Last year, through our Athletes in Action basketball ministry, I learned about the Dawn Treader Christian School in Paterson, whose middle school team competed in our basketball program. Dawn Treader? What? I had never heard of the Dawn Treader Christian School (k-8th grade). How could this be?
I had heard of Eastern Christian (where my kids had attended), Hawthorne Christian Academy, and all of the fine Catholic schools in our area, but Dawn Treader, never! Having a heart for Paterson, kids, basketball and Christian education, I had to learn more.
The name Dawn Trader comes from the ship in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia book series. As an author this intrigued me. Now this school named after a ship captivated me. God tugged on my heart to visit the school. Pastor Charles Salinas, who serves as the school’s lead administrator, gave me a tour. Here’s what I felt, saw and learned:
1. You can feel God’s blessing on this school and His presence when you walk through it.
2. You can immediately see that this school needs some tender love and care—even with the
amazing donations from local businesses and handy men who generously donate goods and
services to keep the facility maintained and current.
3. The student’s lives are being blessed and changed by this school.
4. Dawn Treader is a light in a safe section of Paterson, but still in a dark place.
5. I had to do anything I could to help the children and school, which means connect
Pastor Salinas to more people with big hearts who’d want to help too, which I’ve done
and will continue to do—and which is why you are receiving this message.
Joshua’s Story: From Bullying to Safety
Last summer, Joshua, a 6th grader, connected with the Dawn Treader School during one of the school’s “Taking it to the Streets” Gospel events that reaches out to hurting people in need of love.
During the event, school representatives offered families back packs, haircuts for boys and hair braiding for girls. That’s when Joshua walked up to Pastor Salinas and said, “I would love to come to this school.” Pastor Salinas knew he needed to help him.
Joshua shared with Pastor painful stories about being bullied and attacked in his Paterson public school for not becoming part of a local street gang. Later, Pastor Salinas learned that Joshua was raised by his grandfather because Joshua’s mother had been convicted of a serious crime and sent to prison and is still there. Joshua’s father struggles with drug addiction and is in and out of jail.
Joshua received a full scholarship to the Dawn Treader Christian School from a generous sponsor who believed in Joshua and was touched by his story. Joshua is thriving with excellent grades. He has also won the hearts of his teachers and staff members with his willingness to help and be an example to others in his classroom. Pastor Salinas says, “I speak with Joshua every day and he is always raving about how much he loves Dawn Treader because he now has many friends. Dawn Treader Christian School is becoming the family Joshua always desired. Please help many other children who need the same opportunity Joshua received.”
You Can Play a Role in More Stories
That is just one scene in the story God is still writing for Joshua. Each student at Dawn Treader has their own special, unique and moving story in their journey. God is writing their story, as He is yours. You can play a big role in the stories of students at Dawn Treader Christian School in Paterson. Will you please prayerfully consider sponsoring a student with a donation toward their tuition or simply provide a financial gift to help keep the school operating? Both will go a long way to ensuring this school’s Christ-like light burns bright in Paterson and changes lives.
Your gift is a special way of celebrating with us the birth of GOD’s son, JESUS CHRIST. To make a donation, visit our Donations Page. And be sure to click around the site to see and learn more.
A great education is the foundation for a life that is successful and full of adventure.
Like the Dawn Treader vessel in the Narnia books, your gift can help Dawn Treader students embark on their incredible voyage of Christian education that will prepare them to make a
difference in our world.
Thank you for giving. Merry Christmas!
We would be most gratfeul for your donation to fund the education of Joshua and other students. To Donate online, please go to our DONATE PAGE and choose Joshua’s Story from the drop-down menu.
Yes, I would like to help more children like Joshua
For over 40 years Dawn Treader has provided a vibrant and quality educational environment for children starting in kindergarten to eighth grade.
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