“It’s Different Here”

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Five years ago, my family and I were visiting Zeeland Christian shortly after I had accepted the position here. It was Good Friday, and the enduring memory of that day is the worship during all-school chapel. As chapel ended, longtime ZCS facility manager Paul Meeuwsen walked up and took the microphone, tearfully telling the students how their worship had moved him. It was a special moment, and I leaned over to my wife and said, "It’s different here."

I’m not the first to note that "it’s different here." In fact, throughout my interview process, I took note of the many people who used that phrase to describe this Spirit-filled, relational school that takes its mission seriously to "assist parents in carrying out their responsibility to instruct their children in the Christian faith."  

Indeed, it’s different here:

  • On a hike with my daughter, a former parent whose children are now in college stopped to tell us how her daughter loved high school and is loving college, but ZCS will always be her school home.
  • In devotions this week, a kindergarten teacher shared how she sees God’s unique calling on each child, telling of her student whose face lights up when he talks about being on the farm with his dad and beaming with pride when dad brought the tractor for the class to see.  
  • A woman stopped me in Vitale’s after seeing my ZCS shirt to tell me how her father had spent decades cleaning the school, and when he passed away, she requested memorial gifts be sent to the school "because he loved that place so much."
  • In the hall, as teachers came out of their faculty meeting Tuesday morning, I was overwhelmed with the joy and laughter they shared as they headed to their classrooms.  
  • Later Tuesday, students were helping their teachers find Easter eggs hidden throughout the building by Mrs. Pyle, Mrs. Koop, and Mr. Paauw. Students’ cheers for their teachers could be heard throughout the day.  
  • Just this morning, I walked down an elementary hallway to see a teacher praying with a teary-eyed parent who was exhausted from a difficult morning.  

It is indeed different here. And while this difference can be seen and heard all year long, it’s especially discernible during Holy Week. As we gather again to worship this coming Friday, I’ll most certainly say again, "It’s different here."  

Burn Bright,

Tim McAboy
Head of School

P.S. We’d love to have you join us for chapel this Friday at 9:00! Everyone is welcome!

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