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Parent Testimony: Cedarville Is Worth the Investment

Parent Testimony: Cedarville Is Worth the Investment

March 10, 2017

Several years before joining the staff at Cedarville, Rev. Greg Dyson, now Cedarville's Director of Intercultural Leadership, wrestled with the decision to send his oldest daughter to Cedarville. Financially, it just didn't seem possible for the then-pastor and his family. In today's post, Greg shares the story of how God led his oldest daughter to Cedarville — and how He provided a way for her to stay. 

Family with graduating daughter in cap and gownI’m not a financial aid guy; I’m a dad. But I can tell you Cedarville was absolutely worth the sacrifice for our family. We all are willing to do anything for our kids, but what does our sacrifice produce? An investment in your child’s Cedarville education produces something great. It won’t remake your child, but it will add to what God is already doing in his or her life.

My daughter is an example. My wife and I are both Cedarville graduates. We believe in Cedarville and what it instills in young people. But when Jessica announced that she wanted to attend Cedarville, my initial response was “No.” I was a pastor living on a modest salary. My wife was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. We were still paying on our student loans. “It’s too expensive,” I told her. But she had worked so hard in high school, getting good grades and scoring well on standardized tests. “I really think this is where God wants me,” she said.

And so she applied, and she was accepted. Her academic achievements garnered her scholarships, but it still would be a struggle. Our community — family, friends, and church members — gathered around Jessica, offering support, from prayers to plane tickets home to tuition. Jessica worked multiple jobs to pay as much as she could. Through it all, we prayed that God would provide, and when we thought Jessica would have to take a year off to save up money, He did.

We saw Jessica’s faith grow in ways we never imagined. We saw her develop deep, meaningful, lifelong friendships with students who shared and encouraged that faith. We saw her develop a heart for sharing the Gospel through multiple missions trips. We saw her develop a deep burden for her grandfather who did not know the Lord, even when I had given up hope of seeing spiritual renewal in his life. “We talk about the weather and sports,” she told him. “We need to talk about something more important.” That courage, that conviction, increased in her through Cedarville.

We trusted God about the financial side of sending Jessica to Cedarville, and He has rewarded that trust. Jessica had obtained a job several months before graduation. That Christmas I saw a strange piece of paper dangling from the tree. “What’s that?” I asked. “It’s my last semester bill, paid in full,” Jessica explained. She would graduate in four years, debt-free.


Rev. Greg Dyson now serves as Director of Intercultural Leadership at Cedarville. He and his wife, Gina, are parents to three daughters: Jessica, a 2014 graduate of Cedarville; Miranda, a current sophomore; and Michaela, who hopes to continue the family tradition at Cedarville someday.

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