BY BRIAN KONING, DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT
What a year it’s been, “covidly” speaking.
We’ll never look at the expression, “Hindsight is 20/20” the same way again.
We experienced a shut-down of our society requiring us to re-think how we communicate, teach, worship, and gather together.
That re-thinking process continues to re-shape how we approach teaching and learning and played into re-shaping the recent ACS annual drive into a drive for tuition relief.
One morning as we were meeting as an Advancement Team over Zoom, the impact of the spring lockdown hit closer to home. Julius told our team that eight ACS families who had been impacted financially because of this pandemic, asked for help. For some, it was because their workplace had to close for the shut-down. For others, only one parent was working during the pandemic since the other parent was staying home for the Connected Learning experience with their children. Each story was unique, but behind each we saw the faces and families of ACS.
As a team, we discussed the best way to respond, “How about we re-purpose our usual Dream3Drive and re-launch it as a Dream1Drive, with the one goal of providing tuition relief?”
It just made sense. Focus on the essential goal of keeping community together.
And our community responded abundantly!
What a uniquely inspiring example of Christian love to our families. Thank you to all who responded to this “call for help!”
We are so grateful to report we far exceeded our goal of raising $40,000. In fact, our ACS community raised over $50,000 for tuition relief! Praise be to God! Thanks to you, the COVID-19 tuition relief drive blessed over 40 ACS families.
A Lens of Hope
Imagine being one of the families who initially may have experienced a continuum of despair after a negative hit on family finances:
- Disbelief— this can’t be happening!
- Dismay—this is happening to some people!
- Distress—this is happening to my family!
- Despair—this is happening to my family and I can’t see how we’ll get through it.
Despair might be understandable, but thankfully as a community you intervened. You helped these families get through it. You looked through the lens of hope and extended a helping hand. No ACS family should have to give up on their dream for Christian education.
Throughout all of this I believe our community learned to increasingly rely on each other, through this recent successful COVID-19 Tuition Relief Drive, or through the new protocols required of students, parents, and teachers just to make school possible in the age of coronavirus. None of it is easy nor should it be taken for granted. Yet we have shown the resilience to stick together through the challenges and to trust God on the journey.
Fix Your Eyes
That collective experience of resilience and hope reminds me again of our theme for this school year: “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” A beautiful statement on how we ultimately avoid despair. I’m reminded of the words of a familiar hymn:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full, in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
Reading those words, inspired by the words of Hebrews 12:2, turns despair to hope for me. I hope you find the same. Please continue to keep our students, teachers, and families in prayer.
And maybe once we’re through 2020, we will look back and see the perspective that 2020 gave us.