This past year, 2017, was one that will not be soon forgotten for many reasons. LSEM saw another year of tremendous growth in programs! God is using us as His instruments each and every day as He continues to bless our efforts in working with children in Christian schools all over the country. On the pages that follow you will read many stories of the children we have the privilege of serving. Those same children would not receive the services they so desperately need if not for the many wise and courageous leaders who have come before me. Sadly, on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of those wise leaders – our beloved former President/CEO, Roger DeMeyere.
For 23-years (1987-2010) Roger DeMeyere served as President/CEO at LSEM. One could say his calling to LSEM was a miracle. A calling that ultimately paved the way for the future. A future for the children he so dearly loved. A future that filled the hearts of many children with the hope of God’s unending love.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
With roots in the deaf community (both of Roger’s parents were deaf), God used Roger to expand what had been started by his predecessor Reverend Dr. Rodney Rynearson; namely, a vision for LSEM to reach across the United States to also provide hearing children with specialized learning needs the opportunity to learn and to grow to their full potential.
During his 23-year tenure at LSEM he witnessed the transformation of the ministry from a residential school in Detroit to a national organization that continues to serve as a special education resource for Christian schools and congregations across the United States.
I have often said that Roger had a larger than life presence and had the ability to make everyone in the room feel special, which is exactly what we strive to do for each of our students on a daily basis. After his retirement Roger would check in at LSEM to make sure all was well. He would say, “I know Jesus is smiling because LSEM is in good hands.”
We pray that God continues to bless us in ways that will honor Roger’s legacy long into the future. To say he’ll be missed by many is an understatement, but we find comfort in the words that Roger used to share, “Believing in Jesus means you never have to say good-bye – just say… see you later!”
Stacy J. Hoeft