The Face of a Remote and Necessary School

Nearest Adventist School: Sitka, Alaska, 171.66 miles away, accessible by boat or airplane.

Enrollment: 10, expecting 12–13 next year. Grades: 1–8.

Staff: One teacher, one volunteer.

Remote Value: Our students really have few options other than public schools. Many parents have been so grateful to know their children have a place free from drugs, alcohol, pressure to smoke and other devastating behaviors. I have a former student, now a college junior nursing student working as a health intern, who has told me several times she would have dropped out had she not had this chance. Though a Christian of another denomination, she said the school changed her life.

Remote and Necessary Fund Recipient: Every year we begin our budget in the red — so every year is a journey in faith. We never figure in the remote fund, but it ALWAYS comes right when we need it most. We wouldn't make it without the remote fund. With costly fuel oil bills, what we get makes the difference between whether we pay the electricity and making sure our maintenance gets taken care of.

Local Community Impact: We go to the Bartlett House (Ronald McDonald House) and collect items for them at stores. We sing at the Pioneer Home and pass out Bibles. The children do car washes, wash windows and leave tags showing Jesus' love, along with making cookies for the police, firemen and state troopers. We have been sending Bibles to Africa and just received pictures from the baptisms (see GLEANER June 2010) those Bibles helped bring about.

Remote Goals/Needs: BY FAITH – God made it possible to redo our bathrooms to code.

BY FAITH – God made it possible to re-carpet our classrooms, hallway, library and office.

BY FAITH – God provided new-to-us computers and software.

BY FAITH – God provided new-to-us library shelving.

BY FAITH – God made it possible to have our building painted.

BY FAITH – God provided new playground equipment.

BY FAITH – God provided a way for us to have a new boiler system.

None of these projects had money in the budget... God has provided it ALL, through the sacrifice, love and caring of faithful people who serve Him.

Necessary Gem: When I finished my degree, I didn't know if I would teach again. God took me, kicking and screaming, and showed me how to love and teach his kids.

Through teaching, I've learned a bit of what it must be for the Lord to be our Parent and Teacher, as well as mine personally. It has deepened my understanding of His love, compassion, sacrifice and lessons He has to teach me and humankind as I try to extend to my kids not just lessons of reading, math, and science, but of a whole universe He has prepared for us all.

July 01, 2010 / Feature