This is War

by Michelle Richardson

Ever since I went to the CHEA convention, I have been wanting to tell you about some things God has placed on my heart. Some of the information and ideas were so exciting to me I could hardly contain my passionate response. But, some things  burdened my soul profoundly. I always like good news last, so lets start with the bad.

Ken Ham spoke about Christians being led astray. Now this is nothing new because Paul told us,  “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 ESV). The Corinthians fell for smooth talkers and things that sounded too good to be true. They believed people because they said “I am an authority” and the false teachers spoke words they wanted to hear. Keeping Christ first in our life can be hard when we have so many distractions, noise and temptation to sidetrack our faith and hope in Him. We must stay focused on Him and it is just as important to keep our children focused on Him. In Ken Ham’s book, Already Gone, he shows us that two-thirds of young people in evangelical churches will leave the faith when they move into their 20’s, because of the increasingly secular and atheistic public education system – where some 90 percent of church-going youth are currently being trained. Today’s youth find it hard to see a connection between what they are taught in church and what they learn at school. That is why it is important to use a Bible-based curriculum. As Ken Ham said, “You cannot Christianize secular textbooks, you either teach your kids you are for God or against Him.”  Shouldn’t you teach your kids with the infallible word of God instead of man’s fallible word?  This burdens my heart because the enemy is trying to steal the souls of our children. This is a war people…we need to be fully armed, as do our children. Would you go into battle without weapons or equipment? No!  So, we should not send our children without the full armor of God:  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).

So what does all of this have to do with DCHEA? Well, we not only need to be armed for battle, we need other soldiers supporting us!  But, not just any soldiers – fellow believers in the same cause.  I have been asked lately, “Why should I have my children with DCHEA when another group seemingly has more to offer?” Let’s look at scripture.  “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26 NKJV) and “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” (1 Cor. 15:33 ESV).  DCHEA is the ONLY, specifically Christian homeschool support group in the valley. Meaning that ALL of our members subscribe to a common, biblical, Christian statement of faith.  When your children attend one of our events, field trips, or co-ops  you can rest assured that your children will receive biblical teaching, and will be with other like-minded individuals. We are bound together by God’s holy word and are in agreement with each other that it is the foundation of true wisdom. Also, should we really be asking what can we get out of something? In accordance with scripture, we should be supporting each other in Christ, asking what we can contribute for the betterment of the group.  CHEA of CA firmly states their mission statement, and I love it – “The mission of the Christian Home Educators Association of California is to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ by promoting private Christian home education as an outstanding educational opportunity; providing information, training and support to the homeschool community; and protecting the God-given right of parents to direct the education and training of their children, to the glory of God.”

The amazingly, good news is DCHEA is growing and updating.  We saw an increase in membership last year and high participation rates at co-op, field trips, and events! This last year, we saw a major change to the website, calendar and email alert system. Now, over the summer we are slowly implementing some changes: We now can complete our membership online and pay by PayPal, our documents are all online and we are using Facebook as a way to connect in addition to a link-in system for our alerts. We are using the information and ideas from the convention to update our communication and co-op. We will have more exciting changes coming in the near future with the implementation of “Feature Fridays”, where we will be sending out all the next week’s coming activities and events. This will also be linked up to the calendar, so you can keep track of all the fun things your family wants to participate in. We saw a focus last year on educational excellence in co-op and will continue that focus this year.  In addition, updates to co-op registration, classes and organization are planned for this year.  These changes are not happening because of just one, two or even three people.  We are so blessed to see so many people stepping forward and participating in making DCHEA a great support to Christian homeschooling families. We need to keep that momentum going.  Imagine if every member family hosted, led, or organized just one thing during the school year! Teaching a co-op class, completing the newsletter, hosting a teen or tween event at your house, helping with the yearbook, organizing a field trip or family event – there is nothing too big or too small because everything that is done contributes to the support that we provide to each other.

July is “Membership Month”!  There is a new page on the DCHEA website called “Become a Member“.  On that page you will find two ways to renew your membership.  You can now either complete the membership application via download and print OR you can complete the membership application online by filling in the form fields on the page and paying via Paypal. The membership fee for the whole year is still only $35.00.

We only have two weeks till August, where we will be updating the website with a new members only password and ensuring that everyone in the Facebook group is a current DCHEA member.  So, for continuous access, please be sure to take the time in to send in your membership application.

We are so excited for what God will be doing with DCHEA and for us this year. We hope that you and your family will join us. Come be a part of our homeschooling family!

In His service,

Michelle Richardson
DCHEA Support Leader