As wise King Solomon once wrote, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”
At MPE, this is a time of transition and a season of change as we, Micah and Johanna Gelatt, take the mantle of leadership that Todd and Pat Kangas have faithfully held for many years. Over the last year, it has been our joy to hear so many give thanks to Todd and Pat for how they have given their time, treasure, and talent to encourage homeschoolers.
That’s not only a testimony of their solid leadership, but it also aids in this season of transition. Because they have led well, it allows this time of change to happen more smoothly. It’s much easier to take the helm from a captain who has steered the ship with excellence. So, as we take the helm and ready ourselves to steer the MPE ship, we want to introduce ourselves a little bit.
Who are Micah and Johanna Gelatt?
We could write a lengthy and eloquent answer that makes us sound much greater than we are, but the short and sweet reality is that we are two sinners who are trying, albeit imperfectly at times, to raise seven little sinners.
Most of our 22 years of marriage has been spent in full-time ministry, and for the last five years we have ministered to the refugee community in KCK as missionaries to some pretty amazing people groups from far-off lands. In the midst of a busy life and ministry, we make attempts to actually teach our children.
Sometimes our efforts are successful…others times, colossal failures of epic proportions. Can you relate?
Tell us about your children.
Whether you have one child, or over 15 and are possibly wanting your own reality TV show, the truth is that every child is unique, and none of them come with instructions. Our oldest is 16, and our youngest is 2 and since we have had a child in diapers every day for the last 16 years, I guess you could say we are doing our part to add to climate change.
Every one of our seven children is unique, and it is a true joy to parent them every day. Even on the days when they frustrate us, and cause more grey hairs than we care to admit.
What does an ideal homeschooling day look like for you?
Much like unicorns and Bigfoot, an “ideal homeschooling day” is an elusive, mythical thing that only exists in the desperate minds of homeschooling parents across the globe.
Oh sure, if we could work our will, our daily homeschooling would resemble an idealistic Norman Rockwell painting, where all is well and everything is nearly perfect. But remember the fact that we are sinners raising little sinners, and our Norman Rockwell visions quickly fade to a Norman Bates moment in a flash.
But as we tell people often, through the chaos of life, the aim is not perfection or idealism. Our target is to find joy in the journey.
Knowing that homeschooling can never be perfect, a great day for us is when the kids simply open their hearts to ours, and open their minds to what we intend to pour into them. Open hearts and minds. And no arguing or complaining.
There are days when we have this, and it’s wonderful. And then there are days when the Gelatt home looks like a movie set from some post apocalyptic film, and we are just thankful that our house didn’t burn to the ground. Can you relate?
What is our ultimate goal with our kids?
On a purely selfish level, we want to launch each of our children in such a way that they never have to move back home. And that they are wealthy enough to take care of their parents in our old age as we travel the world.
But setting selfish ambition aside, we would be fully content as homeschooling parents if our children leave our nest with a mind prepared to learn more about God and His world, a heart that follows the Lord and loves people, and a strength that is ready to endure both the joys and difficulties that life brings.
Oh sure, we want them to learn academic things. Like how to add numbers. And reading is good.
But our ultimate goal transcends mere academics. Our aim is to teach the Three G’s while teaching the Three R’s. The Three G’s – Who God is, what God has done, and what God expects from us. If our children leave home possessing that knowledge, then they will hold a greater treasure than any amount of academic pursuit can contain.
What are your hopes for MPE in the future?
That MPE can encourage thousands of homeschool families to pursue excellence in their homeschool journey while also equipping them to remember their ultimate aim – raising children who will someday be shining lights in a dark world.
Because of the solid leadership at MPE that came before us, we are confident that, by God’s grace, MPE will continue to live out this focus for years to come. Lord, may it be so.