How Much Is It Worth?
How does a church run a school with only one student? Sacrificially! Fifteen months ago, the Nome Church voted to do whatever it took to keep the school open for another year. The worst-case projection was that it would be in debt to the conference for $30,000. Instead, the school ended "in the black" due to the sacrificial giving of the small congregation.
The four Adventist schools not on Alaska's road system are small. Together they make up a cohort of fewer than 40 students, but yet, year after year they remain in place for Adventist as well as many non-Adventist kids. They are isolated and are reachable only by plane or ferry. Three of them occupy shared church space. The teachers leave their small towns only two or three times a year. Most of those trips cost at least $500 just to reach Anchorage.
Yet, when I visit each of the schools twice each year I do not observe depression and discouragement. Instead, I have the privilege of observing dedicated, caring, Spirit-led teachers faithfully meeting their kids each day and taking every opportunity possible to lead them to Jesus' feet.
So why have Adventist schools in these out-of-the-way places? Let me ask a different question: What is the value of just one kid? What are we willing to pay for one young person who accepts Jesus' invitation to "follow Me"?