We all have a favorite teacher from school, one who felt even like a friend, rather than a disciplinary figure.
This person probably helped you appreciate your school subjects and learning.
For many students at Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) in Nashville, Tennessee, this person was Ben Ellis, their Latin teacher.
Unfortunately, their beloved teacher was suffering from esophageal cancer, and he had announced that he would no longer receive treatment – he would begin hospice care at home.
Once the students, parents, faculty, and staff discovered this, they decided to do something incredible.
One day, Ellis was surprised to see people gathering right outside of his home – they were his former students, over 400 of them!
Students and faculty had come together to worship together near one of their favorite teachers, because they wanted to spend as much time with him as possible in his time of need.
To show Ellis how much they care, the students sang to him.
CPA’s headmaster, Nate Morrow, said:
“As Ben’s been fighting, the one thing he has found a lot of comfort in is hymn songs.”
One mother made a Facebook post to share the letter from the school’s principal given to the parents on this special 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.”
Ellis was overjoyed and extremely grateful for the thoughtfulness of the people who wanted to show him that they cared.
“Thin voice but big microphone, you know? Take the opportunity not only to love others but to receive love from other people, which is often so much more difficult, and trust God that letting others love you, and know you, can make a huge difference.”
Country singer Tim McGraw shared the video of the event on his own Facebook page, and it went viral, with tens of millions of views:
UPDATE: Beloved teacher Ben Ellis died of cancer, according to an email sent to parents of Christ Presbyterian students.”With deep sadness and a very heavy heart, I write to tell you that our beloved Ben Ellis has passed away. Since last December, millions of people around the world have prayed for Ben to be healed of his cancer,” Headmaster Nathan Morrow wrote. “Today, Ben entered Heaven fully healed; he is home.”
Would you do something like this for your favorite teacher? Tell us in the comments below!