September 1, 2009

Life Academy

I've been very busy the past several days. I mean with 4 small children I'm always busy, but this was extra. My car ended up in the shop twice in the past 3 days, I've been school shopping, trying to get everything off of the long list of supplies kids bring home lately. I have 2 children starting school this year for the first time. My 7 year old daughter that I have home schooled her entire life, including 1st grade last year, is starting 2nd grade. My 5 year old son who has been very excited about going to school for a long time, is finally starting kindergarten.

They both started school yesterday, September 1st. Like most children they were apprehensive, a little scared, a little attached to mom. Justina had tears in her eyes at one point during the morning drop off and Solomon was clinging to my leg. But when I picked them up at the end of the day, they were both smiling and happy. Solomon told me that he had fun and Justina exclaimed, "I love school!"

I know that the reason they felt so great about school is because of the school they are going to. The school is called Life Academy, it's a private Christian school. The people are kind, the class sizes are small - Justina said there are only 15 kids in her class including herself, and it's Christ centered, so there's love going around. Justina said her teacher is "really really nice."

It is a tremendous load off to have them out of the house knowing that where they are spending 7 hours of their day is doing their little broken hearts "good like a medicine." (Proverbs 17:22)

There's an amazing story behind them being at this school and I'd like to share it with you. But really my words will not be able to convey what we experienced once again as God worked on our behalf - moving mountains, knocking down walls, and parting seas. But I'll do the best I can.

After leaving our domestic violence shelter on March 14th of this year, we came down to PA to stay with my sister. I was in the supermarket about a week later, give or take a day. I was done with my shopping and was exiting the store. As I passed by the rack that has those apartment and car guides and stuff in it, I stopped to pick up an apartment guide to get an idea of the types of apartments they have and the rent prices.

Sitting on the rack was a folded brochure of some kind. What caught my eye about it was I saw a logo for 40 Days of Love, a series my church in NY was currently doing. So I picked up the brochure and took it. When I looked at it later, I realized that it was a church bulletin with information about various upcoming events and happenings at the church. One of the things I noticed was that they had a 'Mother-Daughter Nite Out' happening on March 27th. I went to their website and looked around and liked what I saw. The church seemed very similar to ours.

My daughter helps me out so much and I have so little time to spend with just her alone that it breaks my heart sometimes. So I decided I would take her to this and have some fun with my one and only little girl. We had a really great time that night and met some nice people, so I decided we'd go to the church the following Sunday.

I enjoyed the service, the children enjoyed the Sunday school, so we started to attend. I came to find out that they had a private school for grades K-8. Although I was home , schooling Justina while pregnant and with 2 little boys, I knew that I would not be doing it with for 2 children, while taking care of four. They were definitely going to attend "outside" school.

Now because of the life they were subjected to while we lived with their violent and abusive father, my children have various issues like most other victims of domestic violence. They were fearful, extremely attached to me, angry, aggressive, sad, and hurt, just to name a few. We had deep scarring to our minds, hearts and spirits. We had all been in therapy since we left our life of terror but that didn't include any spiritual attention to anything we were dealing with. The only thing that dealt with our spirits were our prayers.

I believed in my heart that being in a safe, loving, positive and nurturing environment learning about God while they learn about reading, writing and arithmetic, would be very beneficial towards their healing.

I desperately wanted that for them.

The brochure didn't say how much the tuition was, but whatever it was, I knew I couldn't afford it. I was about 6 months pregnant, unemployed and unsupported by my husband and father of my children. So I wrote to the school and asked them if they had sponsors or scholarships and explained our situation to them and why it would mean so much for the kids to be able to attend.

Well, about a month to six weeks later, after I thought I wouldn't hear from them, someone from the church called me and said I could come by and pick up applications.

Sounds easy right? Well, naturally some things started to go wrong...

I'll have to end here for tonight. I'm very tired and have to get myself and every one else "up and at 'em" at 6am. I didn't want another day to pass without saying something over here.

I'll post part 2 to this story as soon as possible.