interview with award recipients Chris and Jenny Galanak
I’m excited to introduce to you Chris and Jenny Galanak, the recipients of this year’s Ruth Beechick award. In 2000, in honor of Dr. Ruth Beechick (a homeschool pioneer, author, and authority on education), CHEC began to present an annual award to a Colorado homeschool leader who is distinguished by their sacrificial giving and firm stance on the foundation of the Word of God.
Chris and Jenny Galanak have served both CHEC and their fellow homeschoolers tirelessly since they first started volunteering in 2008. Their passion for encouraging families in the homeschool journey and their dedicated service have truly set them apart as leaders in the homeschooling community.
Chris and Jenny, what are some of the roles you have played over the years?
We were on the planning committee for the First Annual National Bible Bee, and with the CHEC Conference we have served as Vendor Assistants, Vendor Chairmen, and Conference Coordinators.
During our work with the conference, Jenny served as the Volunteer Chairman for two years, and she continued that work this year after we stepped down as Conference Coordinators in 2015. Chris currently serves as the IT Manager for the organization, providing office technical support and custom programming.
We are so thankful for those whom we have served alongside. We never could have done it without their help and the strength of the LORD.
Throughout these roles, we have loved speaking at many of CHEC’s Homeschool Intro Seminars. We both have a heart for new homeschoolers — we remember taking that first step ourselves in deciding to homeschool. It seems that decision is often the hardest part.
I have watched you serve CHEC tirelessly as a team over the past few years. What is your heart in encouraging the homeschooling community?
We would encourage those who are homeschooling to pray ceaselessly and to keep Christ first — the center of your homeschool. There are always things that will be ready to take up space on your calendar, but God has called you to your first ministry — your family — to lead them in His ways. Don’t let busyness get in the way of that.
We have learned over time that if your day doesn’t go according to plan, just remember: it wasn’t your plan to begin with. God is guiding all our steps, and it is for us to walk by faith and remember that He is in control, even when our day seems to be going nowhere but crazy.
We have found that surrounding ourselves with other folks who are committed to educating their children at home to be a great blessing and encouragement. They are a great reminder as we share our lives, learn from mistakes, and pray together that we are not alone in this wonderful journey.