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LIFT America: Update


The LIFT America Story and Update


     On a cold Friday night, I walked along the fence surrounding our football field at Centennial High School. I was on my way to the bleachers when I saw a colleague in our English Department standing alone. We had been teaching at the same school for a couple years, but remained complete strangers. So, on this cold night, I decided to pull up next to him and change that. We chatted about students and our work at school, but before long the conversation turned to family, and eventually to a very difficult situation happening in his life. As he opened up and shared, I could see that his life was upside down and his heart broken. He shared. I listened. And the football game came and went. At one point my new friend said, “The only thing getting me through all this is the Lord and I’m leaning hard on Him.”

     As our conversation continued it became clear, this man was not just a colleague in the English Department, but a brother in Christ. We both agreed that something was wrong with this picture; being brothers in Christ, but strangers on the same campus. So we decided to begin meeting for breakfast twice a month for fellowship and to encourage one another.

     Over the next few months other colleagues joined us. Eventually we decided to move our growing fellowship to campus. Other Christians working at our school who had been quiet about their faith were discovered, and we invited them too. Eventually the name LIFT (Lasting Impact Fellowship for Teachers) was established with John 15:16 as our theme verse. 

     In 2013, the Lord planted a new idea.
         
          "What if every school in the city had a LIFT Group?"

    
     To help inspire the formation of campus LIFT Groups in other schools, a call went out in August to Christian Educators across the county to gather together for a special evening of worship, fellowship and encouragement.

     God was faithful to the vision. A few short months later in October of 2013, four hundred teachers, administrators, and support staff gathered in the school gymnasium of Centennial High School. Believers working in schools across Kern County came together for an evening of encouragement. We gathered to worship God and find fellowship with other believers.        

     Over the next few years the gathering repeated.  Campus LIFT Groups began forming in other schools in the county. It didn’t end there. Soon educators from Anaheim, Victorville and Redding, California began inquiring about having a gathering in their city.

I began to wonder what God might be doing and wrote in my journal...

10/26/15
I want to move from teaching in the public schools to full time ministry! Father, is this desire, this yearning planted in me by Your hand? What is Your will for me? I see a vision developing to bring Christian Educators together across this country, city by city…county by county.
Father, if this is your vision continue to clarify; continue to reveal, show me the role you want me to play. Father, would you release me from being a classroom teacher? It’s frightening to consider stepping away from the security of my job, but I know if you are drawing me away the next thing will be even greater. Help me to listen and trust.”

 
     By June of 2016, God had confirmed His call. I stepped out of the classroom to help organize gatherings of Christian Educators in cities across the United States. LIFT, what began as a campus fellowship in one school, became a movement we now call LIFT America. By the end of 2016, the ripple had spread to Louisville, KY where two hundred fifty, Christian Educators gathered for an evening of worship, fellowship and encouragement.

     The vision continues. The 2017-2018 school year has already seen eight gatherings in places like Pilot Point TX, Anderson IN, Lynchburg VA, Peoria IL, and three in Kentucky. Nine more are in the planning stages for the second half of this school year, beginning with Central Florida in January, followed by the first gathering in Wisconsin. We look with forward with anticipation at what God might do next... Is your city next?

Pray about partnering with us!


The vision is to see gatherings in  multiple cities across every state in the country.


Two ways you can help:

    
* Become a monthly sponsor.
    
* One-time year end donation.

 

Partner with us here. 
 

"I came tonight knowing this would be my last year to teach. I was done! After tonight, I have a God-given purpose to live out my life, finding "the one."
 


Our mailing address is:
CEAI
PO Box 45610
Westlake, OH 44145

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