Students from Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville planned a special surprise for one of their teachers last week. Latin teacher Ben Ellis has been battling cancer recently and has had to take time off work.
In an impromptu decision, the principal of the school decided to interrupt classes and drive the entire student body and staff over to Ellis’s front lawn. In all, over 400 people showed up to sing to Ellis who watched from his bedroom window.
Shannon Lee Seibert, who identified herself as a parent of one of the students, commented on the video which has been viewed millions of times since it was posted over the weekend.
“There are more sweet details to this story! Miracles and the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. Our children attend CPA and my high schooler LOVES Mr Ellis, he was her Latin teacher for 2 years. We ALL love Mr. Ellis and his precious family. The kids were giving back to him some of the love he has given to them. He is the definition of a teacher, a role model, a servant. He wrote the kids a letter telling them he is even more certain now that God is Good and with us. And Ben is full of hope, joy, and peace. He told them to look to Jesus to be filled. Here is the letter from our principal that the parents received that day: “I wanted to give you an update on this morning’s change of schedule and chapel for the high school, as it was a bit unorthodox, but sometimes that’s just how the Holy Spirit calls us to be.”
“Over the course of last night and into this morning, three separate and unrelated people approached me saying that while praying they received a vision of the high school students and faculty singing praises on the front lawn of the home of Ben Ellis, our Latin teacher who is battling cancer and who loves a good hymn sing. So, we loaded the buses and cars and went.”
“It was a powerful and moving outpouring of love that our students were able to bestow upon a man who loves us well.”
“We returned to campus and went straight into chapel, where we prayed and praised God. It was broken and beautiful.”
While Leslie Ponder, who identified herself as a teacher at the school, explained just how popular Ellis is.
“Today, on a spur of the moment decision, our entire high school (400+ students plus HS faculty) boarded busses and cars, and went to the home of Ben Ellis. Ben is a beloved teacher, a father to several of our students, a friend to all, and most importantly, a follower of Christ. Ben is one of the godliest men I know. Ben is also battling cancer, and continues to give God glory and praise in every aspect of his life. Today, Ben needed some encouragement so our HS students stood in his driveway and sang worship songs of praise with him. (Ben loves his praise and worship!!)
This is one of the many things I love about CPA..they will stop “education” for a bigger lesson..a lesson of life, of love, of compassion, of community. Today these students learned more than they would have in a classroom.”
“Please pray for the Ellis family.”
Hopefully Ellis has a speedy recovery.