Friday, March 14, 2014

Why a Christian Education at Sonshine?

Reasons to register your child (or grandchild) at Sonshine Christian School:
1.      Sonshine Christian School is a ministry of First Baptist for over 30 years.
2.      Church members get a 20% tuition discount.
3.      Excellent teacher/student ratio
4.      Discounts given for having more than 1 child enrolled.
5.      Bible-based curriculum
6.      6.  7.  8.  …..
Rather than continuing to list reason after reason, I had the opportunity to talk to a couple of last year’s “graduates” recently. Both Josiah Poush and Chase Emery are 6th graders this year, and were excited to give me a list of how Sonshine impacted their lives.

How did Sonshine Christian School prepare you academically for middle school?
Josiah:                                                 Chase:
1. On track or ahead in        1.  Gets assignments done        
most of my classes
                more quickly
2. Especially in Math            2.  Especially in Math
    and Language Arts
3. Cursive writing                  3.  Cursive writing:
("Most kids can’t write           ("Most kids can’t even

in cursive")                                 read cursive!")

What are some of your favorite memories about Sonshine?
1. Math Olympics                     1. SeaKrest
2. Great friends                        2. Great teachers
3. We’re like a family              3. Like my extended family

How did Sonshine prepare you spiritually for your future?
1.  Helps me make              1.  Good Bible foundation
     good decisions

Because of the small class size at Sonshine, capping at 20, teachers are able to get to know the students, encourage them in life skills as well as academics, pray with them, and be a listening ear when needed.  During the year, students can earn awards in reading, Bible memorization, honor roll, even P.E. and Music.  However, the award that students (and their families) look forward to all year are the character awards.  These affirming awards, given at the end of the year, recognize those Christ-like attributes displayed by the students.

Sonshine Christian School also has a number of extra-curricular activities.  Both Josiah and Chase competed in the ACSI Math Olympics and did very well.  Josiah placed 1st in Math Reasoning with a 100%. (by the way, Math Reasoning means . . . . story problems!)  Besides the math Olympics, Sonshine also participates in the ACSI Spelling Bee, ASCI Track & Field Meet and hosts the ACSI Regional Speech Meet each year.  Both Josiah and Chase also remember the fun field trips, especially the overnight trip to SeaKrest Lodge. An overnight stay at the beach with their classmates is a great bonding time and provides some lasting memories to the 5th graders who are leaving Sonshine.

Open enrollment has just begun.  If you have any questions concerning tuition or would like to schedule a tour, please call the Sonshine office at 503-375-5764.

Are you glad you went to Sonshine Christian School?
            Josiah & Chase:  YES!!
- Mona Breach,
Sonshine Christian School Music Teacher

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Junk Email to Outreach

I almost ignored the email and did the “junk ~ block sender” routine as just another bothersome ad.  But surely the Holy Spirit directed me to pay attention, and after several attempts at a meeting, Pastor Jeff  and I met with Louis, the local representative for Uncharted Waters, a sports camp ministry.  After their (very positive!) references were diligently checked out the process of finding the perfect location began.

What a learning process, and the path was paved with an increasing sense of excitement as the vision for a new and potentially enhanced capacity of outreach took hold of our collective heart.  Walker Middle School was chosen as the location – it’s close by, right in the heart of our local area of influence, with an abundance of unchurched families within walking distance.  All the elements we need are there – gym, cafeteria, and abundant green space.

Potential for outdoors … at a local school … flag football, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, and motor-skills training for the 4 & 5 year age ~ how inviting AND non-threatening as an outreach tool into our own neighborhoods and the area around Walker!  All the powerful components of VBS, all the heart, dreams, and vision for outreach are there, in a venue that will surely open a door of invitation to a wider range of families.

Inherent in the program are the same strong outreach components of VBS ~ one-on-one interaction with godly mentors (coaches and assistant-coaches), Bible Stories, memory verses, snack time, play time.

I don’t like to wish my life away … but I am so stoked and ready for summer to come!  My prayer goal is for 100 children to come to salvation this year.  This is surely a powerful tool; I hope you’ll be involved in what God will do!

Sherri Sperling, Children's Ministries Director




The Bible says that we are stronger together.  That is nowhere more true than when it comes to prayer.  When we unite together in prayer God uniquely responds because He loves unity (Ps. 133:1-2).  Let's continue praying for each other.  Send in your prayer requests for the prayer wall: or text to 62953 (put sfb in the message and then your request).

Keep visiting the Prayer Wall:  Your friends need you. 

                            First Baptist website:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What does a win look like?

In business, and in sports, it’s easy to know when you’ve won.  Nike can tell if they’ve had a good year by looking at their financial statements.  A sports team simply needs to look at the scoreboard when the game is over to determine if they have won or lost.  The numbers tell a story, and numbers don’t lie.  When it comes to ministry, however, what do we look at to determine wins and losses?  What is the bottom line that tells the story of victory or the agony of defeat with in the church setting?


Upward basketball is winding down its tenth year of ministry at Salem First Baptist, and to a certain extent, the numbers are quite revealing.  Over 7,000 children have registered to play.  Approximately 2,300 of those children come from homes that have no church affiliation.  Nearly 300 decisions to follow Christ have been made over that span of time.  Those numbers tell a great story, but there is a subplot that is left untold if we rely solely on this numerical data. 


This past week, I had a chance encounter with a gentleman named Steve that left an indelible imprint on my heart that no numerical metric could ever convey.  His story doesn’t show up on a spreadsheet, but the few moments I spent with him proclaimed victory as powerfully as a game-winning three pointer at the sound of the final buzzer.  


Steve was talking to the owner behind the counter as I was browsing around the store.  I overheard him mention that his daughter had an Upward game coming up, which caused my ears to perk up!  I introduced myself and told him that I had 3 children involved in Upward as well and I asked him how his season was going.  He proceeded to tell me that life has been rough for him since his divorce three years ago.  His faith had grown cold over that time and he wasn’t always a good example to his daughter because he was angry, bitter and depressed.   He stopped talking about spiritual things with his daughter because he felt like a hypocrite, and he knew his daughter was worse off because of it.  His face lit up as he uttered these words, “I am so grateful for the Upward ministry because it has gotten both my daughter and I on track spiritually”.  He proceeded to tell me almost verbatim what his daughter had been learning during her mid-practice devotion time.  He had no idea that I was the director of the ministry…and I’m glad he didn’t because it made his story seem so much more authentic.


What does a win look like?  It’s a 5th grade girl who learns about honesty, kindness and patience from a basketball coach who loves Jesus.  It’s a dad who has his faith restored as he eavesdrops on his daughters Bible lessons week after week in a church gymnasium.  It’s a church that gladly invests time and resources into a basketball ministry that does more than simply transform jumpshots….it transforms lives.
- Pastor Jeff Poush