My School ...
Coming here into something new as the AISJ Director was incredibly humbling. I arrive on my own about three weeks before the school term started. It was a really important period for me in terms of settling into the apartment, getting a feel for the area and the community, and it gave me time to start building relationships with people rather than just walking in at the start of the year. But it was challenging for me on a personal level
because for the first several weeks my husband wasn’t with me. During that time I missed a family wedding, but it was the right decision to come because it gave me time to prepare. This period can can be summarized as one of prayer. During this time I heard very clearly a simple word from the Lord: “AISJ is not an organizational school. It is My School.” Our daily morning prayer for staff continues and has grown. It is amazing to come together every morning and dedicate the school and our work to the Lord. These weeks have shown me just how precious the AISJ is to Him.
Blessings & Challenges
In terms of the school building, we have had quite a lot of renovation, a bit of restoration, and some decorating over the holidays. During the initial training days our school team really came together. All the new staff coming onboard this year are excellent teachers and faithful believers and this is a huge answer to prayer. One amazing thing is the presence of many new local hires. We revisited with everyone about what our mission, our aspiration is: to provide the best, a world-class education for all our children. What is really great about this school is that we don’t see a child by the labels that society might give him. We just see a child, a beautiful creation of God, and for us that’s a huge privilege and responsibility. Thankfully, there’s a good vibe among the team and we’re starting the school year on quite a positive note.
Results from the previous year have been encouraging. The elementary school inspection last term went well. And more excitingly, we had some great results from our secondary classes. Those who finished the IB program last year had some of the best scores we have ever seen. This year we are expecting more children than last, and we also have a bit of a waiting list which is encouraging and affirming. We are also starting to see more local children stay at our school for longer periods.
Please God ...
What we’re really looking forward to this year (and this is the big headline), “Please God, No Covid.” We hope we can actually stay open for the first time in two years and get some rhythm and continuity for both the children and the staff. A major challenge for the school is that we don’t have all our staff here as we’ve had a hold-up with some of the bureaucratic decisions connected to visas. However, the current staff has been great in the way they have all pulled together to cover this. Please pray that any remaining obstacles for their arrival will be removed. Pray for their transition into the team, a process they did not get to undertake. But we are incredibly thankful for the stability we have seen this year. We have had little staff turnover and many internal promotions. Pray for recruitment during the year, that there would be God’s guidance in finding new staff for any upcoming openings. I want to thank the CMJ family who has been praying faithfully for the school. Even during the recent bout of fighting between Gaza and Israel, we were aware of the great number of prayers for peace that were being offered on behalf of the school.
I would like to close by relating a moment that happened last week that was very special. We invited the staff on a prayer walk through the school. For two hours we went from room to room dedicating each space to the Lord and asking for His blessing on the school year. As we got to the top rampart, looking over the whole campus, we finished our time by singing out the Aaronic Blessing. Through this short article, I would like to invite those of you who hold this school close to your heart, to join us in this continuous prayer of blessing over the campus, the staff, the students, and their families.