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The Good News of a Gospel Seed Planted

     For years my wife and I have hosted international students in our home, some for brief periods of time, others for a couple years.  Fascinating young people from France, Spain, Korea, and China have all sat at our dining room table and shared our home over the years.  We have enjoyed learning about different cultures and have had some very interesting experiences, but our primary goal was always to plant a gospel seed in their hearts with the hope that one day they would come to know about a Savior that most of them had never even heard about before their visit in the States.  

     A couple years ago we were hosting students during the summer JAYICE program.  Two amazing young ladies from China, Christina and Tiffany, stayed with us during their two week stay here at Chapel Field.  We brought them to church with us on their first Sunday in our home, and they really didn't know what to think.  That was the first time they had ever even entered a church building in their entire lives, but they joined right in and were soon clapping and singing along with the rest of us.  Throughout the week they sang worship songs as I drove them back and forth to their daily activities at the school.

     At our evening meal, we always would engage in conversation and try to get to know our students.  While we sat around the table we had a brief time of Bible reading and prayer.  Christian and Tiffany began to open up to us and ask questions about what our faith was all about.

     When we finally had to say good-bye, we were all in tears.  Both girls promised to keep in touch with us and have done so over the past two years.  We did not know how much they had understood about the gospel message, but continued to pray for them on a regular basis.

     A couple of weeks ago, Barbara received a message from Tiffany.  I'm sharing it just as she wrote it.

“A good news I wanna tell you.”

“I found an interested church in my city and this makes me think of our church in US.”

“I feel this happened to be maybe God lead me here.”

“When I first know about God is in our church in America.”

“Thank you Mom and Dad.”

“It's just like a plan that God already set a timetable for me to meet him.”

“Mom, I just cried when they play the song of God.”

“I still remember when we left home and u and dad hold Christina and I and pray for us.”

     I am so thankful that we were able to be part of a program of reaching international students with the gospel.  Two young ladies who had never heard the gospel had the opportunity to hear and at least one has come to understand what it means to know God.  We will never know all of the decisions that have been made to follow Jesus until we get to glory, but I'm convinced that if we are faithful to sow the gospel seed, God will bringthe harvest. 


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Why We Value Traditional Education at Chapel Field

                  Education, from the practical learning of apprenticeship to the monastery run schools of the Medieval Age, has had as its goal the passing of the flame of knowledge from one generation to another.  Prior to the development of the printing press, much education was developed around practical needs such as architecture, ship building, and land management.  Gutenberg’s invention allowed students to learn from masters of many disciplines,   

                     Following the settlement of the New World,  education In the northern colonies reflected the Puritans’  desire to see their young people  grounded in Scripture from an early age.  One of the first forms of written school material, the New England Primer, began with the lesson for the letter A – “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all”.  The curricula of the day were based on what later would  be referred to as “Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic”; the tone was God centered and nation affirming.  As late as the 1950s public schools opened their days with the Pledge of Allegiance, Scripture reading and prayer.  But all of these conditions came under attack during the 1960s.

                  The most publically recognized changes began with the elimination of Scripture and prayer in the daily opening exercises, the removal of such inspirational wall hangings as the Ten Commandments and eventually the excising of the name of God from school events, even when initiated freely by   students.  Shortly after, the secular elements of education underwent changes to follow experimental trends making the tried and true methods of instruction seem outdated.

                  Some changes, such as teaching to the various  learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) found success at early grades, and understanding the needs of students with learning challenges added to the successful transmission of knowledge, but among the successes were some questionable,  outright misapplied techniques.  One, dating back to the early 60s, was what became known as the ITA or the Initial Teaching Alphabet.  This alphabet, made up of 44 characters rather than the traditional 26, had an icon for every sound in the English language; because there was a lessening of the confusion of letters such as f and ph and gh making the same sound, or vowels changing sound depending on the consonants that surround them, children as young as 6 or 7 could “read” such complex writings as entries in the Encyclopedia Brittanica if they were written in ITA.  For a couple of years this was hailed as a major breakthrough by academics, until it became clear that sounding out words is only a miniscule part of the discipline of reading.  In addition to the lack of vocabulary development and the understanding of the content, students in subsequent grades could not translate from ITAto the material written in the traditional alphabet l that made up the bulk of literature and documentation, third graders had to go back to primary levels and learn to read all over again.

                  Another failed attempt to make education relevant came later in the 20th century with the introduction of “ value neutral” education. Students were presented with material that earlier would have elicited discussions of right and wrong with the new instructions that it is not our right to judge others.  A preliminary attempt to introduce this into local schools in the Hudson Valley brought a virulent outpouring of anger and rejection led by many parents and church leaders.  One of the key lessons had to do with an outdated cultural practice of an Eskimo cultureThe practice, known as senilicide, led the migratory tribe to abandontheir elderly tribe members to die in the wilderness when they becametoo old or infirm to keep up with the group.  Our moral opinions, we were told, had to be set aside because we were not of that culture.  The public outcry put an early end to any consideration of this “new” way of education.

                  Although we have no single move like the ITA, or  value neutral curriculum, we know there are always attempts to make the most radical ideas a part of our children’s education.  Ideologues take our own Scripture to use against us – raising up a child in the way he should go can lead them in a wrong direction depending on who directs the plan of raising.  Whether it is the cultural drive to lead children to secularism, or to minimizeideals such as patriotism and respect for authority, we are aware of influences that can thwart our plans for our children.  From Common Core to the reduction of focus on our country’s unique foundations, Chapel Field is working to take a stand while preparing our students for those things that must be mastered for success in their futures.  And, as the Puritans before us we maintain the centrality of Scripture in our schools for the development of the whole person we hope to send out as light, into the 21st century,                    


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Chapel Field Alumni Articles

Lydia Hodges:

Lydia Hodges, a Chapel Field Alumni, is the founder of Little Plates Food Program located in Kingston, New York. Lydia has always had a love for cooking since an early age, and so when the opportunity presented itself to be a cook for a daycare she immediately accepted! There she worked serving preplanned typical daycare lunches to children and found what was being served affected the children greatly. It was then that the idea for Little Plates food program was created. Lydia saw the impactthat sugars, processed foods, and lack of fresh fruits and veggies had on the children and their ability to focus as well as the role it played on their immune system. She wanted something different - full of love, creativity and with a focus on health. Little Plates Food program started at Little Lambs Academy, in Kingston, NY and has since expanded into a local private school.

Little Plates gives children creative, fun, and nutritious meals, every day they are part of our food program! Little Plates incorporate homemade original recipes and nutritious ingredients, that come together into inventive, healthy, and kid friendly meals. Little Plates meals excite children, and add another reason why they love to attend their private school or daycare. The goal at Little Plates Food Program is to go aboveall other stereotypical school menus and provide kids with quality ingredients, which not only adds a nutritious aspect, but also enhances their dining experience. At Little Plates they are sneaky and hide as many vegetables, fruits and special nutritious add ins into the kid friendly recipes! The kids who are on the program love learning which fruit or vegetable are hidden in their scrumptious lunches- trust us. Little Hands Garden is also apart of the program that allows children to play a role in the growth of their foods that are used in their lunches.

Little Plates will be expanding to other private schools and daycares in the future! In the summer of 2017 there are plans for a quaint coffee and breakfast nook called Little Cups. Also, a parent/children program called “Grab and Sit” that encourages family dinners. The meals will be made by Little Plates in a takeout style and be accompanied with changingfun dinner topics, games, and conversation starters for family togetherness. Little Plates is a triple bottom line company (People, Profit, Planet)  and is revolutionaizing the way children are fed.  - "Little Plates made with GREAT Love."

 

John H. Bast:

John H. Bast Graduated from CFCHS in 2003. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Calvin College in 2007 (Grand Rapids, MI) and Doctor of Medicine from New Jersey Medical School in 2011(Newark, NJ). He is in his sixth and final year of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYC). Next year he will be going to USC (Los Angeles, CA) for a one year fellowship in microsurgery to further his training in complex reconstructive procedures.  John is married to his wife Leanna, and they have one daughter, Autumn.  He and his family have seen how God has continued to work in their lives and has led them to where they are. They trust God will continue to guide and and provide for them according to his perfect plan. 

 


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Youth Conquest Students Tell Their Favorite Bible Verses and Why

GRACE POWELL
Class of 2020

Philippians 4:6-7 "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

I have many favorite verses but this one especially stands out to me because it has helped me through hard times in my life. If I'm ever nervous or worried, I think of this verse and it reminds me that God is with me. I experience His peace, something I can't begin to describe, and I am comforted that I can go to Him in prayer

 

SETH JORDAN
Class of 2017

Jeremiah 2:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.

This verse is my favorite because it got me through the time I was recovering from an accident I was in. I really felt God’s presence through these few sentences.  

 

KATI LONG
Class of 2019

Psalm 69:29 “But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.”

I think this verse just has a lot of God's glory and power in it. We all go through struggles in life and seem to think worldly things are the solution, but in this verse the Psalmist just wants to shout God's praise through his struggles. I think sometimes it feels as if we're on the mountain and everything is going amazing, but then sometimes we fall off that mountain and we should continue to praise God as if we were still on top of that mountain. We should take heart and know God has everything in control and if we just praise him even when it hurts he is faithful.

 

JEREMY TORRES
Class of 2018

Ephesians 1:11 "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will."

This Scripture brings me comfort in the fact that it reminds me that God has the mater plan and controls all things, even in the midst of my struggles. I find it extremely amazing and humbling that our awesome God would choose even someone like me. What a wonderful God we serve

.

TOM LIU
Class of 2018

Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him."

This verse gives me hope when I have troubles, it gives me wisdom to face the obstacles, and gives me strength to fight through the troubles. Every time I start feeling confused, miserable, or frustrated, I pray to God, the Father Almighty, because He loves me and "He is my strength and my shield." He always answers me with His best decision and His love. Therefore, I trust Him with my heart no matter what lies in front of me.

 

MATTHEW QUIRK
Class of 2020

I Timothy 4:12 "Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity."

This is my favorite first because it means that even in our youth we can work for the Kingdom of God. Anyone of any age can help show who the Lord is by living a certain way. For example our school motto is “Coram Deo”- living always: in His presence, under His authority and for His glory. I try to live up to this motto because even though I am young, we are all still called to live our lives in service to God and his Kingdom..

 

MARISSA PASSARO
Class of 2017

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Is this, because it taught me that even when I can't see the reason for a trial in my life that I am going through, got his a plan for it. I am confident that everything I go through Will bring me closer to God and make me more Christlike. When I am anxious, I think of this verse because it reminds me that God loves me and has a purpose for my life.


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