by Juliette McGuire
The easiest way that I can explain as to why I believe in Christian education is to give my testimony. I grew up on the East Coast of the U.S. in a little town about one hour outside of New York City. I went to college in Boston, Ma. In the late sixties, I received my Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Boston University. While at B.U., I received a classical education. I was exposed to the finest music, art, literature and theater. My professors, in general, told me that the Bible was not the Word of God and that it was merely a book filled with fairy tales.
While in college, I watched as my classmates began to enter into free sex, drugs and alcohol. Having grown up as a Catholic, I had a strong fear of God and was fortunate enough not to engage in the decadent lifestyle that was so prevalent around me. My dad, back in Connecticut, had a heart attack and I was forced to finish college in Connecticut. Upon graduation, I learned of some teaching positions that were available in the Southern California area. My sister was already teaching there and recommended my moving and getting employment in Ventura County. I ended up getting married and moving that same summer to California.
I got my first teaching position at Juanita School in La Colonia in Oxnard, Calif. It was there, while teaching in this low-income community, that I started having compassion for the migrant farm working population of the region. Many of my students could not speak English. This fact thrust me into having to learn ways to educate them so they could succeed in school. I worked in that location for five years. The public school arena became more and more frustrating. The school administration told me I could not teach Christian values or even have the children sing Christmas carols about Jesus at Christmas time. My students needed values and truth. I felt there had to be a better way.
At about this time, I attended a Bible study at a fraternity house at UCLA. It was there I became conscious that I did not have an intimate walk with Jesus. A few weeks later, I acquired Hepatitis from one of my students and was bedridden for about two months. The forced idleness compelled me to read books while I was convalescing. I chose the Bible, especially the book of Romans, to study and meditate upon. Upon recovery, I went back to teaching. Then I became pregnant. That pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I fortunately became pregnant again and chose to take a leave of absence to ensure the health of this baby.
Months later, I gave birth to a strong, healthy boy that we named Timothy. In the next few years, I gave birth to my daughter Jessica and my son Daniel. When Timothy was three years old, Barbara Pine approached me. Barbara is a Christian author and speaker, who led a community Bible study for women. She asked me to help teach the children of the women attending the weekly Bible study. I was hooked as I saw the potential for educating children in a Christian manner. I could sing songs to them about Jesus and tell them that the Bible was true. We acted out stories from the Bible and memorized His Word. I knew at that time I could never return to public school. For me, it now had become a violation of my conscience not to be able to teach children about God.
My sister began to home school her children and asked me to help teach reading. My children were still too young to begin Kindergarten but came with me and were part of this family home school. It was at a home school convention in Anaheim, California, that I heard Marshall Foster teach on providential history. The content of his lecture was life changing. Now I realized that God had a plan for history and geography. I began to take classes on the Principle Approach from Jim Rose, Ron Kirk and Craig Garbe when I returned to Camarillo, California. A whole new world of Biblically based Christian Education became my passion. I was able to teach the students in this home school setting why God made all the subjects in the curriculum. My mission became instilling Christian character, leadership and scholarship into my students.
The Lord gave a vision to my sister and me to begin a Christian day school. We persevered through many hardships and trials to the work that God gave us to do. Thirty years have now passed since the beginning our little home school. My sister and I now both teach at New Harvest Christian School in Oxnard, California. Our goal throughout these many years has been to impact this generation with the truth of God’s Word. What a pleasure it is to instruct children on the necessity of knowing God and praying for His will to be done on the earth!
As Dr. Dobson once said to his children, “I want to see you there” (meaning heaven). I want my students and my own children and grandchildren to make it to heaven and hear from the Lord that they have “fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). I feel that Christian education gives the youth the weapons that will enable them to accomplish this goal.
David learned, in the pasture, how to have an intimate walk with the Lord. The tools that he acquired (i.e., worship, prayer and humility) enabled him to eventually overthrow Israel’s giant. This is what I want the youth of this generation to understand. The Lord wants them trained in their pasture (i.e. home school, Christian day school or Christian mentoring program). When they can overcome the bears and lions in that setting, then they will be ready to overcome the giants they will ultimately face in the anti-Christian culture of America and the world.