Here we stand before you -- the class of 2000. As we look at the faces of the graduating class, we see many differences: whether they are short or tall, blonde or brunette, wild and crazy or subdued and meditative. Yet, with all the differences represented, a common bond holds us fast - the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many students have joined and left our class over the years, and each has played a part in our lives. But the group you see before you now has formed a close friendship more unique than any other previous year.
Even before the school year began, we decided to make this year count for Christ. Our goal was to serve our Savior and to seek His will and to turn the eyes of those around us to Him as well. Our class verse was decided during the summer months and reads: "Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone to win as many as possible." I Corinthians 9:19.
We started off the year at camp with a brand new face in our class, a couple of returning students that had not been with us at the end of the past year, and a new principal to get to know. But even the rain that sent our annual lakeside campfire closer to the center of the camp could not ruin the spirit that filled the air and our hearts. We rejoiced in what God was starting in the whole school.
As the months rolled by and the many hot lunches were served, our friendship grew closer and was strengthened during the pre-school-hour functions of devotions and prayer time and praise and worship time. These were student-led, uplifting times that we will greatly miss. We also grew closer to each other during the morning devotional time in English class with Mrs. Perlinger. Countless times the clock read a quarter after nine by the time we were done. Hearing what others had gleaned from a few short verses out of God's Word was a blessing that we could take with us.
We hold so many memories of this year: soccer and volleyball trips, basketball games, the numerous times going through a particular scene of the play, and an extremely enjoyable class trip that would fill a novel with memories by itself. We will never forget the little skits we acted out with our new Spanish words of the day in Mrs. Lewis' Spanish class, weekly Monday prayer time in Mr. Hoffman's Bible class, the many songs we sang together while Gabe and Dwayne played their guitars, Adam and the endless pretzels and grilled cheeses he enjoyed for lunch, Nate and his marriage to his water bottle and his habit of always being the last one to class and the last one to leave, Sheri "Squirtles" Crosgrove and the many shortened versions of that nickname, Peter and his loud chicken call and total dislike for wearing shoes, the amazing stories and "how-to" speeches told in Miss Grotzke's Speech class, Gabe's wild wigs that the guys just loved to wear, and the class parties spent at many of our homes.
As the year drew to a close, we were amazed that it had gone by so fast. Prayerfully we have left a legacy and a torch that the future classes will pick up and carry to show and even clearer picture of God and all His glories.
This year has been a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience. It was a launching pad for our future. With all that God has blessed us with, He must surely have wonderful and immense futures planned for all of us for "to whom much is given, much is required." But with the Lord as our guide and strength, we will be able to accomplish all that He has in store. Pray that we would remain faithful and diligent as we seek to honor God and follow His Will in our lives.
(Maurer is a valedictorian at Lake Region Christian School in Baxter.)
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