Approximately 120 miles north of Seattle, a mere three miles from the United States-Canada border, and only thirteen miles from Pacific waters, lies the peaceful little village of Lynden, Washington, Here, through the missionary labors of Rev. A. Cammenga in the late 1940’s, God rekindled a love for the pure, historic Reformed faith. The result of those labors, under God’s gracious blessing, was the establishment of the Lynden Protestant Reformed Church in 1951.
It was the members of this congregation, having the knowledge of the blessings and demands of God’s eternal covenant, who established in August of 1977 the Society for Protestant Reformed Education in Lynden. And so, in a flurry of subsequent yet determined events, began our little school in order to provide instruction for the seed of these Reformed believers according to the truth of Holy Scripture. (See Mr. Tolsma’s article which follows for motive in this work.)
In January of 1978 the society purchased the present school property, and on March 21 decided to begin classes in the ,fall, if qualified teachers were available. After substantial remodeling of the building, the parents in awe were thankful to open our school that August 31 to begin the first year of operation of Covenant Christian School. What a mighty provision by God!
During the first year, with a staff of two teachers, we taught 30 students in grades 1-8. And in May, 1979, we rejoiced after the first year’s labors, to witness the first graduation from the eighth grade. You readers know well enough, I believe, the joy that surged in parents’ hearts here that night. The usual prospect that these graduates would have to return for their high school instruction to schools where the faith of these parents is not upheld was tempered by God’s work in the Society earlier. They had decided to add the kindergarten and high school freshman classes to the school that fall, if we were able to obtain an additional teacher on our staff to assist in the work. God granted that too.
During the second year, we experienced the blessing of seeing five very young students included here as well as the first grade of those who had already finished the work of the elementary school, five freshmen pioneering along with their teachers and parents under God’s evident blessing on their work in high school. Challenged, and not a little awed, were the board and the teachers, as well as the high schoolers themselves, as such subjects as Latin I, World History, and Algebra among others became part of their daily work. In addition there was the consideration of credits and requirements. But behind all these, and through all the joys and difficulties alike, was the unshakable conviction of soul that this way was the way of obedience through faith. The faithful bore o another up and encouraged one another in that conviction.
Yet another special event happened during that second year. The Society, realizing our calling before the face of God, decided to add also the sophomore year to our high school department the following year, if that should prove to be God’s will by His sending us our fourth teacher. This, too, He gave.
Presently, Miss Genevieve Lubbers instructs 16 students in grades kindergarten, one, and two, with teachers’ aides utilized mornings and afternoons, especially in the kindergarten and first grade levels. Our other three teachers, Mr. Gary Lanning, Mr. David Zandstra, and Mr. Henry Kuiper each have a homeroom responsibility, but also have assignments in the other upper rooms to provide for departmentalizing among them. This is especially true for the high school level subjects, where we teach one-year courses in English I and II, Latin I and II, Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Church History, Bible, and a two-year course in World History. Some of these subjects are given in alternate years; some are given to freshmen and sophomores together. In addition, choir, typing, and physical education are taught two periods per week. We have eight 40-minute periods of instruction each day, and the usual go-day semester.
In our short existence God has given uninterruptedly, materially, and spiritually. We are a very small school, and yet we are thankful that we have received an increase in enrollment from 30 to 51; we have received the K-8 range in the elementary school as well as the first two grades in our high school department; we have received four Protestant Reformed teachers as staff for the-school; and we have received a constant zeal in our hearts to continue in the way that is set before us.
A word of caution is in order now, as we reflect on the course of things here at Covenant Christian. On the occasion of the dedication of our school to God, during the first year, Rev. D. Kuiper gave that word of caution in his speech, as he noted the list of dates that had been printed on the program for the evening: “Those dates are not recalled proudly, or printed there to show what we have done, or how hard we have worked together. That’s not the idea of those dates. The listing of those dates is testimony to God’s faithfulness, and to God’s quick giving. Less than a year and a half had to pass between our first meeting together to discuss the school, and the first lesson given in the classroom. God did that. ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.'”
May we remember that now and in all that lies before us here at Covenant Christian School in Lynden. May God continue to prosper this and every Protestant Reformed Christian School that remains a useful tool in the hands of parents that are faithful to the heritage which is ours. Henry W. Kuiper
The Motive for Covenant Christian School in Lynden
We, as Christian parents, have been instructed by the Scriptures (Deut. 6:1-9) to rear our children in the admonition of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are told to teach them diligently the fear of the Lord and joyful obedience to His commandments.
Our baptismal vows are in direct accordance with God’s Words in Scripture. These vows confessed before; God and His Church require believing “to see these children, when come to the years of discretion, instructed and brought up in the aforesaid doctrine, or help or cause them to be instructed therein, to the utmost of your power.” This certainly means that we as believing parents must seek to establish our own Protestant Reformed Christian schools, so we can fulfill this beautiful vow to the utmost of our ability. Wemust not settle for less. Other Christian or public schools cannot satisfy our holy vow.
Most existing Christian schools embrace the doctrine of common grace. (Public schools. do not teach any Biblical truth at all!) Because of this root lie, the antithesis between the child of God and the child of Satan is no longer present. Do we want our children taught that “God loves everyone,” a teaching in direct contrast to limited atonement? Also, is it not wonderful that in our Protestant Reformed school, every subject is taught in relation to our Lord and His Son?’ Reformed, covenant truth is emphasized, not only in Bible or Church History classes, but in all courses. World History is a history of the world in relation to Christ’s first and second coming. Science is the study of the mysteries of God’s creation. Mathematics shows God to be a God of order and number. English is a class taught to show that God is a God of language, a God Who has perfect speech. In English, we find the Bible written by God, a holy book and perfect, above all books. All classes and subjects are in reality Bible classes. In our own schools, we are fulfilling, to the best of our ability, Christ’s mandate to instruct our children in these Reformed truths.
To be obedient to Deuteronomy 6, we seek, through our ,schools and in our family lives, to rear our children to become Christ-like adults. By this we mean children who are meek, pure in heart, peacemakers, merciful, humble, patient, diligent men and women who will give God all praise and honor throughout their lives. A formidable task? Yes, truly it is, and impossible without the wisdom and guidance of our Lord. Our task is great, but Christ tells us to be faithful to it.
We can be confident that He will bless our efforts and some day will say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
For the Board,
Harold Tolsma, Secretary