Public schools start tomorrow here in the Vancouver area. Our children will be starting Wednesday, since we just got our curriculum on Friday afternoon. I've set up our calendar for the school year, and Wes is installing all the subjects on the computer today. Our calendar is so full! We have a missions conference, a trip to SC this fall, a trip to TX next spring, and two youth conferences that all of our kids will be attending (is it possible that I will soon have three teenagers?), plus the normal Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring breaks. Christmas and New Year's will be just 3 school days altogether, since we will have just returned from a one-week visit with family in SC at the end of November. The public school year ends in June, and so does ours now, with all those extra days out. Schools here have quite a few three-day weekends, from what I understand, so it all works out the same. And isn't this the essence of homeschooling? To plan and do what works for our family? I've tried to tell that to some people, like my teacher cousin who looks with a fishy eye upon homeschoolers. So I usually just do my thing and don't volunteer information, but now that we live in an area where the public schools go from September through June, it's nice to go with their calendar, at least for beginning and ending school.
We continue to watch news coverage of Katrina's aftermath. I've heard through a friend that many Baptist churches in the Houston area sent buses to pick up refugees for church, and that just thrills my heart! Who knows but what the Lord will work in the hearts of people who may never have heard the Gospel, and many will be saved? When (or if) New Orleans is rebuilt, there may be a remnant of saved people to go back and spread the Gospel there like never before! Wouldn't that be something?! We just never know how God is going to work, do we?
Wes and I saw a news story on Good Morning America today about a little town in LA called Jefferson City. Amazingly, the area around this town is devastated, but the town is relatively untouched. It's virtually a ghost town, but there is a small group of people living there who weathered the storm. They're cut off from the world by the destruction all around them, so they can't receive supplies yet. So they have gone into the Whole Foods store at one end of town and begun taking supplies for themselves. The wine display is nearly untouched, as are the chips and sodas. What they've been taking are the things they need - foods such as crackers and granola bars, bottled water, baby food (I would eat baby food gladly if that were all I had!), and toiletry items. No looting just for the sake of looting in Jefferson City. These folks are quietly taking care of themselves with dignity. I'm sure there were many in New Orleans who did the same, but we haven't seen much dignity lately. God bless all those hurt in this disaster, but especially those who are doing what they can to care for themselves, whether in a shelter somewhere or still in their homes, as in Jefferson City. I'm praying that Katrina will be used to turn people's hearts to God, and to remind us to rely completely upon Him. As we saw a week ago, everything we have can be swept away in one night.
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past;
Only what's done for Christ will last."