"In Isolation Lies Our Strength."

By Gertrude De Bruyn

Those, who show by their presence here that they have a love for our school, are my friends. The ties that bind me to our schools are still strong. Who ever would have thought when Mr. Winters, Miss De Blaay and I worked together for 10 years in our Hastings Street Christian School, that we would become a school with a staff of 22 teachers, and when we were the only school of our denomination in America, that our church would have nine schools, the other eight having sprung up since 1975? And who would ever have thought that we would have our own Teachers’ Convention, manned entirely by our own teachers? Truly we must say with the poet in Psalter 427,

"This thing is from the Lord Almighty
It is a marvel in our eyes,
Man cannot understand it rightly,
Nor fathom it in any wise."

As teachers we often wonder whether anything we have said or done or taught the children has ever made any real impression on them, and has been a blessing to their immortal soul. We can only hope that nothing we have said or done ever caused a child to turn away from the truth. We sincerely hope and pray that the Lord will continue to bless our schools, and cause them to be a blessing, not only to the church, for the school is the handmaid of the church, but also to the community. We are to be salt of the earth, and we cannot be that unless we keep our identity. At our Teachers’ Convention, Rev. den Boer quoted what Rev. Kersten said so often, "In isolation lies our strength." Don’t be afraid to be different, but know why you do not follow the crowd, as the old hymn says,

"Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone,
Dare to have a purpose firm,
And dare to make it known."

Perhaps you ask, "In what should we be different?" The Dutch say, "In your appearance, in your talk, and in your walk." In our appearance we should follow the admonition of the apostle to be dressed in modest apparel, as our minister (Rev. W.C. Lamain) said, "So that the world does not ridicule us, and God’s people are not offended."

In our speaking we should shun even the least irreverent language. I am amazed at the number of our people who use words like Golly, Gosh, and Gee when even the dictionary calls them oaths and substitutes for the Name of God. Our language is rich enough, we do not need such additives.

In our walk we must seek to live according to the admonition of Paul in Romans 12, "I beseech you to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." "And be ye not conformed to the world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." "For I say to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly."