I had been taking my kids to this school for over three years before I met another Christian parent. I had made plenty of friends over that time but none knew Jesus as their lord and saviour. Well, if any did, I hadn't discovered it.
It was a good school in many ways - it still is, but the school hierarchy were resistant to the idea of a chaplain or even Scripture taking place in the school. It had been made plain to me by the Acting Principal that he didn't believe kids should be taught such fairy tales in school!
When the new principal arrived, she too saw no role for a chaplain or Scripture in the school. It is the local Public Primary School. We live just across the road and up the hill a bit - less than 5 minutes walk there seeing it is all down hill. It takes a little longer to get home at the end of a long day.
I have now had kids at the school for nearly 12 years and assuming we stay in the area we will have kids there for another 4! I am part of the furniture.
In my 4th year at the school a change took place. I kept meeting Christian mothers. A family of 6 children with 5 of them at the school who had recently moved South from Alice Springs; A mother of 2, the wife of a Church of Christ minister; a grandmother from the local brethren church; another grandma helping with school pickups for her twin grandchildren....
An idea started to form. Maybe it was time to start a prayer group for this school! So after a few conversations with these new friends and much trepidation I approached the principal to get details of the group included in the school newsletter. I was expecting criticism and objections but they didn't come. She may not want Scripture being taught in the school but she was very happy to know there were people meeting to pray for the school, the teachers, the students and the community.
We now meet 3-4 times a term, we are still only a small group of about 5-6 parents and grandparents though we rarely get that many to the prayer meeting. About 15 parents have been involved over the years as children have come to the school and then moved on to other schools. We pray, we encourage each other to evangelise our friends and contacts in the school, we have donated Christian books to the library and run thank you morning teas for the staff.
My eldest left the school and moved to the high school next door - we started praying for the high school too! The High School has a Chaplain - she started coming to the prayer group so we could encourage and support her in her job. My daughter left the school and moved to another high school in the area, we started praying for that school too! We pray for our children as they live as Christians within a secular school environment, as they think about sharing the love of Jesus with their friends.
I am amazed at times as I see friends of my children going to different churches as they have been invited, as several are now going to Boys' and Girls' Brigades with my children and hearing about Jesus there.
There is still no Scripture taught at this public primary school but God is obviously at work. He reminds me often that He is greater than I am. He can work in the hearts of people even in a school that sees no place for Him.
Please join us as we pray that God will touch the lives of parents, teachers and children in the Public Schools of our country. Pray that Christians will shine the light of Christ as they live and participate in these communities. Pray that many of the parents and children will have a chance to hear about Jesus because individual Christians within their school communities are seeking to be faithful witnesses to Him.
Oh, and maybe you could start a prayer group of parents and friends for your local school!