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Go Illiana!

October 11, 2018
By Lance Davids

Happy Thursday!

I wanted to share with all of you a fun story I heard a few weeks ago. This story and picture were given to me by Illiana alum and current parent Steve Hoeksema. In 1980, Timothy Christian put on a large addition and George Hoeksema, an Illiana supporter and Steve’s dad, had the contract to paint the new addition. As he painted the walls, he added a little Illiana spirit above the drop ceilings where no one would see it. Fast forward to this year, Steve’s uncle, Tim Hoeksema, is now the principal of Timothy. Timothy just started a whole school remodel project and discovered the Illiana graffiti above the ceiling tiles. When this was discussed at a board meeting, Tim connected the dots. George did about 13 of these above the lockers. So for nearly 40 years, there has been a little Illiana love literally hanging the heads of our rivals at Timothy. Go Illiana!

This story demonstrates the passion with which this community supports what we do at Illiana. It is more than just a place we go to school. We are coming up on the two-year anniversary of our Groundbreaking Ceremony at the new campus. We have come so far in these two years from a bean field ready to be harvested to a school building full of students eager to learn and grow. For all that this community has done, I say “Go Illiana!” However, let’s not forget that we have more to do. We have hearts to grow and minds to build. I ask for your prayers. Please lift this place and the students and staff up in prayer. Pray that Jesus Christ will transform the hearts and minds of these kids. So I want to say “Go Illiana” in another context. Go and pray Illiana. We covet your prayers. There is a Moms in Touch prayer group that meets at Illiana on Monday mornings a couple times a month. However, in addition to that, I am looking to start a prayer ministry here at Illiana. I would love to gather adults and kids to boldly pray together as an Illiana community for the people and needs of our community. I have ideas of what this could look like, but if anyone would like to help me shape this vision of this ministry, please contact me at I want this new building to be a house of prayer. So go pray Illiana! 

- Lance Davids, Director of Advancement, Vision, and Spiritual Development


Illiana Fund Drive

September 27, 2018
By Cassie Siersema

Illiana Fund Drive

Yep, it’s that time again! Pumpkin spice lattes, scarves, boots, cool, crisp air, leaves falling and the Illiana Fund Drive! These are all fall things, right? Now if the weather would cooperate. Here’s to hoping we get some cooler weather and a chance to chat with you!

Most of you are familiar with our Annual Illiana Fund Drive, which we historically hold in the fall. This is where students, board members and staff of Illiana use their “gift for gab” in hopes of raising support for ICHS. You may recall we held an annual drive towards the end of the 2017-2018 school year. These much appreciated donations were and are essential in keeping Illiana a safe and up-to-date place for students to receive a Christ-centered education. Thank you to all who took part in this drive, we are extremely grateful for your generosity and support.

Due to the timing and magnitude of the Building Illiana capital campaign, we had moved the annual drive to the spring for the past three years. Now that the Building Illiana campaign is over, we’d like to move this drive back to the fall, specifically October 15-18 this year. Although this will be two drives in one calendar year, there will only be one in each school/fiscal year. This year’s Annual Illiana Fund Drive will support the general operating expenses, building costs (not to be confused with new campus) and to support the ever-growing technology needs of a high school in the 21st century.

Many of you will be contacted by a student and asked to update your information and to make a donation to the Illiana Annual Fund. Feel free to start up a conversation with the student, ask them their favorite class or how they like the new Indiana campus. Our hope is to build a sense a community, not only inside the walls of this building but also with those of you who have supported Illiana and given so much of your heart and soul to the school.

As an organization with a mission committed to the challenge of serving God and others, we’re dedicated to being good stewards of the gifts we are given. Thank you to all donors, present, past and future. Your generosity built this place and it will allow us to continue to teach, instruct and mentor the almost 500 students that come through the doors each day.

If you happen to miss our call or would like to donate prior to the call, please visit the Donate Now page on

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to


Christian Education

September 24, 2018
By Lance Davids

There has been a lot of excitement around Illiana the last several months and this excitement was on full display on Saturday as hundreds of people gathered for the dedication ceremony for the new campus. In addition to the obvious energy surrounding the new building, the passion for Christian education was also on display. I referenced this on Saturday, but it has continued to be on my heart lately.

I often get asked what I enjoyed most about being involved in the Building Illiana project over the last few years. I could mention several things, but the most significant part has been watching the community rally around Christian education. Over the last two years and countless meetings, emails, blog posts, breakfasts, dinners and events, one thing has been made so clear to me: Christian education matters. We live in a day and age where Christian school enrollment is declining and the commitment to Christian education is waning. Many people ask themselves if the sacrifice is worth it. This community has responded with a resounding, “Yes!” Yes, it is worth it. Yes, it matters. Yes, our kids matter. And most importantly, yes, Jesus matters. What I have observed over the last two years is a community that not only values Christian education, but is also willing to sacrifice to see it grow and become even better. The new facilities we have built for the purpose of Christian education are phenomenal.

However, as awesome as these new facilities are, they don’t hold a candle to the impact we can have on the hearts and minds of your kids and grandkids. Every dollar given to this building contributes to building the hearts and minds of our students for Jesus Christ as we give these kids the foundation of the gospel. You cannot put a price tag on that. I know that we all want our kids to get a great education but in the end of the day, most importantly, we want them to know Jesus. I am so proud to be part of a community that values that. Thank you for your partnership in teaching our kids about our amazing Savior Jesus Christ.

- Lance Davids, Vision Director


Emma West

January 29, 2018
By Jenna Dutton

Illiana really has changed who I am as a person, and certainly for the better. When I look back to who I was when I came into Illiana and who I am now, several things about myself are unrecognizable. Coming into illiana, I was very self-conscience, confused on who I was and didn’t know where my talents and gifts were. Illiana helped me through each of these areas of my life.

Walking into the halls of Illiana the first real day of school, the one with all the scary upperclassmen, I was terrified. I had no older siblings. I didn’t know a lot of people from the feeder schools and I was terrible at talking to people I didn’t know (still working on this one). Well, here I was, my best friend’s shadow. I felt like everyone else knew people and everyone else was so funny and I was just kinda there. This isn’t how it stayed though. I ended up getting involved with several sports, various clubs and a few singing groups. These helped me find confidence. I no longer needed to be the funniest one there. I didn’t need to talk to every single person in the halls. That just wasn’t me. But through all of the programs Illiana offers, I was able to find what was me. The different coaches and instructors in all of these activities pushed me to realize that I’m not living in someone’s shadow. I can make my own story if I just step out and try.

Illiana also encouraged me to step out of my normal thought process. Now, I know Illiana may not be the most diverse environment, but it does have many different views. I love how the teachers here give you options. They don’t just cram ideas into your head. They want to hear what you have to say. They want you to develop into what you were supposed to be, not a miniature version of themselves. In many of my classes, being presented with options was a pleasant surprise. It caused me to think about what I actually believe and what makes sense to me. It gave me the chance to learn who I really was and what was important to me. This helped me become more secure in myself, leading me to grow and mature.

Somewhat tieing with my first point, Illiana helped me learn where my gifts and talents really were. Illiana is a place that allows you to explore what you were created to do and how you can help others. Through sports, like volleyball, tennis, basketball and soccer, through singing, like Chambers and Fine Arts, and through other groups, like Praise Crowd and Big Brother/Big Sister, I was clearly able to see where my gifts and talents were. Maybe I don’t make people laugh so hard their stomach hurts, but I am a good leader. Maybe I’m not the most outgoing person ever, but I am very organized. I learned that even though I wasn’t some of these things, I was still appreciated and cherished. I still made a difference.

Illiana was the place where I really found myself. I know I know, that sounds so cliche, but really. As a senior looking back, Illiana was the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned so many lessons here, some I had fun learning and some took their toll on me, but they taught me so much. In these halls, I began to stand up for myself. I learned who I was and what I believed. I found my gifts and talents. I’m excited to use the things Illiana has taught me when I leave these halls at the end of this school year.

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