I keep a crystal jar on my desk that displays a handful of dirt I saved after spending 8 weeks among the Maasai people, a semi-nomadic tribe that lives in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. The Maasai are known for being fierce warriors, but they’ve become increasingly known for their ability to grow crops in some of the most arid soil in Africa.

Given the harsh farming conditions the Maasai often face, they celebrate even the smallest sign of growth. After tilling soil and sowing seed, Maasai farmers will wait with great anticipation for rain and growth – and a farmer in these conditions celebrates even the first green sprout.

It’s our desire to celebrate like the Maasai when students show even the first sign of spiritual growth. Our teachers labor each day like farmers, tilling soil and sowing seed, and we’re constantly observing growth in our students. We’ve had almost 20 Lower School students express new faith in Jesus or a desire to be baptized. We’ve had Middle School students turning everyday conversations into Gospel conversations with friends. And we’ve had Upper School students come to faith and follow Jesus in baptism.

The Maasai farmer doesn’t only celebrate when harvesting a fully grown crop. He dances at even the first sign of new growth. I hope these signs of spiritual growth will bring you great joy today. The Lord is at work at The First Academy!