Finding the Right Foundation

One of the gifts of my childhood was to spend four summers at a Christian summer camp in the woods surrounding Santa Cruz, California. My parents were the pastors and camp administrators, so as a “staff kid” I spent my days creek walking, swimming, rambling through Redwood forests and enjoying myself! More than just Redwoodsbeing fun, this period of my “golden childhood” was hugely foundational for my faith. During those summers I was marinated in God’s presence. I rubbed up against God in nature and in the worship songs sung around nightly campfires, and in the lives of his followers who worked at the camp. It was a protected, spiritually nurturing environment that became a touchstone in my life. I KNEW God was there.

When I grew into young adulthood and the inevitable crises of faith set in, there seemed to be many credible voices arguing against faith: is it worth it? Is God real? Does he care about what’s happening with me? I reached a point where I was one decision away from walking away from my faith. But, I couldn’t because I had experienced too much of God’s presence in my life to just walk away.  That spiritual foundation in my “golden childhood” kept me grounded. It is a touchstone that I go back to and say “I knew Him there, and therefore I can know Him here.”

Later in life when I was a mother of two toddlers, I remember wondering how I was going to nurture my boys with a similar kind of “sticky faith.” It was clear that my young sons would need a sustained, daily opportunity to rub up against God’s people and God’s spirit through worship and service, the same way I did. We chose Immanuel Christian School to partner with us because the community provides that same opportunity I experienced in my childhood. At ICS, we found the warm, spiritually nurturing environment we were looking for. We love the Character-In-Action program that puts faith into action. We have been pleased with the influence the excellent teaching staff has had on our boys. Storms will come to test my precious boys, and I pray that their time at ICS will be a vital part of the spiritual foundation we are nurturing in them.

As a part of the faculty for this year, I’ve had the privilege to participate in creating that kind of growing space for ICS first graders. Every day during prayer time, I invite God into our classroom as well as the hallways, offices and other classrooms of our school. I want ICS to be just like that summer camp I experienced: a place where kids rub up against the Spirit of God and His people. That’s what makes the difference – the Lord’s presence! So, in first grade, we pray for God’s spirit to be present, for his peace to reign, and we give our day to him as a gift of worship. It has been my joy to be a part of the faculty at ICS. It is my prayer that families will feel a palpable difference when they walk through the doors of our school and experience God’s presence!

Kristin Griffin is a 1st Grade Teaching Assistant and mother of three ICS students