I am an ECA eagle, through and through. Evangelical Christian Academy has been a part of virtually every period of my life; I attended ECA, from preschool through the middle of my junior year, when we moved to California due to a job change for my dad. However, even as a little girl, I remember hoping that when I grew up, I could teach at that little school I Ioved. So when I was able to do my student teaching at ECA, during my last semester of college, my dreams started becoming reality. My joy continued as I was able to teach at ECA for a few years and now, the circle is complete. For I am watching my own children attend the school that has always meant so much to me (even my husband attended ECA); we are truly an eagle family.

Eagles are amazing creatures. They are frequently used as symbols and examples to represent strength and perseverance. Bald eagles were on the verge of extinction and the federal government declared them endangered in 1978. Today, they are off the endangered list, due to the vast increase of their numbers. In an article by the “American Eagle Foundation,” Michael Bean of Environmental Defense says, “[the eagle] is no longer in danger… [and it] shows that it’s possible to bring a species back from the brink.” The bald eagle, after almost vanishing completely from the country it represents, virtually “soared” off the endangered species list. This didn’t happen because they decided to keep the eagles locked up and protected; it happened because they rehabilitated them well and then reintroduced them into the wild. With the right care, preparation, and training, it was possible to increase the numbers of something that everyone thought would be eliminated.

TRUE Christianity and especially Christian schools tend to be on the “endangered” list of our society. Finances, political laws, and fear tend to be the leading cause of their extinction. Every year, I hear one or more person say, “ I just hope ECA is here again next year,” and so far, we have been! It is not because we have modern facilities or an overflow of resources but because we have God that has been so good to this school by continuing to provide unbelievable families and staff that deeply love and support ECA. It is through steady prayer and commitment that ECA has been able to be enrich so many lives for almost fifty years.

Recently, I was going through a Bible study that brought up a unique aspect about eagles. Besides possessing many amazing traits, (i.e size, strength, vision, etc.)

“Eagles can sense a storm before it comes. Somehow they are able to innately determine that a storm is on it’s way well before it even gets there. In advance of the storm actually arriving, it will lock it’s wings steadily in place in preparation for the storm. They will go to a high point, get secure, and then at the right time, lock their wings in place. So that when the storm eventually hits, the eagles wings are already set, they are locked and secure; then when those turbulent winds begin to pick up speed, the eagle actually uses the wind of the storm to be lifted above it. While the storm is raging below, the winds of that storm are actually benefiting the eagle and causing it to fly higher than usual. The eagle doesn’t escape the storm, it can’t make the storm go away, it simply uses the elements of the storm to fly higher.”

As parents and teachers, we are helping raise eagles- eagles of all shapes, sizes, intellects, and abilities. Right now they are protected and sealed in our “safe” Christian homes, Christian school and our various churches. However, they will eventually need to be released into the “wild” of the world. The storms and troubles of this world will come and they will rage and roar. We are obviously going through a tremendous storm right now and the little “eagles” in our homes are watching us each moment to see how we handle the tumultuous winds of this storm. We need to keep our faith firmly locked on the truth of God. This way, we will be able to fly above the turbulence and experience true peace of God, because we are already secured, firmly on Him. It is this example we need to impart on our children by teaching them how to stand strong in truth and to trust God with every element of their lives. This is action our kids need to see from us, so they can then apply that to their own lives when they “fly the coup.”

They will be able to withstand the storms of life because their own wings are locked solidly on Christ.

This semester really challenged us to “put our faith into action” at home. That comfort and ease of having ECA daily lead our children in prayer, devotion time, chapel, and Bible, as well as, having our churches dictate service times and scheduled Sunday schools was taken away. It became our sole responsibility to make sure these aspects were encouraged and practiced. While this should always be our job, as parents, to lead each of our families spiritual growth; we can become complacent and sit back and allow the church and school to do the majority of the work. For my family, during this quarantine, that became an even bigger challenge. In the midst of chaotic schedules and different requirements for multiple, virtual subjects, trying to remember to point it all back to Jesus wasn’t always successful. It is important to remember that ECA and our churches are incredible TOOLS that God has given us as parents, to AIDE in “training up a child in how he should go” (Pro. 22:6). However, the responsibility of raising our kids, lies solely on the parents. If we constantly sit back and leave the spiritual guidance of our children to everyone and everything outside the home, we are not doing our job well. Furthermore, we are missing some of the best ammunition we have in retaliating against the enemy.

Christian schools, like ECA, can grow and thrive. But, in order for them to not become “extinct” in our society, it starts with each of us starting the rehabilitation of the gospel in our own homes. We need focus on raising strong “eagles” who will soar high above the turbulence of our society; who will continue to thrive and create godly change in the world. The gospel needs to spread…which starts with us, at home; and is then carried throughout each generation. Eagles… let’s soar.