"I don't care if you build it out of marshmallows!"
The clerk at the county building permit office in 1962 was obviously working with a milder set of expectations than today’s officials. Founding board member, R.P. Robbins had drawn the original LCS building plans (We have 'em!) on his home drafting table and brought them to the county for approval. He loved to quote this reply received in obtaining the green light to begin construction.
As we embark on a year of "Celebrating Sixty Years of God's Faithfulness" to LCS there are so many stories that can be told of His amazing provision. I have had the privilege of being at LCS for 48 of the past 60 years (six as a student, 42 as staff). I'll share a few of these accounts as the year unfolds.
Why Can't I Help?
Picture a group of moms on their knees laying tile at night under temporary lighting rigged off of a construction power poll in 1962. Someone who knew something about laying tile was spreading the adhesive and then teaching the moms how to lay the tile in the proper pattern. It looked like fun, but I recall that they wouldn't let me help! The six new classrooms had walls, roof, and windows and it was time to lay the floor. The logical labor force for this task: the wives of the LCS board members! I remember their careful work and excited spirits that night, eager to be a part of what God was doing to bring Christian schooling to their families and others in the Lakeland community.
If you buy it, I'll mow it
It was a shiny new International Harvester Cub Cadet lawn tractor. I had visions of trading in our old 22 inch walk behind mower and cutting our lawn with this beauty! But how would I ever talk dad into this major purchase? "If you buy it, I'll mow the school yard" seemed like a long shot but worth a try. To my surprise my dad bought the mower and I became the school yard man for the next two years! What I lacked in tile laying expertise, evidently, I made up for in lawn care experience. I had no expectations of being paid for doing this. I had seen my parents make repeated sacrifices for LCS and I was just doing my part.
Whose Turn is it This Month?
In the early days, payroll day was sometimes an adventure. Sometimes the day would start without enough money in the bank and somehow by the time the checks were written, they were all good even if some board members had to make up the difference from their own pockets. God provided through sacrificial giving by his people and we did not miss a payroll. I heard stories of at least one board member who got a second mortgage on his home to help keep the school solvent. The proceeds from an orange grove were given to The Lord before picking time provoking a major outpouring of prayer when a hard freeze was forecast! The variety of needs was only exceeded by the creativity of God's provision. It came in a variety of ways, but most often by generous giving by those who believed Christian schooling was critical for their children.
Rejoice with us this year as we Celebrate Sixty Years of God's Faithfulness to LCS. I appreciate so much the vision, commitment and sacrifice of those who provided for my Christian education at LCS many years ago. The educational program back then was very basic and it was not “socially cool” for parents to send their children to such a small seemingly insignificant Christian school. But God was at work here in the lives of students and that influence extends on into eternity.
We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants
We must always remember that the school we enjoy today is made possible by the sacrificial giving and faithful commitment by so many who have gone before. May we be faithful in our generation to continue this legacy so that others in the future will have even more stories to tell!