Fruit of prayers and support embodied in Victory graduates

May. 25, 2013 @ 04:21 PM

Family and friends were filling the gymnasium in anticipation. Across the lot in a school building, seven seniors were relaxed, getting last-minute handshake with diploma in hand instructions, checking phone messages and adjusting mortarboards.

Those funny-looking hats never do seem to sit just right.

But it mattered none. Each got them comfortable and adorned in blue robes with golden “2013” hanging with tassels, Victory Christian School’s seniors enjoyed the adulation that comes with commencement exercises Friday night.

Awards were presented to all seven. Valedictorian Julie Newton and salutatorian Taylor Alston addressed the near-capacity gathering and Rev. Ricky Easter, coping with the emotions of his father passing and seniors stepping into a new journey, gave the class a challenge taken from the writings of the apostle Paul.

“We’ll face many challenges, but God has promised to help us through,” Newton said in her address.

She quoted from Philippians 4:13, that all things do come through God.

Newton thanked the many influential forces in the graduates’ lives, including parents, teachers and fellow classmates.

“I wouldn’t be here without your love and support,” she said.

Newton described the high school experience as a stepping stone to the next level in the teenagers’ lives.

She added, “We should cherish all these memories. We’ll never get them back.”

Alston noted a journey that has seemed long and winding, so far away not so long ago, but quickly already present. She praised the accomplishments of athletics teams, offered gratitude to teachers and parents, and spoke of the unconditional love of supporters.

“Live a life that is meaningful,” she said to her classmates, “and encourage others to do the same.”

Easter said to family, “Tonight we see the fruit of all your prayers and support and encouragement.”

Reading from 2nd Timothy, he spoke of a young man continuing to serve the Lord and encouraged the graduates to do likewise.

He said they have a strong foundation from a Christian school, and noted the evening was not an ending, but merely a beginning.

“We know, and we hope you know, there is more,” Easter said. “Reach out and grab it. Continue to put the Lord first in your life.”

He offered congratulations from the staff of the school and assured, “We want the best for you. We want you to shine in the right way.”

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