The feeding of the 4,000 is one of the many miracles recorded in the Bible. This miracle demonstrates the compassion and the creativity of Christ. The multitude had followed Jesus for three days and ended up in the wilderness, far from a store to buy food. Jesus had compassion on all those people and multiplied what was available to feed them all.
Jesus assures us that "blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). What a delight it is to be in Christ’s presence and enjoy His forgiveness and the peace of life with Him.
Four thousand is a miraculous number. This year, the number also correlates to a milestone for Lutheran education as enrollment in our Partnership schools has passed the 4,000 mark. There are now 4,012 students enrolled in our 17 elementary schools and Concordia Lutheran High School. This is more than a four percent increase, and represents the third consecutive annual enrollment increase for The Lutheran Schools Partnership. Fifteen of our 18 schools have experienced enrollment growth this year—a similar statistic from last year.
Eight hundred thirty-eight of these students are recipients of Choice Scholarships (vouchers), representing over 20% of the TLSP school population.
We are pleased with the enrollment data and thank God for the opportunities before us. With the blessing of more students comes increased responsibility to provide a nurturing environment, to deliver a strong academic experience, and to share the love of Christ. These are vital tasks which we embrace, knowing that God is blessing our efforts, sometimes in ways we don’t even know.
Many of our schools' mission statements include the themes of service, equipping and sending. How wonderful it is that God has sent our schools a diverse group of students to serve by equipping them to share a message of hope.
I pray, and invite you to join me in prayer, that those of us who have long experienced the joy of Lutheran schools are eager to invite and welcome our new students and their families into our school communities.