Inside the Christian School is a series of reflections on aspects of Christian school education. Head of School, Steve Dill and members of the Delaware County Christian School (DC) Community contribute posts to the blog. Readers are encouraged to email authors of the posts with feedback. The content of the writing often uses DC as the example, but hopefully these thoughts also apply to Christian schools throughout the world. God has used Christian schools to shape thousands of believers in the past, and we believe He will continue to use these schools to make significant “kingdom impact” for years to come.
How many full-time minimum wage jobs does a single parent living in Philadelphia need to work in order to afford a typical two bedroom apartment in Philadelphia?*
This is one question, among others, that we confronted as 10 students and 2 teachers prepared to work with Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia during J-Term. Throughout the 2 week course we assisted the Habitat staff and volunteers in their mission of providing sustainable and affordable housing to needy families in Philadelphia.
“I was just so proud of myself and the team, looking back at all of the work we accomplished in just one day.” ~ Abby
A house is more than a building, and building affordable homes takes more than construction. As a group of unskilled volunteers, we had the opportunity to observe and assist in this lesson first hand. We did all kinds of work: painting offices, demolishing walls, picking up trash, pricing store inventory, and stocking shelves. These tasks were not glamorous, most required us to get very dirty and grimy. For three of the days we carried trash and rubble into dumpsters. (You won’t understand how big 30 cubic yards is until you’ve tried this.)
“I pray that they knew we were doing it for the Lord. I absolutely loved being an example and joy to the Habitat staff.” ~ Lauren
The responses of the students to these tasks were a blessing to observe. They demonstrated great maturity with their tireless work, positive attitudes, and thankful spirits. It was sometimes difficult to get back to work after our long-awaited lunch break, but God gave us the strength to continue. The students showed great patience during difficult situations and even after tedious, messy hours of labor thanked Habitat workers for the opportunities to serve with them.
“This is something that everyone should experience. It really makes you aware of all the problems around you and gives you the chance to let God work through you for his glory.” ~ Zach
Maria Brittingham and I encouraged the students to see that we were serving others so that God's name would be glorified in all things. Christ humbled himself through the incarnation – in order to bring glory to the Father – and it is our privilege as Christians to demonstrate this same attitude of joyful submission as we serve the physically and spiritually needy. It was our prayer that the Habitat staff and other volunteers were able to see Christ’s love through our words and in our work.
While, I suppose, most of the students had hoped to raise walls on a new home, they did much to advance the work of the Habitat organization in Philadelphia. I hope that they have grown in their knowledge of the world outside DC, developed their own gifts and abilities, and deepened their relationship with Jesus our Savior.