The class of 1969 had their 50th class reunion September 14 at Island View, Waconia. What a joy to meet them and hear their glowing testimonies about the impact MLHS made in their lives!
Kathi Kraai Pearson is a 1984 graduate of Mayer Lutheran High School. She currently lives in Vassar, MI where she is an Early Childhood Director at Peace Lutheran Ministries, Saginaw, MI. Kathi and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of Ezekiel (13). She is the daughter of Orma and the late Keith Kraai and claims Shakopee, MN as her hometown. Kathi received a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Concordia College–Chicago (River Forest).
Kathi uses her skills as she hires teachers and assistants, tracks income and expenses for the early childhood center, and creates professional development opportunities for her teaching staff. There is what seems to be an endless list of other responsibilities such as overseeing the spiritual development of students and families, participating in the Michigan District Early Childhood Cabinet, and working alongside the rest of the administrative staff at Peace Lutheran Ministries.
Even though the work load can be great sometimes, Kathi tells us her greatest joy that comes with her position is “sharing the love of Jesus with the children and families and then watching them grow in their personal relationships with Jesus.”
There are challenges each day that Kathi depends on God to guide her through. Balancing work and family while meeting the needs of a staff of thirty teachers and assistants are a few of her biggest challenges. Big picture thinking can also be difficult at times.
Having a big heart, Kathi is also very active at her church as she is part of the handbell choir, a greeter, participates in the passion drama, and is a Sunday reader. She also helps her community with the 4-H Adopt a Highway program. Ask Kathi why it’s important for her to volunteer and she will respond by saying, “I like using my talents to praise God and get to know others at church.”
Kathi shares how Mayer Lutheran High School has been instrumental in preparing her for her work. “I realized during my high school years that I wanted to be a teacher and that my faith was important to me. I wanted to teach in a Lutheran school so that I could outwardly share my faith in my classroom and in my personal relationships with the families I interact with in my ministry. My teachers were always teaching us how to make the right choice in our lives and to look to Jesus to help us make those choices. The Bible has all of the help we need to guide us in our relationship with Jesus. We were able to read books about our relationship with Jesus and then we applied it to our lives both personally and in class discussion. It is important that I give my son the same opportunity to attend a Christian high school and we have been saving for his tuition each month since he was born.”
When asked if there were some words of wisdom that has helped her get where she is today, Kathi stated, “Jesus will never give me more than I can handle and when it seems too hard, I need to look for the answers in His Word. The plan that Jesus has had for my life so far is full of leadership and children—talents that I was cultivating in high school.
Each Lutheran teaching or administration position that I have had was preparing me for the next one in His plan for my life. Writing down those challenges and prayers as I go through them has helped me see that Jesus is leading me and sometimes carrying me every step of the way.” Kathi shares how she sees God working in her life. “Christian education is so important in the lives of children as they see the choices that their nation is making. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has made Christian education a priority and I am happy to share that with those families that are unchurched. I see Lutheran schools all around the nation closing, three in which I have had held teaching positions. We need to see our Lutheran schools as important as the missions that we fund overseas. Many people that live near our Lutheran schools do not know Jesus personally.
I am proud to share my faith with the families and children in my school.” Thank you for your wise words of wisdom, Kathi! You are wonderful example of a woman who loves the Lord and yearns to know and follow after God’s heart. May God continue to draw all of us in and give us a thirst to know Him better!
Rev. Robert Grimm is a 1976 graduate of Mayer Lutheran High School. He currently lives in Alma, KS with his wife, Gayle, and has three grown children; Erik, Elisabeth, and Aaron. His parents are Willard and Evelyn Grimm and grew up in Young America. For the last 21 years, Robert has served at St. John Lutheran Church & School, Alma, KS.
“I serve among rural people in a changing community. I love being with students at our school each day, and I have great pleasure in teaching the Bible to adults of our church and community. There are many things that allow me variety in daily routines, connecting with people, and proclaiming the name of Jesus in words and deeds. I enjoy visits to nursing homes, and singing with folks there. I am blessed to work with youth and build relationships that model the love of my Savior.”
One of the things Robert enjoys most is knowing people who seek after the things of God.
“They excite me and inspire me to be my best. Preaching is an obvious way to connect with people, but one on one conversations are the most rewarding as the life of Christ changes hearts and lives.”
Robert understands obstacles that exist in our lives.
“Our community and people are not immune from the attacks of Satan against all godliness. Identifying the devil’s schemes, and helping people see the dangers of the temptations before them are the greatest challenges I have.”
MLHS has been instrumental in helping form Robert’s faith walk.
“Faith is a cornerstone for life. Faith in Jesus Christ is the right cornerstone, and Mayer Lutheran High School has been formative, encouraging, and consistent in building upon a Christian foundation.”
Living by the motto, “The Son of man came not to be served, but to serve,” it’s easy to see Christ in this servant’s life and he feels blessed by all God’s gifts. Mayer Lutheran had a pivotal role in Robert’s journey and his choices reflect that.
“Besides working at church, I serve at our synod’s district level in a number of areas, believing that one person with faith can make a difference. I have been a district vice-president, secretary and LWML counselor. I also play music with people at various events and locations in the community. I umpire youth ballgames, and am active in other civic events.”
The relationships during Robert’s years of high school is one of the greatest blessings he received because he had the opportunity to attend MLHS.
“I found the formative years and the significant relationships at MLHS to be a blessing for my life and ministry. God challenges me to be faithful to Him, and people at MLHS have been able to help me see His calling to service.”
His words of wisdom to us are: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Thank you for your service to our Lord’s sheep, Robert!
Welcome to the Crusader Crux where we can read about how Jesus is alive in the alumni of MLHS.
This month’s servant is Gary Truwe from Indianapolis, IN. Gary is a 1965 graduate from MLHS, and is married to Faye. They have three kids; Dana, Holly and Gregory. After graduating from MLHS, Gary attended Concordia University of Seward, NE, where he earned a B.S. This afforded him working as a teacher, principal and DCE in six different locations. Gary is currently retired and enjoys being a grandparent to ten grandchildren!
When thinking about all he has accomplished, and how MLHS helped him be successful, Gary says:
“Watching young people grow in their faith and maturing as Christian servants is what I enjoy most. My roots, which are partly from going to LHS Mayer, gave me a great start in serving God and my fellow man. In my retirement, I enjoy being active in my congregation, without any particular job description. I can serve in whatever capacity I feel is needed to support the ministry at my faith home Trinity Lutheran Church, here in Indianapolis.”
Memories come easily for Gary and he has a unique image in his mind. He was part of the first group of students who started in the Mayer City Hall!
“We were very close, and we all got to know each other very well. We were like family, and many of us are still very close, even though we may not live anywhere close to each other. Our faith foundation, and the challenges we faced together back then, gave us the strength and courage to go forward to serve our God, and love those we have served these many years. I made it back for the special 50 year celebration a few years back, and assisted in helping the early alumni celebrate our heritage by getting together and sharing our special times from back in those early days.
Those early faithful starters, which my parents were a part of, had a tremendous and difficult task. Starting MLHS in a rural area was not typical, and pulling together the resources to begin that task was tremendous. Believe it or not, back then the tuition was about $250, and that was a lot back then. Those early folks blazed a trail that many have appreciated and followed, and MLHS is now a shining example of what God can do when we just trust and go forward to do what His will is, and not our own. My own children had similar opportunities where we lived as we raised them, and part of it was because we saw what it did for us, and the legacy it leaves for the future. We made the sacrifice needed to provide it for the next generation.”
This experience with MLHS also transfers to all the volunteering that Gary does for his church family.
“I am now an advisor to our pastor. Because of my many years of experience in various areas of the country, he values my input and is happy to have someone he can trust, who has been down the road of life, so to speak. I volunteer to assist with various fellowship events at our church, and help teach some youth and adult classes, as time allows. Since my wife is the organist and choir director, I do find myself one of the few male voices in the choir on a seasonal basis. We do live very close to our church, so I find myself over at the facility, helping in whatever way I can.”
Gary also has words of wisdom for everyone that believes Jesus is the way;
“Just keep lighting the candles of Christ and His love wherever you are and in whatever situation you find yourself. Don’t follow the culture and the world’s guidelines. God’s Word must be your guide, and Christ your ROCK. When I now see my children, raising our grandchildren to love Christ, and serve Him, I am just very thankful. It is only by the grace of God, that this is happening. The devil is devious and powerful, but he cannot stand up to the power of Jesus and His Love. Continue the legacy of faith!!!!”
Welcome to the Crusader Crux where we get to check into the lives of Mayer Lutheran High School alumni and see firsthand what God is up to in their lives. Today’s alumna is Paige Roberts. She is a 2011 graduate of Mayer Lutheran High School. She currently lives in New London, MN where she is a herdsman for Jer-Lindy Farms in Brooten. Her parents are Tom and Robin Roberts.
With her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Studies with an emphasis in Animal Science from the University of Wisconsin River Falls, Paige Works with all things dairy at the farm. One of the many important skills that God has graced her with is the ability to care for the cows.
|“I really enjoy the fact that am helping feed the world by providing a wholesome nutritious product. It could be cheese I helped make or the milk we drink! I also like working with the cows. They are very friendly and entertaining creatures and it’s amazing to see how they can produce a valuable food product for us! The hardest part is when a cow or calf is sick and you do everything in your power to help her feel better but nothing you do works.|
Although Paige has only been working at this job for eight months, she was part of the hard workers that achieved the 2016 U.S. Dairy Sustainability award for outstanding dairy. Here is just a sketch of all God’s gifts that she contributes to:
“My day starts at 5 am when I walk in on the barn to get ready to milk the cows. We milk about 180 Holstein and Brown Swiss cows. On days we are making cheese the milk is taken straight from the cow and piped to the on farm cheese plant. Milking is usually over around 8am when I move onto my next task for the day, which could involve anything from feeding baby calves, taking care of sick cows, walking pens to do a quick check up on all the cows, giving vaccines, working with the vet, or operating machinery.
After I get done on the farm I take a shower and head over to the cheese plant. We make a few different kinds of cheeses including Aged Cheddar, Garlic Cheddar, Red Temper Cheddar which is a spicy cheese, Whiskey Washed Munster, Brie, and Cheese Curds. My time in the cheese plant could involve anything from making cheese which could include anything from flipping, cutting, pressing, pouring, salting, and much more. It’s a lot more physical work than people assume, I could also spend time in the plant wrapping cheese or, work in our farm shop with customers..”
Clearly, Paige is a busy servant. Mayer Lutheran High School has helped in preparing her faith and mind for truly unique work.
“MLHS prepared me by giving me the faith and strength to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone and do something I never expected I could do. I never imagined I would be working on a dairy farm and make cheese but here I am! I had a lot of great influences at Mayer who told me to never give up and keep faith that God has bigger plans for us than we can ever imagine.”
Attending Mayer Lutheran High School really shaped Paige into the helpful person she is today and she gives God the Glory to have the opportunities that she has to take care of His creatures. A favorite quote from Sylvain Reynard gives her the courage to keep up the hard work; “You know feeding someone is the ultimate act of care”. Thank you, Paige, for showing us how to put God’s work first in our lives.