It is hard to believe we are inching closer to the end of the year! It has been an excellent year and I am thankful for the time we have had to invest in your child.
I recently went on a trip to Orlando to visit a few Christian schools with a similar mission to Hartfield. Each school I visited has been in existence for over 30 years and one recently celebrated its 50th year. I anticipated walking away with a long list of ideas on how we could improve the Hartfield educational experience as we continue to grow and expand what our school offers. I returned with a notebook full of ideas that I’m anxious to pray through and consider for our school. Contrary to what I expected though, a list of ways for our school to improve wasn’t the overwhelming sense that I returned with. Instead, I had a great appreciation for how far God has taken our school in such a short amount of time.
In conversations with the leaders of these schools, they were all surprised at our in-depth program offerings, our large assortment of athletic teams, and the accessory programs we offer like after-school care and summer camps. They were impressed by our capital campaign and the great response from our patrons. They admired our facilities, the resources available on our campus, and how our community has embraced the mission of our school as reflected by the growth of our enrollment. It is encouraging to me to see that even in the short 7 years of our existence, we have been able to make great leaps in the pursuit of our vision of seeing every student live out their God-given purpose. We are seeing that on the athletic fields, in the classroom, and honestly, across the world.
Shortly after our trip to Orlando, I headed out to Guatemala, as a part of our Arise Week experience, that we host each year for our High Schoolers. Were you aware that over 100 students and 25 staff members served in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and the Mississippi Delta? I love the chance to lead a team, especially when it involves sports missions, and we had an incredible time playing ball and sharing the Gospel. As the trip leaders regrouped to discuss the outcomes of the trip, I repeatedly heard them say “this is who Hartfield is and why it exists.”
After returning I met with a group of seniors to get their perspectives on their mission experience in the Dominican Republic. Again, I heard them echo the same sentiments. For many, it was the first time they were able to put legs to all they had learned in their Bible classes. They walked away with a new perspective of “doing what they had learned” and were asking for even more opportunities to take what they are discussing at school to serve others locally and abroad. It was clear that God was moving in their lives and I was filled with a spirit of encouragement and pride to know that the teachers, coaches, and mission of Hartfield had a role in these students’ growth.
There is no doubt in my mind that God intended for me to take these two trips back to back. They reminded me of how far God has brought Hartfield, why we have the unique mission we have, and I even got to see a brief glimpse of the results of our investments in the lives of our students. Additionally, these opportunities stretched me to see new ways we can grow and encourage our students to live out their purpose.
Thank you again for choosing Hartfield and for being an active part in our mission. We are grateful to partner with you as we shape a generation for the Lord!