As of the day of this post, only 23 more school days remain until LCS is out for the summer. I’m sure I must think this each year, but – once again – this is hard to believe! Another school year has flown by, and in just about a month, vacations and mission trips will take our school families across the state, throughout the country and even around the world.
With summer travel right around the corner, it won’t be long before parents hear that age-old question from their kids, “Are we there yet?!” Whether it’s the short ride over to Anna Maria Island, an expedition up I-75 to the mountains or a trip across the country, children (and some adults!) either get stir crazy with the journey or they just can’t stand the anticipation of arrival at an exciting destination.
The family road trip surged in popularity decades ago, with the help of first-ever paid vacation leaves, widespread car ownership and the introduction of a brand new interstate highway system. Moms and Dads would pile the kids in the station wagon and trek off to a favorite summer escape location. Family vacations became woven into the fabric of American life, developing into a means of strengthening family bonds and educating children in family values, national heritage and citizenship.
Surely, these jaunts are a bit different today, as parents entertain their children with a full complement of distraction apparatus – iPods, iPhones, iPads, DVD players, video games, interactive media, and apps galore.
But, kids are still kids, so even with the liberal use of technology to pass the time, the restless comments and questions may be reduced, but they aren’t completely eliminated. And, they seem to share a common theme – “What a long trip!” “It seems like we’ve been in the car forever…” “I’m too excited to sit here and ride.” “Are. We. There. Yet!!??”
All good questions for inquiring minds. I’ve been asked similar ones, of late, regarding a different type of drive – the effort to complete the school’s transformational capital campaign. “Where are we?” “When do you think we’ll be done?” “Tell me again, what is this for??” And, of course, “What can I do, personally, to help complete this ‘road trip?’”
Okay, I don’t recall getting asked that last question, but stick with me and I’ll give you a good answer anyway…
Where Are We?
The entire campaign (actually, three campaigns in one!) is $23,000,000. That’s right, LCS students and families have received TWENTY-THREE-MILLION-DOLLARS worth of outstanding school facilities – the finest in all of West Central Florida. By the way, no bond issues or shocking tuition increases…funding has been provided by God moving in the hearts of generous ministry partners (donors, if you will). See Psalm 66:5.
We are on the tail end of this campaign, what we are calling theDream Come True Wrap-Up. In late December, 2012, a faithful and generous ministry partner issued a critical challenge – when we receive $500,000 in commitments from that point forward, this family will write a $500,000 check. To date, we have received $356,000 in gifts and pledges, leaving only $144,000 to meet this challenge.
When this challenge is met, we will only have a little more than $300,000 to raise to complete this $23 Million comprehensive campaign. In the words of the road tripping parents…Yes, we are ALMOST THERE!
When Do You Think We’ll Be Done?
Well, when we raise the $444,000 in new pledges (see above), and collect all other outstanding pledges. So, you tell me!
Seriously, we will complete this campaign when we pay off our loan that allowed us to build these facilities for the children and young people of LCS. We must raise this final amount and collect all pledges – new and old. Then we can pay off our obligation to the bank.
We’d rather this be sooner than later, because of the hefty monthly interest amount that continues to accrue. So, again, you tell me!! Soon and very soon is our heart’s desire.
Tell Me Again, What Is This For?
God’s goodness and the generosity of people have blessed LCS with a three-story Elementary/Middle School Building, Center for Early Childhood Education (K4/K5 Suites), Outdoor Learning Center, Turtletown, Three Playgrounds, Viking Stadium, Expanded Parking, New Main Entry, Renovated Offices, a new Maintenance Complex, and all related infrastructure. That’s all.
What Can I Do To Help Complete This (Amazing) Road Trip?
Thought you’d never ask. For starters, you can click here and read my previous blog post of April 10. That’ll give you some ideas.
To shuck it down to the cob (in the words of my brother-in-law) – It starts with you. Are you giving generously from what you have (2 Cor. 8:12)? Is LCS a part of your stewardship plan? The school has identified this wrap-up as the top funding priority for 2013. The loan matures this year. Obviously, we need folks to step up and help finish this journey. If you can give $25, give $25. If you can give $250,000, please do.
Whatever your ability, put God’s resources (don’t forget, He owns it all, anyway!) to work where the returns are certain – the sharpening of minds and the shepherding of hearts. And by all means, if you know someone we ought to invite to invest, please let me know.
And, I promise, the destination at the end of this journey will be well worth the trip!
Mr. Steve Wilson is the Director of Advancement at Lakeland Christian School. To reach Steve, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.