ARBOR CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
If you’re ever introduced to Chayim (shy-eem), the chances are you’ll be greeted by his signature sweet smile and infectious laugh. This joyful second grader bursts with energy and a healthy dose of good-natured goofiness. This sweet nature has grown and developed as he has found a safe and stable school environment at Arbor Christian Academy.
As a second-grade student at Arbor Christian Academy, an English immersion school in San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic, teachers and staff have watched Chayim’s transformation since he arrived as a kindergartner. They can’t help but respond to his ready smile and celebrate how God has provided stability and a supportive home for this special boy.
Chayim is of Haitian decent, but was born in America and lived there with his father. He moved regularly between homes of relatives living in the United States and had for a time lived with his aunt and uncle in the Dominican Republic. As is common with many families, the stress of a single working parent required that other family members step forward to help. Chayim’s aunt and uncle stepped forward to help and moved him in with them in the Dominican Republic. His uncle, a pastor at a church in the community, wanted Chayim to receive a Christian education and was familiar with Arbor Christian Academy. He and his wife enrolled Chayim into the kindergarten program, which was one of only two grades offered at the time. ACA has continued to expand adding a grade each year until the academy will service the needs of students grades pre-K through high school.
Chayim is not the only student attending ACA with family living in two countries. It is actually a very common story. One parent lives in the Unites States for work while the other parent or family members work and raise the children in the Dominican Republic. Many of these families pray for the day they will be reunited, either in the U.S. or in the D.R.. Arbor Christian Academy has the unique privilege of supporting these families in many different ways.
Those serving at ACA strive to fulfill its mission to: “Equip the mind and educate the heart to impact the nation.” In Chayim’s case, that has meant getting involved in his life outside the classroom walls. Staff members have partnered with his aunt and uncle to help Chayim—especially while they were in the throes of navigating their new responsibility of being first-time parents. Teachers visit the families of students and participate in life with them. This care and compassion takes many forms and is a blessing not only to Chayim’s family, but to the families of all of the other students as well. The ACA community strives to be a safe place to connect and grow students, families and their communities.
Chayim is an inquisitive little boy who, at this young age, already asks tough questions about faith. These questions are welcomed at ACA as those involved in Chayim’s life are dedicated to nurture him on his educational and spiritual journey. It is a place where students are encouraged to explore tough questions and learn how the God who loves them cares about every situation they face. ACA staff are actively involved in that journey of faith and education right alongside them.
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