“The mission of our school has now come to fruition!” With these joyful words, Brad Moutray, head elder of the Garden City Church began our high Sabbath celebration the afternoon of May 6 as we gathered with members of the Garden City Hispanic Adventist Church to celebrate the baptism of 12 students from High Plains Christian School. Two more older teens from the English speaking church were also baptized. They had studied with Aldo Contreras who enjoys working with the youth of the church.
A church school starts with a vision by parents and church members who wanted to create a learning space where children can learn about Jesus and the plan of salvation. With continued sacrifice of time and effort along with financial commitment, a school is established. And then God provided Christian teachers. The 12 students from High Plains Christian School have had Jessi Whitson Bauder as their teacher for many years, most of them since first grade. They have listened, learned, discussed, and grown in their understanding of God’s word and His beautiful promises for their lives.
Last fall, the students asked Mrs. Bauder to see if she could get someone to come and do baptismal studies with them. As we are between pastors at this time, Brad Moutray, head elder, and Robin Blood, school board chairman, stepped up and the baptismal lessons began in January 2023. Every other Tuesday afternoon the lessons progressed, and the young people began to understand more clearly that God was calling them to commit their lives in service for His work.
Brad Moutray stated, “One of the main ministries of our church is this church school. We are currently in the process of collecting monies for building onto our school. The purpose of the expansion of our church school is to grow and make room for more children who can learn about Christ and give their lives to Him.” There are currently 24 students at High Plains Christian School and two teachers.
Mrs. Bauder led the program with each young person’s favorite verse and the Christian song that means the most to them, followed by the young person’s baptism. Pastor Meza baptized the students from the Spanish speaking church and Brad Moutray baptized the students from the English speaking church. Each baptismal candidate received their baptismal certificates at the close of the service. The ladies from both churches had worked together to prepare a lavish celebration supper for all the young people and their families to enjoy. The service and supper were a foretaste of heaven!
We praise God for the Holy Spirit who is working on the hearts of our students, and for their parent’s faithfulness in raising them to be workers for the Lord. We also praise God for Christian teachers who give so much, every day, to make a spiritual difference in the lives of the young people in their classrooms in every little town in the Kansas-Nebraska Conference who have made the dreams of the churches and parents come true.
Debbie Freeman teaches lower grades at the High Plains Christian School.