Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ as we begin the 54th school year at Mayer Lutheran!
In June, my wife, Shirlee, and I had a chance to take the trip of a lifetime. We spent three weeks with our son touring China. Daniel teaches English in a Chinese school and eagerly introduced the “Middle Kingdom” to us.
We saw Pandas and a giant Buddha at Chengdu, the financial district in Shanghai, rugged beauty at Jiuzhai Valley National Park, an army of 24,000 terra cotta warriors in Xian, and the Forbidden City in Beijing. We even spent two days with Mayer Lutheran scholar and international student, Jiayu “James” Zhu, and his family in Nanchang! One of the most remarkable sites we experienced, though, was a four-hour hike on the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall stretches more than 13,000 miles from Hushan in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west. Built between the Fifth Century B.C. and the Seventeenth Century A.D., the structure is the most amazing construction project in history. This remarkable feat of engineering was designed to keep invaders from the north at bay.
Considering all the time, expense, and labor that went into the Great Wall, we are reminded that, in the end, it failed to achieve its purpose. Mongol invaders swept into China numerous times. The project was a failure. Today, the Great Wall is crumbling and it is estimated by some that, without government intervention, much of it will disappear in the next century. What a shame! All that work for nothing!
This year’s school theme, “Prepared to Build,” is based on Psalm 127:1: Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. (NKJV) As we start the new school year, lots of planning for construction projects are underway. We now have direct access to Highway 25 thanks to the new roundabout completed this summer. The band room has been reconfigured and a hallway reclaimed on the north side of our campus. Soon, a new stage shop will emerge next to the Fine Arts Center to serve both our drama needs and our industrial arts program. And, when the Lord enables us to procure funding, the field house/school-entrance reconfiguration will begin. Indeed, we are planning some exciting things!
Unlike the builders of the Great Wall, our plans include an entirely different purpose. We are not building to keep people out of our school but rather to invite them in. As we continue to lead the movement in preparing Christian leaders among our young people, we are seeking not to add grandeur to our campus or strike fear into our enemies. Rather, we yearn for more families to join our mission and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a message that truly changes lives. Our purpose for erecting physical buildings is driven by our desire to serve God and His most valuable creation—people. After all, we seek to build strong, dedicated, faithful servant leaders, not walls! Our 3,100 alumni are a living, breathing, serving result of the blessing of building that has gone on for the past 54 years and will continue for a long time into the future. Certainly, with God as our builder, our efforts to prepare Christian leaders will not be in vain!
I pray that you will continue to support and encourage the building of Christian leaders at Mayer Lutheran and that many more will join our essential work. With the Lord as our builder, we fear no one, not even Mongol invaders!
By Joel Landskroener, MLHS Executive Director
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