Looking Up – Opportunity to Bless

Hopechurchws   -  

Dear Hope Church,

My first teaching job was at a school called Central Ave. Elementary. I was straight out of college and so eager to get out on my own and start this new journey in life. I could see God’s hand in so many aspects of this new chapter in my life. I had great comfort in knowing that God was holding me close. 

Central Elementary was a Title I school, meaning most of the kids came from low income or impoverished families. It was different from anything I had experienced growing up in rural Pennsylvania. Central was an extremely ethnically diverse school with children speaking 56 different languages and dialects. Some were brand new to our country with others living in hotels. One lived under a bridge. Some years our enrollment changed 150%, so we attached the children’s cubby names with velcro.

Whether it was me as a first time teacher, or seasoned veteran educators, the struggles were unbelievable.  Reflecting on all this, what was amazing was that in spite of these realities the staff didn’t waver. How was it that so many of the teachers had been there for years, even decades in spite of the challenges yet not burn out? What gave them hope, joy and strength for each day? I quickly realized that I was working in a public school with an unbelievably large group of Christians. So many staff members truly felt called by God to this school. It was God’s hand guiding so many of us to a barren land, to be light in the darkness, to be a smile, or a shelter in a storm. Knowing that I wasn’t alone meant the world to me.

In many ways, Speas Elementary is like Central Ave. Ethnically diverse and economically challenged. This month Hope has an opportunity to remind the teacher’s at Speas Elementary that someone cares and appreciates the effort they make to support their students. I have started receiving an abundance of donations for this opportunity. Thank you so much!

On June 30th during both services, the children will be assembling the items into gift bags so we can bless the teachers on their return back to school. Thank you for giving the children an opportunity to bless others. 

Lisa Applegate