the episode, the portrayal of Jesus grabbing a whip and driving the crooked moneychangers out of the temple. One of the kids immediately said “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what’s going on? That’s Jesus!!” He couldn’t connect what he knew of Jesus to this person who was angrily responding to the wrongdoing.
At the end of the video, I explained what had been going on…that Jesus has a righteous anger to those who were profiting by cheating those who were coming to the temple. I then asked the class to give me some examples of things that we as Jesus followers might be righteously angry about.
The “reasons for anger” started out as you might expect from 9 and 10 year olds. “My sister gets to do anything she wants and I have to do ALL THE WORK at home!” “My little sister is SO annoying!” “My big sister gets to buy new clothes and ANYTHING she wants EVERY DAY!” As I asked them to focus outside of home and their families, they gave examples of friends who want to be friends with someone else, instead of them, but as we began to put our ‘reasons’ on the board, with Jesus’ righteous anger on one side of the board and their “it’s not fair!” and “it’s not convenient” stories on the other side, the conversation began to turn.
One said, “oh, like when people take little kids and use them for bad things…” “when people kill other people”… “riots, when people break everything and hurt other people…” “racism”, “abortion”, “people who sell drugs to those who are addicted” and they began to get it…really get it.
We then talked about what we as Christians can do. We talked about the importance of choosing leaders who follow God’s principles and who surround themselves with those who give Godly advice. We talked about praying for our leaders and trusting God that His plans will always prevail. At the end of our discussion time, I asked the kids to pray. I told them I would open our prayer time and that if they felt comfortable praying, as many as wanted to could pray and I would close.
As I walked around the room, immediately, one after another, they prayed heartfelt prayers, against the sins and ungodly behaviors we had listed. They prayed for those who were taking drugs, that they would be free. They prayed that people wouldn’t murder anymore. They prayed that we would have godly leaders. They prayed that people wouldn’t kidnap children. They prayed against abortion. They prayed that people who were selling drugs would get caught by the police who were looking for them, and on and on and on. It became a holy place.
We finished our time and the boy who had originally said “whoa, whoa whoa!” was the same kid who looked at me and said “your eyes look like you’re about to cry.” Yes, young man, my eyes did look like they were about to cry, because of gratitude, because of an appreciation that in the middle of a school day a group of 9 and 10 years moved heaven with their prayers. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to not simply teach, but to disciple world changers, because of the mission of Faith Christian School.
Three graduates of Faith Christian High School have joined our teaching staff this year!
Ms. Madelyn Mertes ('16), a former FCS Player, is fulfilling her dream as the Director of our Drama department and English teacher on our secondary campus. Being an FCS Lion runs in her family - her mother, Debbie (Evans), attended through junior high and her sister, Julia, just graduated from FCHS this past spring. Madelyn attended high school at FCHS and upon graduating, attended Grand Canyon University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a teaching credential.
When not teaching, Madelyn likes to read plays, support local theaters, and spend time with her family and friends. If she could go on vacation anywhere in the world she would visit any Disneyworld Park or travel to Italy or Scotland.
Ms. Mertes shares why she is happy to be back at Faith and what that means to her:
"I love that I can minister to my students though my content areas (Theater and English). I am looking forward to using theater and literature as a way for my students to see the creativity and awesomeness of God’s creation. God created us to be creative and imaginative beings, who can share our thoughts, feelings, opinions, and emotions though works of literature and art.
The opportunity for Christian Education is so important to me. It is not common for a student or teacher to be able to openly pray or talk about God in the classroom, so to be able to do that is such a blessing. As a teacher, I have the unique opportunity to help my students gain knowledge in their content areas, but also biblical knowledge. It is so amazing!
I have been ministered to many times throughout my time as a student at FCS, but it continues to this day (as a faculty member). I feel constantly supported, encouraged, and inspired by the spiritual walks that my co-workers have with God. They have already helped me further build my Faith."
Mr. Grant Joyner ('02), who was once running up and down our soccer field, now leads the drills as our new Athletic Director. Both he and his sister Katie ('96) attended Faith Christian K-12, all 13 years! After graduating, Grant attended Yuba College where he participated in soccer, cross-country, tennis, track, and football. He then transferred to Chico State where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Mr. Joyner applied his love of staying active and healthy while he worked at the Yuba City Racquet and Health Club and his business degree in the area of retail. Grant worked as the N-Gage (Nokia’s mobile video game platform) community administrator and moderator for their online community.
When not teaching, Grant likes to spend time with his wife Alyssa and their 3 year old daughter, Everly Hope. Everly loves outdoor adventures to collect nature things like sticks, rocks, or leaves. He also likes to work out and play video games.
Grant shares why he is glad to be back at Faith Christian and what he is looking forward to:
"I am looking forward to being back in a Christian environment each day and seeing God work through the students. Additionally, I love challenges. This school year will provide plenty of challenges in dealing with this unprecedented situation.
I am glad to be on the FCS team to share my positive experience I had as a student with another generation. I grew up going to Faith Christian and it greatly impacted my upbringing positively by putting Christ at the center of my everyday interactions. I remember with great fondness going to chapel, playing sports, interacting with other students and teachers. I am excited to be back!"
Mrs. Sheryl Seino (Gray '85), an FCS mom, is loving ministering to the students as our Fourth Grade Teacher. She has also served our school in the past as a substitute teacher, instructional aide, and shared her vocal performance talents in the 2017 FCS Players' production of Quilters and Rally in the Lion's Den Shows.
Sheryl graduated from Bethany College with a Bachelor's degree in Christian Education and is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God. She worked as an administrative assistant to multiple pastors for 18 years at Calvary Christian Center where she also attends and serves on the worship team and in musical productions.
Mrs. Seino and her husband June, have a son, Addison and a daughter, Elisa, both of whom attend FCS. Her mom, Lynn Gray, worked in the FCS development office while she and her brother, Daryn, were attending FCS. Her office was what is now the teacher workroom on the elementary campus.
Sheryl shares why she loves teaching at Faith Christian:
"I love getting to incorporate Jesus in everything that we can teach, in the classroom and outside the classroom. It is such a privilege to be able to minister to kids on a daily basis and walk them through how Jesus can be so much a part of their lives. It's amazing to watch them ask questions and light up as they learn things.
At this time in our country's history, it's a privilege to be able to participate in the ministry of Faith Christian School. I've had the unique privilege of being a student, a parent, and now a member of the faculty. I am constantly blessed and amazed at the heart for kids and families that beats within leadership, administration, faculty and staff.
The education of this generation is crucial to the future of our country. Yes, they need all of those basics that they can get wherever they go to school. What they get here, with God's truth woven carefully throughout, will hopefully set this generation on a course to lead them closer to the Biblical principles on which our nation was founded. That I get to be a part of this process is an awesome responsibility and is humbling. I'm thankful that this school is so covered by the prayers of the leadership, the families, and our local church community."