Pastor Samuel Greer started Project Grace in December of 2000 at Western Michigan Christian as a way for students and staff to give to those in need along the lakeshore. Twenty  years later he is now the Principal at WMC and reflecting on year 20 of Project Grace, “Every year I get an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in the lives of students and staff at Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School. One of the greatest expressions of God’s presence at our school is Project Grace. Each year we have seen God’s faithfulness in that he has enabled us to reach families in his name.” WMC students have raised over $100,000 over 20  years to provide food, clothing and gifts to families in need. This year students raised $1,600 during the fundraising event. “It was a bit more challenging this year because we were virtual. It simply was not as easy to raise money without students in the building being motivated by faculty and by each other,” said Greer, “We had to scale down a bit from past years.”

This year’s focus was Rise Up to Grace. Students focused on giving with a heart of grace as they have been given grace. This has been the theme all year and it is especially timely during the worldwide pandemic. Scott Liggett, Chief Advancement Officer for the school, coordinated the student efforts and was pleased with the way the project came together, “It is good to see our community of students, staff and families come together in the midst of these difficult times to reflect God’s love and grace for us and give to others. That is what Christmas is about.” This year WMC delivered Meijer gift cards and gifts to 4 families in the area. Individual classes competed in a daily competition. This year’s winning class, Summer Lile’s Chemistry class, raised the most money and was able to deliver the gifts.

Summer Lile, who graduated from WMC in 2012, is now a WMC science teacher and the staff advisor for student council said Project Grace is meaningful to her in a new and different way, “As a student I was never able to shop for gifts or wrap them because I was always part of our Christmas Collage at the Frauenthal. As a teacher I have been able to work with students directly to raise money  and this year I went shopping with the student council with  the lists that families gave us. Although it was different shopping for fewer families than in the past,  it became a bit more personal because we took extra time as we shopped. It was a blessing to shop with the student council and then deliver the gifts with my Chemistry students and share Christ’s love with families in our community.” One of Lile’s Chemistry students, Raina Luhring, reflected on the experience of delivering the gifts to families, “Joy. It was just pure joy to be able to give to others and see their reaction. I know that they were happy and that made me happy and it actually made me feel joyful as well.”

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 355 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.