Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 29, 2017

March 29, 2017

Dear Parents,

Nails are on my mind, and I have Levi Van Peursem to thank for that.  Levi, a senior from Orange City, stepped on a nail this weekend while working on a corn crib demolition.  And that became a story worth sharing.  The nail went through his boot and into his right foot, just below and slightly to the right of his big toe. That is quite the nail. He brought it to school to show his friends and even his principal. A badge of honor, I would say!  He worked through the pain to finish the demolition. 

I was impressed that he was able to keep working after that nail went through part of his foot.  I shiver thinking of what that must have felt like.   

In this Easter season, nails are an important part of our story and God’s story.  Jesus stepped into our darkness to rescue us.  He took more than a corn crib nail through a boot. Jesus took not just one nail, but multiple nails, and his body weight hung on these nails.  All for the purpose of destroying our sin and for destroying death. 

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
Our individual stories go to the cross, and because of Jesus, beyond the cross.  Praise God for the sacrifice, the gift and the freedom we have in Him. 

W. Dykstra

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Dear Friends, 

James K. A. Smith states that,  The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar person – a people who desire the Kingdom of God and thus undertake their life’s expression of that desire.”  

What jumps out at you as you read the quote?  For me it is the word peculiar.    What does it mean to be peculiar?  What is the opposite of peculiar?  What would a peculiar high school student look like?  Is Unity a peculiar high school?  Am I peculiar?  Are you?

Is a Christ-follower called to be peculiar?  I think so.  Peculiar students and a peculiar school would let Christ lead in every aspect of their life, including the way we do school, co-curriculars, communicate, use our budget…. That is our aim at Unity. 

We hear stories of high schools elsewhere where peculiar makes the news.  Consider this story from Louisiana:

We do often see peculiar right in our own building.  This past week, one of our junior students attended a Career symposium at a local college.  This event was held for all of our area high schools.  Afterwards, this student wrote a peculiar response.  He wondered why the focus was on getting a job where you could make lots of money to buy lots of stuff.  What about choosing a career that would best serve God in His Kingdom? It was an impressive, peculiar response.   

How can we as parents in our homes, and teachers in our school create opportunities for our students/ children to be peculiar?   Becoming peculiar today might mean sticking with values and decisions things we took for granted 10 or 20 years ago.  Staying the course might make us peculiar.  But is there more?

Can peculiar increasingly be more a part of what we do at Unity? 

W. Dykstra

Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

Tonight we wrap up the final event in Beijing, meeting with friends from Mt. Zion Church. Afterwards we hope to visit a shopping market. Need some gifts for the family!

This trip has been amazing and a huge thanks to the Board of Unity for sending me. In the past 3 days I have made specific and meaningful daily contacts with Christians interested in sending their children to the US for a Christian education.

A highlight of today was riding a bullet train to Beijing. We traveled at 300 KM per hour. The train had a restaurant area with tables and we could move about with ease.

China is a richly diverse country full of contrasts. We have seen poverty and affluence side by side. We have seen American culture influences everywhere and traces of communism. We have seen rural primitive agriculture, and cutting edge technologies. We have seen people made in the image of God living out their lives in a culture so similar and different from our own.

Yesterday, we worshiped in a house church, on the 10th floor of an office building. The skyline on Nanjing picture is from the church window. Afterwards we had lunch with the church leaders. Persecution of the house churches is real. They are watched closely. The government attempts to monitor and stop Bible studies in public. But as one church leader put it, “ If we were not being persecuted then maybe we are not doing enough for Christ?”

The Christian schools and churches in China need our prayers and our support. We have been asked repeatedly for partnerships. I know we could learn a lot from each other. The trip has infected me with a desire to lead in these partnerships.

For me, I am ready to go home. Tomorrow we leave for Beijing International at 5am, 4 pm your time. It has been a wonderful trip, and I am ready to see my family again. My friendship list has grown immensely in this trip. I met wonderful students and leaders from Wheaton, Calvin, Trinity, Korea, China and the US.

Xiexie ( thank you) for your prayers! And see you soon.

Wayne Dykstra