Dearest friends & family,
This sudden announcement may come as a bit of a shock to you…as it certainly did to us!
We have loved ministering at Jim Elliot Christian High School. From its exciting beginnings back in 1997 (which many of you were a part of and for that we will always be grateful), through all the challenges and bumps over the years, to watching it grow and prosper to what it is today, we have seen God move mightily in and through the school. Some of the best and most memorable years of our lives have been spent at JECHS and the blessings of deep friendships in students, staff and families have been abundant!
It is with both joy and sorrow that we announce that our season at Jim Elliot has come to an end. Sorrow as we will greatly miss ministering to students and their families who we love so dearly; but great joy as we watch God open up the door to new opportunities to use our gifts and talents to pursue our next dream. We know God is up to something really big and it is exciting to be part of His plan!
As we depart from our beloved school we are striving to walk in love, integrity and glory to God! We do earnestly pray that the Lord will continue to prosper and grow the school and bless the wonderful staff (whom we love dearly) as they touch and impact students for Christ!
Always in Jesus,
Dan & Beth Lambdin
As word has leaked out, we have found that we are being inundated with questions. Thank you to all of you who have been so loving, supportive and concerned. We thought it best to answer the most common ones with this announcement.
1. Was it your choice to leave Jim Elliot Christian High School at this time?
No. We had always thought that we would minister at Jim Elliot for life. Dan received notification on July 9, via certified letter, that his contract to teach for the 2013-14 school year was being rescinded. There was no reason given.
Despite Dan’s desire to stay and teach, disciple and mentor students, we believe that the Lord uses leadership to move us in the direction He wants us to go and we trust that the Lord has used the board and administration to accomplish His ultimate purpose in our lives. For that we are sincerely grateful to our Lord, as we know this will prove to be one of the greatest blessings of our lives!
2. What about Rebekah and Grace who are enrolled as students at JECHS?
Of course as parents, of utmost concern are our precious children, every one of them gifts from God.
Rebekah was to be a senior at JECHS this coming year and was very excited about her position as student chaplain, continuing to lead “The Movement Club” (a student advocate group for orphans); and of course her passion – playing soccer for her final year at Elliot. She has also developed strong friendships over the past three years and was looking forward to graduating with the JECHS class of 2014.
Grace was to enter Jim Elliot as a freshman this year and after nine years of homeschooling was so very excited to enter the world of JECHS: to take new and exciting classes, playing sports, making friends (in addition some of her closest friends who would also be starting as a freshman there) and just being immersed in the Christian high school experience. Of course getting to hang out with her Dad every day was going to be a bonus too!
The board and administration at JECHS recently decided that our children were welcome to attend Jim Elliot providing they met the qualifications and that we paid all the tuition and fees. (One of the benefits of staff members at Jim Elliot is free tuition so this would be a new expense in our lives)
While we would love to have our children sit under the godly mentorship of the teachers and staff at JECHS, be with their friends, as well as have the opportunity to attend a local Christian high school whose goal is to glorify God. First, let’s state the obvious…with Dan already sacrificing financially to work at a private Christian school where the teachers generally make 30-40% less than public school teachers, there was never any extra money to pay tuition, which is one of the reasons Christian schools often offer a tuition benefit to their staff. Now with no income at this time…it’s pretty easy to do the math…even if you aren’t great with numbers. (0 income minus $14,000 in tuition equals negative $14,000) That said, we know God’s math is very different than ours, and if the girls wanted to be there, we know the Lord would provide the finances to make that happen. Sadly, both girls already feel that “all eyes are upon them” and there is underlying awkwardness between them and the school. They have decided that at this time they do not want to be “under a microscope” at JECHS as well as deal with questions about their Dad. They have both grieved greatly over this ordeal and we are trying to help them walk through this major life change with the proper godly perspective and without allowing bitterness to get a hold of their hearts, as we know that could damage them for years if allowed to grow. It is a daily decision for them to walk in grace and forgiveness and yet we know that the Lord was not caught off guard by this and He will use it greatly in their lives!
Whew! That was a lot of background information to answer the question so many are asking about Rebekah & Grace: “Where will they be going to school?” There is no easy answer. As Grace said recently: “None of the options are good, Mom.” We have made a spread sheet, written out all the pros and cons, sought counsel and of course, prayed. At this point they are leaning towards attending Capital Christian High School in Sacramento (and yes, that is 52 miles from our doorstep…oh my!) There are so many details that would have to be worked out: tuition (again that would take a God kind of math!) , transportation, athletic eligibility and jumping through all the admissions hoops in record time, not to mention a huge challenging life change for us as a family, having kids creating a life in an entirely different city. We are confident that if it is the Lord’s will, He will work out all those details, even if it is hard, because God often calls us to do hard things!
Please pray for our girls as they navigate through all this in the upcoming weeks and throughout the year. They are pretty amazing young ladies but we know Satan would like nothing better than to use this to destroy their lives and have them question God.
3. What will Dan do now? Does he have a new job?
No, Dan does not have a job or any potential jobs at this point. This question is perhaps the hardest to answer because of the differences between a “job”, “career” or “profession” and a “ministry”, “calling” or “vocation”. But we will try.
First …our commitment to Christian education goes far beyond simply a job or profession. We realize perhaps for many Christian school teachers it is more of a career choice or job that pays the bills; which is perfectly acceptable, but for us that has never been the case. Christian school ministry and the discipleship of students is our passion and something the Lord called us to over 26 years ago. We believe it is a high ministry calling and our vocation.
Secondly…Dan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies, an ACSI teaching credential and is a licensed minister. He has been a Bible teacher for 25 years. Prior to completing his degree he was a youth minister for two years. This is all that he has ever done.
With that said…it is obvious that his options within his calling, his training and experience are limited. He teaches Bible – not history or English or math. He has no public school options as many assume he might. (Unless we are unaware that our public schools are now offering Bible…would love to hear about that!) He also has no options in San Joaquin County to teach Bible at a Christian school. That leaves outside the area. But let’s be real here – it is July – there are literally no job openings for Bible teachers this close to the start of a new school year. Best case scenario IF he is to continue teaching (and that IF is there) is that he finds a Bible teaching position out of the area next (2014-15) school year.
Now all that could sound pretty depressing or discouraging right? Well sure maybe….if you don’t know that our God is bigger than any obstacle, that He has orchestrated all of this to complete His ultimate plan for our lives personally; that He is in complete control, has a wonderful plan for our future and that He is our provider as always! But we do know all of this about our awesome God and we put our full faith and confidence in Him. There is complete peace and freedom in knowing God!
Please pray for us as we seek Him for the answers to these questions:
- Lord, are you calling us out of Christian education at this time and leading us to a new ministry calling, or do we seek to find a new school to continue to minister to and disciple young people?
- If we are to stay in Christian education, Lord how do you want to provide our basic needs for the upcoming year until we can secure a Christian school job for the 2014-15 school year?
- If we are being called to a new ministry, what is it Lord? Pastoring? Missions? Christian Youth Camps? Some type of Chaplaincy? Going full time speaking and counseling with Inspire Ministries and raising monthly support? We want to use our unique gifts and talents for His glory!
- Lord, are you calling us out of full time paid ministry and into secular employment?
We know that the Lord promises generous wisdom to all who ask him and we certainly need wisdom! (“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5) We also know that the Lord will provide for all of our needs – financial, emotional and spiritual – according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19) We hope to be able to communicate with you all very soon what exactly the Lord has for us to do next.
4. Will there be any type of recognition or acknowledgement from the school for Dan’s part in founding the school and his subsequent 16 years of ministry there?
We have been told that the school officially has no plans at this time. We have no expectations or disappointment. In fact, we have always been so blessed to be showered with love and appreciation by those that we have ministered to over the years that our hearts are filled to overflowing! We could ask for no more than the amazing love and support we have had from all of you over the course of our ministry. We should be thanking you as it has strengthened, encouraged and kept us going for decades!
However, a group of friends have recently asked if they could do something special to give recognition and honor to Dan for his 25 years in Christian Education. That event will be held on Monday, September 2, 2013 which is exactly 15 years to the day that Jim Elliot Christian High School began their first day of school with a beautiful chapel service. What a perfect day to honor Dan. Everyone is invited! More details to come out soon. We hope that many of you will be able to join us in this special time together to thank the Lord for what He has done in and through Dan Lambdin, and to celebrate the great things he has in store for the future!
To God be the glory!
43 responses to “Lambdin Life: A Season of Change”
Beautifully said! Thanks for answering so many questions. Our Lord will indeed meet all your needs, as He has promised, and will pour out His blessings on Rebekah and Grace as well (I’m am really going to miss not having Grace in my 9th grade class!). It will be exciting to see how God brings forth good out of all this – He is the God of the impossible! Thank you both for your many years of faithful service. Dan, the school just won’t be the same without you…
Love and prayers – Kathy E.
Thank you Kathy. Dan will greatly miss being with you at the school. Please pray for the girls especially and for where the Lord would have them go to school. I am sad they will not get to experience and be touched by fabulous teachers like you!
I am deeply humbled by your gracious attitudes during this unexpected season of hardship and heartache. I’ve just shed a few tears for your dear daughters, and I am so tempted towards negativity and outrageous anger. In part, I suppose, because of old (and somewhat similar) wounds; and, in part, because I am keenly aware of the employment/financial challenges you now must overcome. Strangely, my deep and deeper faith in God’s provision and deliverance from hardship was stretched by YOUR insistence that God’s plan included my restored existence if I prayed faithfully, trusted completely, and worked diligently. Here I am, and here you all will be, too. I’m honored to be just one of the numerous people who the Lord will hear as I pray for His perfect plans to unfold before the Lambdins.
Beth, I am both humbled and amazed at your gracious words. Being that Jen and I are “cut from the same cloth” 😉 I can truthfully say that my own reaction would be much more fleshly! Thank you for your constant trusting responses toward our awesome God and Savior! You are such a wonderful example to me! I will be praying for you all!
thank you Jen for your kind words and your wonderful friendship! Lunch soon!
Integrity… This is why my alumni status and my loyalty move with you and Dan. Goodbye BCHS, so long JECHS – I graduated in 1993 from the Lambdin family mentor ship and I am always the better for it.
officially “Lambdinized”! 🙂 We love you Marla!
First, you are an amazing blogger!
I will say through my own experiences that some of the most “SHOCKING” situations that have come into my life have in “hind sight” been the closing of one door to get me to open the next. You know that from all your experiences too.
Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with your readers and quoting the scriptures that truly are the foundations of our faith in that “God shall supply all our needs and give wisdom to those that ask for it” and also that God has a plan in all of this. Jeremiah 29:11-13
I have found that through these last 2 years with the most difficult and unanswerable questions of what God is doing, I have found him faithful and ever so close to my heart. I dug in my heals and clung to his promises and found him to go before me and fight that which I could not fight on my own.
I love you guys and you and your family will be in my prayers. Thank you again for sharing with us.
Thanks Sandy! God is truly the most amazing God…full of kindness, compassion, grace, mercy & faithfulness. He gets us through everything. Love you my friend
Praying Beth and Dan. Whew! Excited to see what God will do. I know He loves you!!!! So do many of us!
thank you Melody!
Wow – very well stated…. and once again, all I can come up with is Wow. ?God is good and will be neat to see what he has for you guys… Praying… since I am a YWAM cheer leader (Mick says we are Y-Wuzzers because we wuz with YWAM) have you ever considered a Crossroads (as in mid life with family) Discipleship Training School and School of Evangelism? Mick and I met in YWAM in Texas and what a blessing – we have numbers of friends who are in leadership in YWAM too – I could go on for pages… holler if you’d like more info!
Love You! Marijo
Ooooo, I second this response since I am a Y-Wuzzer too! The Kona campus has one of the best Christian Schools in the nation AND it wouldn’t be long before they put you & Dan on the teaching circuit. Although I would be tempted towards jealousy “) it might be a wonderful life giving option! And I might hide w/my babes in your luggage!
We are open to doing whatever the Lord desires of us. We will be seeking His will with a passion over the next month as we get direction for our future
God bless you and your family! Thank you for your all your sacrifices and devotion and Godly wisdom and inspiration of our JECHS kids through the years. Praying God fulfills all HIS great plans for you in a timely fashion and that HE be greatly glorified! Thank you for the gracious, humble, Godly responses to a very difficult situation, God is being brought glory. Love your family always.
Thank you Janine & Bob! Our hearts desire is to glorify the Lord in everything! Thanks for your prayers.
We were and are very sad that you will not be at JECHS. We have enjoyed your ministry and our boys are better men because of Dan. Ministry calls us in different directions at times; sometimes it is expected and at other times it is a shock. Praise be to God as He is the Great Director of our lives. Thank you for following the Lord’s direction and building JECHS. We will miss you. Our prayers continue.
Dear Paula…..thank you for your kind words and your prayers. We are excited to see what God has next and we pray that the ministry at JECHS will continue in abundance!
I am in awe with this post & the truly humble & faith filled response you provided explaining your situation. You shared from your heart keeping your eyes & heart fixed directly on God and that continues to speak volumes on who you are as you set out on this unknown journey. Know that I will be praying for you, Dan & the family as you seek God’s glory and wisdom for the answers & direction he is setting in motion. Sending hugs, love, blessings and faithful prayers to you!
Amen to God be the glory –
Thank you Sarah for your constant encouragement to me. You are a blessing and I am so glad that CM brought us together. Love you!
Dan & Beth – Your update and response to this whole situation is truly amazing. It’s hard to believe that I’ve known you guys for almost 30 years! I knew you when you were youth pastors, working at a different Christian school, watched & prayed with you, listened to you, & tried to help anyway I could with advice and thoughts when you guys had the dream and vision to start to Jim Elliot Christian High School.
I have watched you sacrificially serve and give your life to minister to young people their parents and families. You have been an amazing couple as parents and your marriage has served as an example for many.
Your “brand” of Christianity is considered radical by a lot of people. Unfortunately that tends to result in people being critical and uncomfortable. We feel just the opposite, we admire and look up to you for all that you’ve done from raising a large family to the sacrifices you’ve made to give your lives in Christian service.
When you started & organized Jim Elliot Christian High School you were so cautious to protect the school from the abuses that you witnessed before in a nonprofit organization. You structured the school so that no one would personally benefit or control the school. Never imagining that your vision & dream would be hijacked and you would be shoved out of the organization that you started.
Will you survive? Yes. Will God help you move forward? Yes. Will your children be okay and make it through this without a bitter& hardened heart? Yes, because of the way that you two have & will continue to deal with this.
To the present board & leadership of Jim Elliot Christian High School shame on you! Your desire to move an organization to what you think is the appropriate direction does not justify the way you ran over and pushed out people who have given their lives to build this school. I would challenge you to rethink the name of your school going forward because I don’t believe your actions represent well the life and ministry that Jim Elliot lived.
Dan, Beth & family – We say with the Apostle Paul, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
We look forward to seeing what God has in store! We love you!
Mark & Carrolyn Holliday
Mark & Carrolyn…. thank you for your lifetime friendship. We value you & your family so very much and are blessed by your wisdom that you have always been willing to invest into our lives. God is up to something really big!
Beth… What a shock to read your blog.. I will be praying for your family. My niece Alexandria went to Capital Christian and loved it.. May God shower you with blessings at this hard time.
thank you for your prayers Sheila….we love you!
I am always amazed by your testimony and response to situations in your life- you all have been here before and developed something great and now the Lord is preparing you for your next creation. I can’t wait to see what the outcome is and can’t wait to be a part of it.
Aletha…we are excited to see what God has next! Pray with us & thank you for being such a joy & blessing to our lives for over 25 years! We love you!
I am in shock as I read all of what you wrote…..I had NO idea this was happening to you and your family! I myself am still reeling from the fact that our little school in Sebastopol closed in June 2012, due to low enrollment.
The Lord gave me a vision to teach when I was nine yrs old, and between teaching for 16 yrs at Springs of Living Water Academy, then 16 at Sebastopol Christian School, I was able to fulfill that commitment w/ the passion for teaching that He gave me SO long ago. You both share and have also demonstrated that same passion for SO many years for God’s “kids”…..may He lead you ALL to the BEST places where you can continue to serve Him in whatever work He hands to you. May your girls find a place where Jesus can be uplifted while they continue their education. And if His plan for them is to be a light in a public school, then my prayer for them is that they are allowed to BE that light w/o anyone being allowed to dim theirs in that process. I pray provision and protection over EACH of you as you walk thru this hard time – I understand it only too well, but I also KNOW that God WILL take care of you…..am glad that you feel that same assurance of His provision for all of you. Much love from Patty
Patty….I know you “know” our hearts & passion. We love you & Ed so very much. Perhaps this will free up some time to finally get over to visit you! 🙂
Would LOVE to get together w/ you guys! By the way, would Bradshaw Christian School be an option for the girls? Maybe they have a scholarship program there? Melissa Fleming Bowers (remember the four Fleming girls from the Springs and their dad Fred?) has worked at Bradshaw Christian for many years. Just a thought. Will pray. Love you!!!
I couldn’t see how to reply by email until just now so I sent you a note on the form included. Not sure how comfy I am if my reply there is public. Not sure. I looked for your phone number(s) and personal email (is it still something that starts with CMLambdin?) but nothing seems updated! Please, if you’ve time, forward me your current contact info.
Am sending you and your family lots of love.
Mary……no worries, your comment was not public 🙂 🙂
My email is email@example.com
Dan and Beth,
Thank you for all the time and prayers you both have given toward JECHS and the students. Sometimes there is no answer to why things happen. God never promises an explanation but He does promise to never leave us or forsake us. When life’s events cause us to turn to Him and seek His will, we can truly say this was a blessing. I’m praying that you will not loose heart or trust in Him. That He will direct your path into His will.
Love you both and all the kids.
Dean…… We love you too! So very blessed that JECHS brought our families together. 🙂
We are walking completely in the peace & trust of the Lord and we know that we know that we know that He is in ALL of this. He has got big plans and we just want to follow them.
As a former leader at JECHS please pray that the Lord would move on their hearts to walk in Christ like love & compassion in this departure….this has been our desire & prayer all month. We so want the Lord to be glorified in and through us all.
Wow! A new, unexpected, season of life for the Lambdins! I’m excited to see what God unfolds for life and ministry. Praying for wisdom, provision and continued peace as you all navigate it all. The foundation that you have laid in your family’s life is the rock that will surely see each of you through. Cyber hugs and daily prayers for you all.
Oh my goodness! This was an utter and complete shock. What a blessing and inspiration both you and Dan have been in so many lives. Not just mine while I attended JECHS, but my sister Sarah’s as well so many years ago. Mythoughts and prayers go out to you guys. ((Hugs)) I would love to attended the event honoring Dan. Can’t wait for the details.
Beth – I saw your post on Facebook and hopped over to read your blog. As always, your faith shines brightly in the midst of what has to be a stressful time for your family. I will keep you in my prayers. I know God has interesting paths ahead for you!
I am in prayer right now for the Lambdin family and the will of God.
I am really sad about this. If anything kept that school together, it was definitely the two of you. And though I was a bit of a tyrant those two years, without the two of you and Mrs. Elliott :), I would have fallen apart. I never quite thanked you enough for all you did for me. I will forever appreciate the large part your family played in my life. I definitely would not be the person I am today had I not had your loving family CONSTANTLY loving on me no matter what I did. Your family is wonderful and I (as well as everyone else) know that God has such a great calling on the lives of every person in your family. You are all such great people that impact the lives of so many around you. I am so glad to see that you are moving on in such a beautiful way. You are a wonderful blogger, Mrs. Lambdin, and I’m happy to know that you and your husband aren’t looking at this as “the end of life as we know it”. I hope to see the two of you soon. Once again, thank you so much for all you did for me, I am sorry I did not thank you early. I am TRULY appreciative. I will be praying for your family, especially Grace and Rebekah. Your family deserves the absolute best.
Dear Beth- yes what a game changer! Ill be praying for you & keeping my eyes peeled for Dan’s employment. I thought we might be able to help with the commute by having the girls stay with us for a couple of nights during the week? It’s more like a 20 min drive from here & I think I can manage transportation. Call me or email me 😉 (916)939-1727 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan I am so taken back. You and Beth and your trusting and forgiving attitude are just proof to what I have always thought of you two. Christs love is in you and controls you. I have shed tears of love for your family, as I know how your heart must feel.
God be with and bless you over and over.
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Well I was wondering what was going on at the school. Then I hear Dan is “asked to leave” founder of the school, or co-founder. Do you really ask a co-founder (founder) to pack up and leave?
But I know you both and have seen you walk through several things in life and always with a high head because you knew that CHRIST was in control.
Although I don’t see you both much because of our schedules and lives, Christ is always a main stay in friendships and love. I will be praying for you both and your family and I know CHRIST is watching over you know. I know that if you were the only ones on earth that Christ would be blessing you all the same because you live for HIS GLORY and not your own. Have thought of directing a youth camp–you guys would be so perfect!! And would be free rent (maybe)
God is so good! I’ve known Dan through his parents since his birth; although I have not seen him since his folks 50th Wedding Anniversary. I was actually looking to connect with his folks when I ran across your blog this morning. My prayers are with you and the entire family. God often turns what appear to us to be “bad”, into events that bring glory to Him. I feel positive that this is just one of those times. My heart breaks for your daughters and I would encourage Rebekah to contact whoever takes over as Student Chaplain to encourage and, if possible, work with her as I believe Satan has seen what a wonderful work Rebekah would have accomplished had she been able to continue. God definitely has something amazing in His plan for you all.