Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
I was reminded of this truth recently in a Bible Study from the Experiencing God Student’s Workbook by Henry Blackaby and Claude Jenkins that I have been doing with one of our recent graduates. There is nothing like a Global Crisis to rudely wake us up out of the doldrums of the ordinary Christian Life like one of those old loud clanky metal wind up alarm clocks. Remember those? I don’t know about you but before the Pandemic, I was almost dreading the task ahead of us to stretch our staff and School Family to take that huge leap to go digital. We at Bob Hughes, have an experienced, all-star staff that many of you have told me were the ones who trained you “all those years ago.” Well guess what, we did not use computers to do it back then, and those all-star staff members were not born with a mouse or memory stick in their hands. Even I have a hard time with new technology. One of my staff members at church where I worked in America said of me that I had negative computer energy; he said he had never worked with anyone who could mess up a computer so quickly! However, I forced myself to learn what I needed to compete in a digital world. Even with my hard work, no one will be nominating me for any Techy Award anytime soon.
As the 2019-2020 school year began, God had breathed a fresh breath of wind into our staff with several young and very talented teachers. I began to make some noise that we were going to be taking our school in a digital direction. I began to feel the resistance from some of our staff and even wondered if Mr. Negative Computer Energy Man was the right one to lead this monumental change. I really did not want to force this upon the staff or even some of the parents who did not anticipate ever having to learn this new technology. I did not want to be seen as Atilla the Hun, especially since I wasn’t really that good at technology myself. Then as the 2019-2020 year came to a close, God did an amazing thing! He sent the blessing of Covid 19! Yes, as the song says this problem was an opportunity in disguise. Let’s face it, this was the perfect storm to reset what needed to happen in order to go digital. As in our study Experiencing God, “we were faced with a crisis of belief and were forced to deal with it.”
God was so good to us! With a little encouragement from Pastor Kent Jesalva, we assembled a tech team from our school and church staff to help us make this huge leap of faith. We thank God for Jabez, Noie and Jun who spent endless hours not only developing our website and portal but also installing a server and super router with four different internet providers to provide a stable base from which to broadcast our classes. Next up, computers? How were we going to get enough computers to handle teaching conventional classes? God miraculously provided our staff with interest free loans for new computers and Jabez set his hand to the task of training them all on Google classroom. During teacher training, I was brought to tears to see our all-star teachers learn this technology from the younger teachers without a peep of complaining, at least not loud enough for me to hear. It really was a beautiful sight!
The next concern were the students. As enrollment ended within the first few weeks of school year 20/21, it became evident that we had lost about 25% of our student body and about 20% of the ones that returned really struggled with keeping up the rigorous pace of the School of Tomorrow System. But God blessed us throughout our trial and error. This year, we have maintained about the same number of students, though the faces have changed some.
God is continuing to stretch us. We have had several long-term illnesses and a couple of maternity leaves that have caused our remaining staff to pick up the slack. It amazes me to see the same can-do attitude our staff continues to demonstrate. But God is not through stretching us. Remember, encounters with God are God sized. God has led us to implement a new Chip ID Scanner to ensure the safety of our children when they return face to face. Also, He has led us to invest in a Bio/Chem/Physics Laboratory to expand our SHS program for the STEM strand. We have already received over 150,000 pesos toward our 650,000 peso goal and construction is under way! Keep us in your prayers and we will pray for you as you seek God Size Encounters with Him! May God Richly Bless School of Tomorrow Schools.
God can do immeasurably more than we can dream up to ask for.