It’s Here! It’s Finally Here!!!

A Mission to Poland

Could it be that we were first in Poland more than two years ago?

It hardly seems possible that almost two and a half years’ worth of prayers, payments, work, and well, sometimes even worry, has finally come and gone.  What started as a survey trip to check out a clothing manufacturing company in a small town in Poland led us to learn of a greater need in that land– the need to care for and train young children.

Poland Trip April 2010-- Bydgoszcz

Survey Trip in April 2010.

A preschool, Really?

Genesis Preschool Classroom

One of the classrooms in Poland

In all honesty, we would have never considered that.  We are a homeschool family after all. But looking back, it’s amazing how many ways He was going to pave the way for the preschool ministry we would have never imagined… and how often His ways did not look like the ways we would have chosen.  God’s plans included teaching us to trust Him in ways we had not known before as David was overseeing a construction project taking place half a world away.  His plans included making us wait much longer than we had hoped and planned on.  His plans included times when doors seemed to be open wide as my journal will attest only to be closed again before anything could come of it.  Through it all, I learned to trust God more.  But I also learned to trust David more as I witnessed in my husband a strong, steady faith when I was ready to throw in the towel.  He remained convinced of the mission and of the means.  How thankful I am for the grace God gave him to stand firm.

Opening Day!

Late last week, the word came to us that we would be opening the preschool this week.  We knew that was a possibility, but we have learned that we need to wait for final word before we celebrate too much.  As the weekend progressed, and we began to tell more people, it became more clear to me just how grateful I was that this moment had arrived. I could hardly give an update without tearing up as I spoke.  I thought of the team on the ground in Poland, and the sacrifices they have made personally over the past 2 years.  I thought of the Polish teachers that had signed on earlier this year, because they believed in the mission of the school even though we couldn’t give them any clear start date at the time.  I thanked God for allowing our family to play a small role in ministering to the many children and families that will come through those doors. And I began thinking of every way possible to get back to Poland soon to see the completed project and the children God has sent to study and be cared for there.

Genesis Preschool Ready To Open

Worldwide Tentmakers’  preschool Ready To Open

When the school is full, 90 children will be ministered to at any given time.  That will allow us to reach hundreds of families with the gospel through the years.  After hours, we will open the doors of the school for Biblically-based parenting classes.  We are also welcoming older children to the facility to study English with the American English teachers we are sending over, and we will be offering music classes as well to extend the reach to even more families in the area. There is much to be excited about!!

Neighborhood Preschooler

While we were visiting Poland in May of this year, this young lady and her grandmother came to inquire about attending the preschool.

Homeschool Involvement in That Mission.

As I reflected over the path that God has taken us to get to opening day, I wondered if part of the reason for the delays didn’t include you.  For God used the funds generated by Teach Them Diligently Convention last year to provide enough to enable us to finish the construction phase of the project.  I believe that God wanted you to share in the joy of knowing that your participation last year– either as an attendee, exhibitor or speaker– was used in God’s sovereign plan to further His work in this formerly closed country in which less than one half of one percent of the population is Evangelical Christian.  My heart overflows as I think of the many that may come to know our great Savior because of the work He has allowed us all to participate in.  God is so good!

For the sake of His Name!

Leslie

 

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God With Us!

IMMANUEL_Layout_1

There are times when we are keenly aware of our need of Immanuel.  Right now is one of those times in my life.

There are struggles that I have not known before.  

     There are trials in the lives of friends that break my heart.  

            There are injustices all around that offend my sense of what’s right and wrong. 

What a glorious thing to know that God is with us… “even until the end of the world..” (Matthew 28:20)  It’s a comfort beyond measure to recognize our desperate need of His presence and His guidance and to know that He will never fail to provide what is needed.

How amazing to remember that even when we feel like we have things under control and we don’t acknowledge our desperate need for His presence, He is still there… always leading us in “paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23)  

May our hearts never lose the wonder of Immanuel!

For the Sake of His Name!

Leslie

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What do you Value?

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This phrase hangs on a wall above my desk serving as a regular reminder (and mind re-setter.)  How easy it is to lose sight of Christ even as I go about my day intending to serve Him.  How often I need to revel in the fact that God wants me to Love Him and Serve Him with all my heart and soul!  

How amazing that He cares for my service

in the first place.

Yet the God of the Universe, Creator, Redeemer and King of Kings knows me. He loves me.  He wants a relationship with me.
 
How on earth could I NOT value Him above all??

For the Sake of His Name!

Leslie

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Why Do You Do It?

Why do you homeschool?”

2012290118-Why3I love to ask that question, because it offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those I talk to.  Each answer is as unique as the families they represent, for there are a myriad of valid and important reasons for a family to educate their children at home.   As I’ve been asking, though, I’ve become more and more convinced of the importance of having a solid foundation for why you are ordering your life this way.  It’s not always an easy journey and without a good base, you’re much more liable to wear out and give up.

Several years ago, the Lord started impressing on my heart that we needed to make that jump into the homeschool arena.  I wasn’t convinced I was hearing Him right, though, for at the time my children were doing very well in an excellent Christian school.  Why would we change course?

Still, the Lord persisted, and David and I prayed and researched and submitted.  Ultimately we discovered that the reason God wanted our family to homeschool was the discipleship of our children.   Our gracious heavenly Father made it very clear to us that our home was ground zero in His plan for us— to reach “Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the earth” with the good news of the Gospel…

Our Home Is Our Jerusalem
Our home is where we spend the most time pointing people to the Savior and equipping them to go out and reach others with this same good news.

Our children still do well academically, and it’s amazing how many great resources and curriculums are available to us!  They are absolutely social beings, as my constant houseful of spare kiddos will tell you!  But ultimately, our family home educates as a means to do as the parents did in Luke 18.  We bring them to Jesus. “Let the little children come unto me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16)  We daily bring our children face to face with Jesus Christ.  Then, as a family we hope to reach “Judea and to the end of the earth.”

So, why did God call your family to homeschool? 

Have a wonderful week!

Leslie

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I Raised My White Flag


Fort Pulaski, Georgia

On a recent visit to Savannah, Georgia, I visited Fort Pulaski National Monument. During a short introductory video, I learned of a crucial attack held at the Fort. Confederate soldiers were holding their place and were defending the Fort, meanwhile the Union Army had advanced silently at night and prepared to siege the Fort with a strategic attack, using new weaponry- the rifle cannon.

After holding the Fort, yet not being prepared for the surprise attack, nor the weaponry being used, the reluctant Colonel Olmstead surrendered the Fort in order to save the lives of the men. This decision was based on the fact that the Fort had been breached on one corner and the additional cannonballs shot were within close distance to additional powder being stored inside the Fort. With this said, Colonel Olmstead issued the order to raise the white flag of surrender. He decided to save the lives of the men fighting with him, by surrendering instead. Surrendering didn’t make him a loser. On the contrary, he fought with dignity until he knew it was better to protect the lives of men, rather than to let his pride get in the way.

During the narration, the Holy Spirit moved something in my heart. Inside me arose the questions of “What is the white flag of surrender?” and “Have I raised my white flag?” There are several battles going on. One is within me- my will/my flesh and what God wants for me. The larger battle is that of Good and Evil, and it cannot be fought, with me on Good’s side, until I have surrendered the white flag in my own heart battle.

My heart was moved and God asked me, “Will you surrender your heart? Will you raise the white flag, surrendering to Me?” At that moment, I imagined myself giving up, realizing I can’t fight the greater battle on my own. I have the potential of losing my life, much like the Confederate soldiers had the potential of losing theirs. The cannonballs are falling too close to the gun powder. I am guilty of all my sin.  Hence, I surrender what I want. I surrender my dreams, my goals and ask instead to fight the Greater fight. I want to be on God’s side, because He is on mine. I surrender so I can save my life. My life then becomes His to use for the Greater battle.

Life is often about raising the white flag and surrendering. This is one of those circumstances where giving up is a good thing. Giving up actually makes us a winner, rather than a loser. I guess giving up is about who you are giving up to or against. If you give up your life to God, He gives you a bigger, better life. If you give up your life to Satan, he takes it and gives you nothing but misery back. If you give up your dreams to God, He gives you larger dreams, beyond what you can imagine. If you give your dreams to Satan, he not only takes your dreams, but gives you nightmares.

Surrendering and raising the white flag to God makes you a winner. Surrender! Surrender! Surrender! Don’t fight against Him who wants to give you LIFE! Let Him take over and give you blessings beyond what you could imagine. Let Him fix your fort and fight for you. Surrender…it’s worth it!

Shirley Solis has traveled the country for the last six years with her family business, Lifetime Books and Gifts, catering to the needs of homeschooling families as she shares her heart on life and educational issues.  She will be speaking several times at Teach Them Diligently Convention in March.  

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Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention

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