National vs. Local
There were many nice photos of the GC Session in the GLEANER. However, I was disappointed to see it so focused on this event that it missed an important opportunity to minister to the state of Oregon, most specifically to the Portland and Salem areas. The missed opportunity was not including Better Life Camp Meeting/Convocation in the GLEANER and making [readers] aware of the new [Portland area] TV station and what is needed to get it on the air. But since the GLEANER is supposed to cover the Oregon Conference news, it seems this would be a priority item.
— Gloria Wilson, Grants Pass, Ore.
GLEANER responds: Perhaps a couple articles in the print magazine, as well as numerous blurbs in our weekly GleanerNOW! E-newsletter and the GLEANER website have not been enough. The Portland Better Life television station is indeed a great opportunity soon to be a reality. Read the latest at www.betterlifetv.tv.
Remote and Necessary Schools
I enjoyed the recent GLEANER article on the Remote and Necessary Schools ("Remote and Necessary Adventist Education," July 2010) and was impressed by how God is leading our educational work in remote locations.
Our K–8 school in Dillingham, Alaska, is remote in the extreme sense of the word! We are approximately 300 air miles from Anchorage and the nearest Adventist school. This is an outreach-focused school fulfilling an enormous need in the community for Christian education. More than 90 percent of our students come from non-Adventist homes.
There is never enough money on the books, but somehow it always stretches to cover our expenses, including the high cost of heating fuel. At the close of the 2008–09 school year, the board faced some difficult decisions as we reviewed the financial reports. Was God calling us to a deeper faith or was He directing us to close the doors?
We chose to move forward in faith and advertised for a volunteer to spend the 2009–10 year in Dillingham with the purpose of beginning a preschool program. It is a hugely successful adventure that has been met throughout the community with enthusiasm and thanksgiving. Because of this program we've grown until we need a full-time third teacher, whom we've recently hired.
The money received from the Remote and Necessary assistance is vital to keeping our doors open. Unfortunately, due to our growth and the addition of our third teacher, we are soon to lose this source of funding. The current regulations state that a remote and necessary institution is a one- or two-teacher school. In most cases, a third teacher indicates church growth and an increased tithe base. This is not true in our situation, where we are adding more students through our commitment to outreach yet not seeing a significant increase in church membership.
While I understand that regulations are put in place for a purpose and that money is scarce in these difficult economic times, please consider giving our school special consideration.
— Debbie Reiswig, Dillingham, Alaska