Philippines Trip 2024

In 1999, GCCS and ZCS became sister-schools. This relationship has been such a blessing to both schools over the past 25 years. ZCS has had the opportunity to host GCCS staff in Zeeland on a number of occasions. In addition to this, more than ten groups of staff and students have visited GCCS over these years. Through student sponsorships and the Jingle Jog, ZCS has been able to financially support GCCS over the years. In the process, our staff and students are able to learn about another culture and see so many shining examples of how to live out our faith joyfully.

On February 19, GCCS celebrated their 30th Foundation Day. A group of seven ZCS staff members and two students had the privilege to be there to celebrate 30 years of what God has done. What a celebration it was! Each class had prepared a cultural dance to perform, our ZCS team was given a warm welcome, and many staff members were able to share about what God has been doing at GCCS over the last 30 years.

The remainder of our visit to GCCS was focused on relationships. We had two days at GCCS to spend time with students, teach some lessons, connect with teachers, and meet with the families of sponsor students. These two days were their Foundation Days complete with games, competitions, and even an afternoon modeled after ZCS’s Fun Night. These days filled our hearts with a greater love for the staff, students, and mission of GCCS.

We then had three days to go away together with the GCCS staff to one of the other islands of the Philippines. We were able to explore the area together, share meals together, go on a big adventure on some little boats, and enjoy the sunsets. This was such a special time to connect on a deeper level with each other. 

Thank you to the ZCS community for all the ways that you have supported GCCS through your prayers, Jingle Jog donations, and student sponsorship. We pray that this sister-school relationship will continue for many more years.



The staff at GCCS love God and their students and have a genuine spirit of hospitality and giving.  I was blessed to be able to share with some of the teachers ideas to use, and watching them interact with their students and each other and the community they have together was truly a gift.

-Vicki Klynstra, Support Services

What an amazing experience it was to meet everyone at GCCS! I thank God for the impact that lies not only in the work we all do, but also in the relationships we build along the way. I feel more inspired to continue serving our brothers and sisters at GCCS and continue nurturing relationships behind this trip. I would love for more teachers to experience this wonderful opportunity that it was to visit GCCS.

-Angelica Delgado, 4th Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher

I’ve heard about GCCS in the Philippines since I’ve gone to ZCS as a student and I’m glad I could finally experience it in person. My takeaway is that our same God is working across the world at GCCS through the staff, students, and families. The staff and families are so thankful for our partnership and the ZCS team was able to see how much our sponsorships impacts this school.

-Noah Treffers, 3rd Grade Teacher

The opportunity to be at GCCS to celebrate 30 years of God’s faithfulness was such a fantastic experience. My first visit to GCCS was in 2000. It is amazing to see the changes as God has expanded their building, student body, and staff size. However, there are so many things that have stayed the same. Their love of God, desire to share God’s love with their students, and joy (even in difficult circumstances) all remain!

-Maria Klompmaker, Support Services

The people of Grace Community Christian School taught me a lesson in generosity and Christian love. From the moment we stepped off the plane, we were treated with a hospitality that feels unparalleled in American culture. It was clear that our Filipino friends wanted our experience in their country to be meaningful and full of love. The days at the school were packed with community members, children, and teachers who all knew our names and worked hard to help us feel well cared for. I do hope we get the opportunity to shower our friends with hospitality, here, in the near future. I look forward to continuing the relationships built with our sisters and brothers across the world.

-Kristi Van Dyk, 3rd-5th English Teacher

I was humbled and overwhelmed by their goodness and by their love. We should get as many staff and parents there as possible. It is a life-changing experience. I will spend more time supporting them now both spiritually and financially.

-Jackie Roskamp, 8th Grade Teacher

I was reminded again of God working in similar ways in completely different places. Sitting in the church was a great reminder of the ultimate reason why we were there we worship the same God. The other thing that I was reminded of, was that everything we do to help our friends at GCCS is for a reason. What "we" do, truly makes a difference. Because of the immense generosity and kindness of family/friends of ZCS, so many more kids can experience not just a better education, but the love of God. Because of this, they are set up for a life in Christ, which is an amazing thing.

- Noah Arendsen, 8th Grade Teacher

I learned from our friends at GCCS that it is good to be welcoming.

- Everett Klompmaker, 4th Grade Student

The people there were really nice and welcoming. That teaches me to do those things also.

-Alden Klompmaker, 1st Grade Student

Our History with Grace Community Christian School

Grace Community Christian School (GCCS) was started in 1994, under the name Christian Reformed Learning Center, with the desire to provide a quality Christian education for students in crowded Pasay City, Philippines. The first year, GCCS offered pre-kinder and kinder classes to a total of 10 students. The two original teachers, Elma Ordiales and Precy Skoog, are still deeply involved with GCCS as the retired and current principals of the school. 

This step of faith in starting GCCS in 1994 has resulted in 30 years of showing God’s love and planting seeds of faith to hundreds of students. At one point, GCCS offered pre-kinder through grade 10. As a result of the pandemic, GCCS was no longer able to offer their high school classes. GCCS now has 139 students enrolled from pre-kinder through grade 6. The fifteen staff members at GCCS live out their faith on a daily basis. Their love of God, their students, and each other is contagious. They work long hours, get paid much less than in a public school, and do it with a smile each and every day. 

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