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The Long-Term Benefits of a Christian Education, featuring Elvin and Sara Harms
January 18, 2021, 9:00 AM

Welcome to Immanuel’s blog. This is episode six in our series, the Journey of an Immanuel Family. We are Elvin and Sara Harms, and we have two sons who graduated from Immanuel Lutheran School. We’re going to be sharing our family’s 12-year journey through Immanuel’s school and how it set up our sons’ success later in life.

We got married at Immanuel, and Elvin had been a product of Lutheran schools his entire life. His father was a teacher and principal, and it goes way down the line. For me, I was not accustomed to private schools or Lutheran schools. I always thought my kids would go to Batavia Public Schools, but then as things progressed, I was so glad we sent our kids to Immanuel.

Walking into the school building, there is that area around the circle that reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go.”

School is all about training. It’s learning, it’s experiencing, but at the end of the day, it’s training on how to be somebody who can function in the right way in this world — be it in service, faith or learning.

When our oldest son began going to Batavia High School, we went to his first teachers’ conference. They could tell that he went to a private school because his study habits and focus were so much better than a lot of the other kids. And that equipped our kids very well because they succeeded in very strenuous academia in college.

They also learned critical thinking at Immanuel which is very important for what they have gone on and done in their careers — they fly airplanes. They were tops in their classes, and they ended up attending the Air Force Academy.

Looking back to even kindergarten, Mrs. Dalpini, as part of the kindergarten curriculum, would take the kids on a transatlantic airline flight. Both of our sons had an interest in flying, you could say, at least from the age of five. Their imaginations also were encouraged to take-off in the lower grades at Immanuel as well.

Immanuel has shaped our kid’s faith-life in some ways that we probably never imagined. For example, our oldest son has been deployed overseas, and prior to his first deployment, he asked if we could arrange to have Immanuel’s worship services live-streamed so that he could remain part of the faith community and have a place to worship while he was gone.

All through college and even to this day, our sons make sure that they go to church if they can. Our oldest is now a father, and he’s also looking at Lutheran preschools for his daughter. They learned their faith at Immanuel. They learned about Jesus and you couldn’t get that elsewhere in town. Faith will keep them going for the rest of their lives. Being able to get that faith-building at school — it’s critical — and our sons had that opportunity at Immanuel.

The closeness and the smallness, the camaraderie between the kids and the parents as well, was really wonderful at Immanuel. All the teachers brought their unique gifts and abilities and got to know each student as a unique person and loved them as they needed to be loved in whatever way that was. That’s what Immanuel’s all about. It was a good investment in our kids’ future and in their faith. 


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