The establishment of our own school and its opening on September 16, 1975 in Redlands is well known to most of you, our brothers and sisters in our beloved Protestant Reformed Churches. You have heard before of our struggles and our aborted attempt of 1973, when at the last moment the way to the opening of our own school was unceremoniously closed. Many of you have undoubtedly brought before God’s throne of grace the needs of our small congregation with regard to truly Reformed covenantal day school instruction. Now we want to announce that our prayers have been answered and our labors abundantly rewarded according to the infinite depths of the love and grace of our covenant God.
But before we tell you about the school building as such, we want to make clear to all that our prayers, labor, and the evidence of our labors is solely the fruit of God’s irresistible grace. What we did, we did solely because it was the only way of obedience for covenant parents who seek God’s blessing. Therefore, a few questions are presented and answered to make transparent to all what our deepest motivations were in this endeavor.
Why would 20 or 30 men band together to form a Christian School Society? Why would this Society labor year after year to the establishment of a Christian day school in which they might educate their fewchildren? Why would this Society in a day of inflation, rising costs, and economic instability unanimouslyvote to buy school property and to build a school building with a total expenditure of nearly $60,000, which figure represents only the beginning of a financially arduous journey? Why would these men in an age of spiritual apathy, indifference, and compromise decide unanimously to “go it alone”? Why would this Society do this when the future is sure to present its tensions and hardships in the maintaining of this Christian School? Why? Our flesh confronted us with these questions and more.
There is principally only one answer to the questions above. No, the answer is not that we are ignorant, or that we are foolish fanatics. Certainly, in such a manner many will slander us. But they, of course, who so misrepresent our cause do not know of all the soul searching that went on within us, and they, of course, ignore the fact that we sought our way prayerfully, laboring as before God’s face. But the answer to the above questions is to be found in the faith of God’s people who constitute the members of our Hope Christian School Society and in the faith of our supporters. A living faith it is that has laid hold of the covenant promises of our God, who is our Father for Christ’s Name’s sake. It is the activity of a living faith that baffles the keen, analytical minds of unbelieving persons who when they have counted the costs of discipleship conclude that it isn’t worth it. The answer, the only answer, to all the questions above is that the believer’s faith is a living faith that thankfully appropriates the thrilling testimony of God’s Word: “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) A covenant theology of the blessed friendship of Jehovah God in Christ Jesus our Lord and our calling to instruct His children entrusted to our care as God’s friend-servants by the power of God’s grace and according to His purpose of election; this truth in faith thankfully received is the only answer to all the questions of unbelieving and carnal souls. And it is this truth in Christ that will be the fountain head of our desire to press on in the future in faith.
Thankful to God are we as parents and supporters of our Society for our school. Thankful for the grace and mercy of Him, Who hath called us and our children into the blessed fellowship of Jesus, His Son. Our salvation, our place in His Church, and all our activity of faith in the re-establishment of a Christian school of truly covenantal education for our covenant children are all the fruits of His sovereign irresistible grace. “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
One must not overlook the fact that we speak of the re-establishment of our own school in Redlands, California. Our fathers here founded the first Christian school in our Protestant Reformed circles. The first school was built in 1934; but we lost our school in 1953, when for conscience sake before God it was necessary to separate from the majority which opted for the Arminianism of the DeWolf group. Thus many of the fathers who in awareness of their covenantal calling established the first school were those who labor with us, their children, to build our new school.
What did we build? Our school building is a very beautiful masonry building of two classrooms, two bathrooms, and kitchen area, which doubles as storage area and as a possible third class room. An attractive rust colored tile roof extending six feet beyond the width of the 32′ by 77′ building provides a shield preventing the glare of the bright sun upon the classroom windows on the north side of the building. Our air conditioned building affords rather comfortable accommodations to our 36 children and our faculty.
Our school was built with all volunteer labor! Fifteen to eighteen of the society members and young people faithfully labored each Saturday from early in January till September enduring all things in patience as we labored in hope! It was a pleasure! And we trust that God used this cooperative effort as a means to further unite us as a body of believers who labor to aid and assist one another to fulfill our mutual covenantal obligations. Nor must we forget to mention the labor of our good wives and mothers who whole-heartedly supported us in this endeavor. They prepared baked goods and coffee for their husbands and sons who eagerly looked forward to the 9:30 morning coffee break. It was our good wives, as beloved sisters in Christ, who sanded, painted, and scrubbed, making our new building as pleasant and presentable as it was designed to be. Not only did they work hard but they also had to cope with many inconveniences and with exhausted and disgruntled husbands from time to time.
We take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for their prayers and financial support, which was most graciously given us by you, our brothers and sisters who understand and cherish the rich blessings which. God bestows upon truly Reformed Christian day school instruction. Please, remember us before God’s throne of grace in the future as you have in the past, for our spiritual needs are many. We will undoubtedly experience many difficulties and hardships in the future. But we labor in faith resting in the sovereign goodness of our covenant God, Who hath begun also this good work in us. We trust that the covenant keeping God will continue to provide for all our needs both material and spiritual in the future even as He hath provided abundantly in the past.
With an eye to the future we are confident that God will use this means of truly Reformed covenant instruction in our school to equip our covenant children to know how to walk in the midst of a wicked world as representatives of His covenant of friendship. We are confident of this blessing according to the testimony of Scripture that our Father in heaven is just and righteous to bless the feeble efforts of covenant parents who endeavor in the strength of God’s grace to fulfill obediently their covenantal obligations, and privileges! All this God performs for Christ’s name’s sake in Whose blessed Name we have prayed and will pray as we look forward to the hope of glory.