Pastor Dawn wrote this column last week for our local newspaper, the Odessa American, to encourage our public schools:
Our Texas public schools do so much, from feeding malnourished children to inspiring gifted students to excel on college prep tests. Right now they are doing it all with less, after 5.4 billion dollars in budget cuts back in 2011, and a woefully inadequate funding system in the first place. There’s room for all kinds of schools, including homeschooling and private schools, to meet our community’s needs. Still, our best hope for an educated citizenry is our state constitution’s promise of a free, public education for all of our kids.
Our schools remind me of Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes in the sixth chapter of Mark’s gospel. “Lord, there are too many,” the disciples say, “send them away to feed themselves.” But Jesus says, “You give them something to eat.” So the disciples look to see what they have, just 5 loaves and 2 fish, but they give it to Jesus. After he blessed and broke it, the disciples took it and gave it away. Somehow, miraculously, it’s more than enough for all.
Our tremendously dedicated teachers and administrators here in the Ector County school district are doing miracles in our midst. Children’s lives are being changed every day. Do you see it?
I see them reaching to lift up every child…
a three year old who is not yet verbal served by specialists who will help him with his autism
a second grader with a great idea for the science fair cheered on by her teacher whose voice will always be in her heart urging her to succeed
a fifth grader without proper immunizations cared for by the school nurse who will help his family find medical resources
a seventh grader who skipped school brought into her crisis counselor’s office to see what is going on at home
a freshman who never thought he would go to college mentored by AVID tutors now sees a whole new picture for his life
a junior who made all-state choir because her teachers saw talent in her and helped her develop it
Do you see it too? Miracles in our midst.
Thank you to our schools! Thank you teachers and staff! Thank you God for the way you work through them!
Our church and other groups and individuals partner with ECISD schools in a variety of ways to support their crucial work. They cannot and should not do this work alone. How can you help? Call Debbie Lieb in the Volunteer Coordinator’s office at 456-9012 or go to www.ectorcountyisd.org, and click on Volunteer, then Apply Now.
You’ve got to see these miracles for yourself. After all, Jesus did say, “You feed them.”