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Dear Parents,

While I write this, I am currently in an airplane on a 16-hour flight from Cape Town to Atlanta, having just completed an Ocean’s Ministry mission trip with 8 middle school students. During this trip we heard several stories of how God is at work in mighty ways. One individual we interacted with a lot is Pastor Raymond, a retired firefighter who volunteers as a pastor in two of the poorest communities I have ever seen. We went to his church on our first Sunday in South Africa and he inspired us with his message of being in awe of God. He challenged us to live into that awe with repentance and joy. One of the verses we reflected on was: “But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond.” Psalm 103:17 TPT

On Wednesday we went to Pastor Raymond’s house and made a huge pot of chicken and vegetables. It took four strong individuals to lift the pot and put it in the vehicle so we could bring the pot to Jim Se Bos where we fed between 500-600 people. Pastor Raymond does this every week. The funds to buy the food miraculously show up every week. For many of the people this meal may be the only healthy meal they get in a week. One 50-year-old gentleman I talked with told me this was his only meal of the day. I asked Pastor Raymond why he started feeding the people in Jim Se Bos once a week and he told me with tears in his eyes that when he was doing a funeral for a toddler he found out that the baby had died of malnutrition. This inspired him to make healthy food once a week in two different communities.

Pastor Raymond also shared his powerful testimony with our group of how he was born again. A friend told him about Jesus but Pastor Raymond made fun of the friend and kept using alcohol and drugs. Finally one day he decided to call out to God in his bathroom, asking “if you are real let me know.” Immediately he could feel God’s presence. He has been a humble, energetic, and tireless servant ever since.

We also went to Oceanview Care Center, which is a school for kids aged 3 through 5 years old. Our students interacted and helped with the students in the classrooms and on the playground for three mornings.

Each of us had different takeaways during the trip. My main takeaway was how powerful prayer is. Many stories people told us included God answering their prayers. We spent a lot of time praying as a group for miracles to happen and for individuals who are pouring their lives into serving others.

My second take away was confirmation on how open, flexible, joyful, hard-working, energetic, spontaneous, and delightful middle school students are. The openness was most evident when we had family time at night and shared our highs and lows of the day. The joy and spontaneity showed up when we put on praise songs and started singing together or when we interacted with the kids. The hard work was most evident when we did a painting project, dishes or made food for 500. They were always delightful and energetic. I heard many times from the adults we interacted with how amazing our middle school students are. My hope is this trip strengthens our student’s faith in Jesus as we experienced the power of God in many ways and helps us all to see the needs of others in the world around us.

There are many stories to tell so I have linked the blog that our students wrote so you can learn more details of this amazing experience from our student’s experience. To God be the Glory!

Tom Strikwerda

March at HCMS

Tickets! Get Your Tickets!

Tickets are now on sale for our HCMS play The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood with performances March 9-11. All tickets can be purchased here.

The Wonderful World of Disney: A Magical Night of Song and Dance: A Living Hope Showcase Event

Do you have your tickets yet? What are you waiting for?! We’re “All in This Together” and you aren’t going to want to miss this Disney extravaganza! Tickets are on sale now for our annual Showcase event March 17 and 18 at 7pm in the HCHS Auditorium. $10 gets you a reserved seat and $1 of every ticket sale will be donated to Starlite Shores Family Camp. Do you need to watch from your living room or have out of town relatives who love Disney? Livestream tickets are also available. Are you an HCHS student and want to sit in the high school student section? Your tickets are only $5!!! Come join the great “Circle of Life” and get your tickets here. Don’t wait…we really want you to “Be Our Guest”!

Spring Sports

Boys and Girls Track, Girls Soccer, and Boys Tennis are slated to begin on March 20! Make sure you are signed up on Final Forms for the sport your student is interested in to receive information from the coaches. Students must have a valid physical form on file before they are able to participate. Thanks!

Athletic Physical Night

  • We encourage every child to see their PCP for their well-child visit but also understand that MHSAA preparticipation sports physical requirements do not always align with the annual well-child visit with your physician due to insurance requirements. MHSAA requires that physicals must be dated after April 15.
  • A sports physical night through the school helps alleviate those insurance issues. It is beneficial to see your PCP as they know your previous history and can note any oddities. Sports Physicals through the school allow for a way to fulfill the MHSAA requirements when insurance does not cover an additional physical. It is important to have your physical before the first day of your sport’s season. You are required to be cleared through an MD, DO, NP, or PA who will check for major medical concerns that may arise during the sports seasons.
  • Holland Christian physical night is scheduled for May 31, 2023 from 6-8pm. More details to come in the next few months!
  • Any parents willing to volunteer their time as any of the following: Physician, nurse, PT, expert crowd control or healthcare professional: please reach out to Karianne @

Important Dates


2: MS Parent Teacher Conferences 5:30-8:30pm
9: MS play 7pm
10: MS play 7pm
11: MS play 2pm and 7pm
21: Band Extravaganza 7pm
24: End of quarter 3
24: Career Day for 8th grade (AM)
24: Swingin’ the Night Away
27: Beginning of quarter 4
31: Spring break begins


10: School resumes
18-20: Spanish Placement Test for 8th grade
27: MS Choir Concert


11: Half day (Tulip Time)
11: Grandparent’s Day AM
18-19: 7th Grade Camp
29: No school: Memorial Day