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Sorting bottles. Cleaning ditches. Climbing mountains. Playing volleyball. It is Peace Christian School (PCS), tucked away in the busy little town of Chetwynd, British Columbia.  

Who would have thought five years ago, or maybe ten, this little Christian school would grow from fewer than 60 students to 132, from a four-classroom school to an eight classroom building, from an original grade 1-6 school to a K-12 place to grow, learn, play, work and share?

Are we blessed? Every day! Do we smile? Every day! Are we tired? Every day!

One person said to me, not long ago, “We could take this school and put it in the middle of some foreign country, and it would be the same. It would be a mission school.”  It is a mission school.  

Some years ago, the Chetwynd Seventh-day Adventist Church made the choice to take on their little school as their personal mission, to not charge tuition to their students so a Christian education could be available to all. That choice still stands, perhaps through debate, much discussion, considerable stress and differing opinions, but it stands.

And so here we are, growing each year, thanking God for walking with us, providing for us, and sharing in, or truly managing, this monumental task. We have a member of our staff who for many years has made this school her place to be, who has helped in many positions, from school secretary, to librarian to tutor. Every day without pay. We have had a teacher finish several months of a school year, replacing someone who needed to leave. This, too, without pay. 

 And there’s more. A member of our staff takes it on himself each year to try and bring in $30,000 - $60,000 worth of donations for our school.  

A board member supplies and keeps licensed and running our shuttle and coach busses, and many times has dropped his own urgent business to fix our dilemmas. Under the direction of our tireless Parent Committee president, through several and various fundraisers, many dollars go toward enriching our classrooms and school program. So many dedicated people make up who we are. Because we don’t charge our students tuition, we rely heavily on people who believe in what we are doing and share the work through their time and monetary gifts.

We felt hugely blessed when God placed in our hands, after letters, phone calls and prayers, the building we are currently in for less than the price of the ten acres it sits on. When we moved to this “new” facility, we thought we had so much space. Not anymore. We have outgrown our space, which is a beautiful testament to what God can do, and also a source of worry, work and stress as we move forward with a bigger-than-us project to build a new gymnasium with additional classroom spaces.

If you need some quietness and a lovely, peaceful and wild place to visit, just travel up British Columbia’s Hwy 97 until you reach hills of poplars, fields of hay, winding rivers, and icy lakes. Come visit us in Chetwynd. You’d be welcome!

By Corrie Penner, English/Drama teacher at PCS