By: Head of School Michael Dewey
These words were famously spoken by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969, just after the Apollo 11 Lunar Module touched down on the surface of the Moon. It marked the completion of a challenge first given by John F. Kennedy in 1962, in his “We choose to go to the Moon” speech at Rice University. The Moon landing is arguably the most significant event in modern history.
The phrase has entered our vernacular being used to announce that either someone has arrived, or some great task has been accomplished. I have chosen to use it as the title for this blog precisely for this reason. Something significant is happening in Loudoun County. On August 24 of this year, Evergreen Christian School will officially open and hold classes for students in Grades 9 and 10. It will mark the accomplishment of a task first begun many years ago by Christian parents wanting to establish a premier Christian high school in Loudoun County. It is also a fitting title, as the ECS mascot is an eagle. Not only can we truly say that the Eagle is getting ready to land, but the Eagles are also getting ready to soar.
Of course, many “significant somethings” have already taken place. A school board was established. ECS was incorporated. A building on Evergreen Mills was purchased. Teachers were hired, and students have begun to enroll. These are all significant accomplishments leading us toward our inaugural school year. And we could not have chosen a more apt time to start this school. God in His sovereignty has orchestrated the opening of Evergreen Christian just as so many in Loudoun County are beginning to see its true need. Our public schools are becoming increasingly hostile to people of faith and have chosen the path of cultural indoctrination rather than academic instruction. This moment is significant in that Christian parents in Loudoun have more choices for Christian education than ever before, coming at a time when it is desperately needed.
The Eagle is our chosen mascot because the vision for ECS is grounded in Isaiah 40:31. “. . . but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” The prophet spoke these words to the people of Israel in response to their anticipated cries for help. Tremendous persecution and struggle was headed their direction. God knew that they would begin to wonder if their way was hidden from Him, or if he had somehow disregarded their plight. A fitting passage for the times we live in.
While there has always existed a conflict between the world and the people of God, it seems now like our children are more vulnerable than ever. Just as Isaiah 40:30 tells us that “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted,” our youth today are walking away from their faith in record numbers. But the promise of scripture is that God does not faint or grow weary. “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth . . . His understanding is unsearchable.” He knows what we are enduring. He understands our need. He hears our cries for help. If we turn to Him, He will provide strength. If we point our young people to God, they will be able to mount up with wings like eagles and soar above the challenges this world presents. This is our mission.
If I can so boldly rephrase President Kennedy’s words, we choose to establish a school, not because it is the easy thing to do, but precisely because it is hard. Countering the culture is no simple task. It will take tremendous effort. Starting a new Christian school is a significant undertaking, to be sure, but it is one which we must do. We set sail on this new sea because our young people need to be grounded in the knowledge of God, raised up to speak truth, and equipped to win the intellectual and cultural battles of our day. This we do for the benefit of the body of Christ, and the progress of all people.