Maranatha Christian Academy in Windsor is inviting the community to join in celebrating the school’s blessings during its 25th anniversary.
“We are so thankful to God for all He done for us,” says Margaret Van Niejenhuis, parent and wife of one of the school’s founding fathers.
“Over the years, we have had challenging and rewarding times, but through it all God has been faithful,” she adds.
In 1985, Maranatha leased a building and educated students from kindergarten to Grade 8. In the following years, the school bought a two-storey building and property, and has gone through several renovations.
The school added a high school with a handful of students in Grade 9 in 1999. Each year the high school added a grade, and currently has 80 students enrolled.
To kick off the anniversary celebrations, a chapel was held on the first day of school that included a presentation from one of the founding fathers, and a tree was planted with a commemorative plaque.
Diana Sauve, a member of the promotions and alumni committee and past parent of the school, says the presentation was “really touching.” The founding father shared about the times the school wasn’t able to pay the teachers and it was “miracle after miracle” that made the school.
“I’m sure all Christian schools can say that same thing and how God has been so faithful and somehow we would get a cheque in the mail,” says Sauve.
She says it is exciting to see the school’s growth over the years, noting when her children were first at the school they had to play volleyball on their knees because of the low gymnasium ceiling, and now the school has a big gym.
Though Windsor has the highest unemployment rate in Canada, this September the independent school welcomed 29 new families.
“For us to have that many families come in one year is just amazing,” says Sauve.
The school has more than 30 churches represented, and is the only interdenominational Christian school in Windsor. Sauve says the amazing diversity of people who are all “brothers and sisters in Christ” is another thing to celebrate.
The school theme for its 25th year is Growing Strong Lives.
“Our mission at the school is to grow mature Christian youth, and I believe we are doing that,” Sauve says, adding the students follow the Lord and most take part in a Grade 12 mission’s trip.
An anniversary spring banquet evening will be held April 16, 2011, at the Serbian Centre in Windsor. The organizers hope to have all of the school’s five past and present principals attend, and encourage past and current families and students to come to the celebration.
The following day, April 17, an afternoon praise service and open house will take place at the school.
Van Niejenhuis says the school envisions continuing to have a strong presence in the community, and for its students to leave the school “with a love for the Lord and a desire to serve Him in whatever career path they take.”
To learn more about the school, visit its website at www.maranathachristian.ca.