by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
I gave up counting the viruses, “bugs” and all things communicable that have impacted the health of our families the past few months. Yet, despite the illnesses and absences, not everything transmitted through our community has been dreadful. The most contagious element to hit this school year spread faster than the flu, crossed state lines, and infected hundreds. Weeks have passed and people are still talking about it; the contagious joy of experiencing God.
It began months before, with Mrs. Bittner’s class praying for a family whose daughter is battling cancer. Although they’ve not met this family, the class has diligently prayed, and have sent encouraging cards.One morning after their time of intercession, a student asked about the cost of having a child with cancer. Mrs. Bittner described the expenses families incur while going through cancer treatment. In response, a student remarked that the class should raise money for the family, and a plan to host a bake sale emerged. Students set a goal to raise $500, however, they soon felt led to pray for God to double it. Believing the promise in scripture that, “Anything is possible for one who believes!” (Mark 9:23), they elevated their goal from the realm of the impossible into the realm of God’s possible.
Full of enthusiastic faith, these young disciples began baking and preparing. As word of their unselfish mission spread, grandparents, friends, and families in other classes joined in. With the overwhelming support of our community, on the morning of the bake sale tables overflowed. After a steady stream of eager customers, a quick count revealed that over $1,000 had been raised, by 9:45 a.m.! Contagious joy erupted and spread through the school, but instead of proclaiming “look what we have done”, students praised God for what He had done (donations exceeded $1,700).
In a watching world where self-centered, entitled attitudes prevail, our students reflected the character of Christ. With hearts to serve others and their extraordinary faith that God would show up in a huge way, they became powerful witnesses to our community, extending to hundreds more on social media. A pure motive, nurtured in a culture of discipleship, empowered these students to live out the gospel. They experienced God in a profound way, whereby His mighty power at work within them, was “able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20).
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3)
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal