On top of the regular beginning of term challenges, we have suffered two losses to our student body this week. Two of our students didn't make it up at the beginning of term; one of our second grade boys was sick, and a fifth grade boy just didn't show up. Further communications with the fifth graders family confirmed that he will now be attending a different school. It's hard to not have had a chance to say goodbye--for us and him I'm sure, but we pray for God's workings in that young life.
On Friday we got the news that our second grade boy was supposed to be traveling up to the school soon, but had been in a car accident and killed. This student had only been here two terms, but his loss has shaken students and staff alike. It hit me how much we take it for granted that all our our students will return to us whole and well; who would ever have guessed that we would never see this child again? How we staff members pray that this will shake up our students and turn their thoughts to spiritual things. How we pray that the Lord will bring good out of this tragedy into the lives of that family. And how we pray that we might not miss any opportunities to make an impact on these young lives. As far as I know that student had not made a profession for Christ, but only the Lord knows the heart. Perhaps he had heard and believed at some point this year; I sure hope so.
Despite that rather sobering note to the week, the rest of our students seem to be settling in well. We had our first Latin lesson of the term, and I started our first literature book, The Hobbit. Not only is this a favorite story of mine, but I think it's so critical to teach these middle school students who to distinguish good fiction from bad. I've been really encouraged by a few discussions I've had with students this week over various things--God is so good to give us little glimpses of the fruit He's bringing about in their lives! I pray that I will have the wisdom to listen and counsel these young people and help them to develop not just their faith, but also their minds for the glory of Christ. May we not grow weary of doing good!