Each December, OCEANetwork’s Board of Directors sends a letter to share how God is using OCEANetwork to minister to families and what lies ahead in the coming year. Here’s a bit of the 2020 letter. If you didn’t receive the letter in the mail, you can read the entire letter below.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12 ESV).
In 2019 when we chose that theme and verse for the 2020 OCEANetwork Conference, God knew how fitting it would be for the days ahead. Recognizing that God goes before us gives us great hope. As we reflect upon the past nine months, we are reminded that hopefulness, patience, and prayer are essential.
Our patience in tribulation grew as we experienced:
- cancellation of all in-person OCEANetwork events due to gathering restrictions
- a substantial increase in requests for information and guidance regarding private home education in Oregon
- new policies for public distance learning being misapplied to those intending to home educate their children privately
- fewer volunteers to address the increased needs as homeschooling in Oregon grows
Through His answer to prayer, we:
- hosted virtual homeschool conferences
- developed new online resources to help families just beginning to homeschool
- empowered new homeschool families with accurate information, and contacted schoolsuperintendents and administrators on behalf of those families
- held virtual meetings with affiliated support group leaders to offer support andencouragement, and to learn how we might better serve the Oregon homeschool community
Rejoicing in our steadfast Hope and Lord willing, we plan to:
- host a conference if permitted, otherwise, host mini events around the state to provide
- support and encouragement to homeschooling families throughout Oregon
- expand the influence of OCEANetwork in person and via social media, our website, and email carefully watch new bills being introduced in the legislature which may impact homeschooling freedom in Oregon
- seek sponsors and introduce new bills to protect and advance homeschool freedom
- grow our team of volunteers
- grow our Freedom Watch Team
Although we were unable to hold our annual conference face-to-face as we’ve done for the past 25 years, we rejoice in hope as we see many families choose for the first time to privately home educate their children. Homeschooling has increased from 3% to 10% of all students nationwide.* Newly homeschooling parents need help and encouragement through this difficult yet important transition. OCEANetwork is responding to a substantial increase in the number of requests from families seeking information and guidance regarding private home education in Oregon.
We have embraced tremendous opportunities to encourage and equip families who found themselves suddenly schooling at home. Your faithful giving to OCEANetwork helped fund the development of many new resources on our website and social media platforms to inform and support all Oregon homeschool families. Our goal in 2021 is to expand the influence of OCEANetwork in person and via social media, our website, and email.
Another example of your donations at work is the assistance OCEANetwork provided to the family who withdrew their special learner from public school to begin private home education. The school erroneously led the family to believe they needed to participate in an “exit meeting” and share their education plans with officials prior to beginning their homeschool journey. OCEANetwork’s Freedom Watch Team contacted the school superintendent to clarify Oregon homeschool law, and the family was subsequently assured by the superintendent that the meeting was optional rather than a requirement. We have been amazed at how the Lord has intervened and provided in several situations like this in 2020. Our team remains committed to providing this much-needed support to Oregon homeschoolers, and in the coming year, by God’s grace, we’ll keep going to bat for you when homeschool freedoms are threatened.
As we patiently and hopefully await the opportunity to gather in person once again for the annual OCEANetwork conference and Graduate Recognition ceremony, we are praying for wisdom and discernment from our gracious heavenly Father “who gives generously to all without reproach,” (James 1:5 ESV).
A full legislative session will be held in Oregon during 2021 and there is great need for vigilance in monitoring proposed legislation, meeting with legislators, and possibly providing testimony during hearings to protect and advance Oregon’s precious homeschool freedoms. Your donations are needed to help provide the necessary resources for these important efforts. In addition to financial support, you may be asked to contact your state legislators regarding proposed legislation. When OCEANetwork gives the “call to action,” YOUR VOICE MATTERS! Strength in numbers makes a difference!
As an all-volunteer, nonprofit ministry our mission remains to serve the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping families to biblically disciple the next generation through home education, and by protecting and advancing private home education freedoms in Oregon for all. Will you join us by praying, giving financially, and volunteering your time and talents? By God’s grace, and support from families like yours, the work of OCEANetwork can continue as it has for more than 30 years. With the Lord’s help, we will make a difference in the legislature and in the lives of Oregon homeschooling families—today and in the years to come.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NASB).
Ken Wanvig, Chairman OCEANetwork, for the entire OCEANetwork Board
* Source: K-12 Parents’ Satisfaction With Child’s Education Slips (gallup.com)