$250,000 Poorer and Richer

TWENTY-TWO years. That’s how long our investment in Christian education lasted. Skoog, Puck, and Evelyn attended Adventist schools from first grade through college. We had no idea that this investment would engulf our entire lives—but it did.

Were we pleased? Not always. Coordinating transportation was a major problem every year. And tuition was outrageous—even for first grade. As expensive as the schools were, one would think that they’d have the best facilities in the nation, but they didn’t. Our children weren’t always treated fairly. Prejudice did (and does) exist in Adventist schools. Sometimes we wondered how certain teachers got into the profession.

The academy was 22 hours away. We saw our children only during winter and summer vacations. Fortunately they were able to room and board with relatives. Trips home by plane seemed cheaper than the telephone bills. And every time we turned around, the choir was going somewhere—even abroad. Did the school officials think we just pulled spending money off the tree?

S-T-R-E-S-S is a good way to spell college. Our sheltered, supervised academy children were now young adults who were expected to make wise decisions in the midst of those who had lax values. They were exposed to more pregnancies, drugs, and thefts than we ever thought possible on a Christian campus.

Was this investment really worth the money? You bet it was. Would we do it all over again? We certainly would.

Our children were surrounded by enough Christian teachers, students, and surrogate parents to outweigh the influences of those who were on the margin. They were able to fulfill their mental, physical, and spiritual potential without giving up their religious convictions. They received good, solid educations and are now competing successfully in the real world. They are spirit-filled young people who enjoy life to the fullest. They are well-traveled, thanks to the opportunities offered by our schools. They married Christian spouses and have friends all over the world.

So we praise God for Cedarvale Junior Academy, V. Lindsay Seventh-day Adventist School, Pine Forge Academy, and Oakwood College. We are $250,000 poorer but certainly richer than we ever dreamed.

“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (Isaiah 54:13).

By Shirley Fordham

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