Dear loved ones,
It’s been a phenomenal year, hasn’t it? I never imagined that I would ever write a letter like this one. As I do, I hope that you are experiencing the mighty hand of God in your life; we pray you are safe and well. I thank the Lord that I can say the same for our families, students, and staff here at New Community Academy (NCA)!
I thank you for your continued compassionate love and support, both financially and spiritually as we move through these unprecedented times. One of our donors wrote to me recently, “I pray for you, all of New Community Academy, and for our church – and will continue to do so.” Please know how greatly those drops of encouragement fill our buckets! God blesses us through you.
Blessings Amidst the Challenges
There have been many blessings and evidences of God throughout these challenging days. Consider this wonderful act of God: in the few months preceding the outbreak of COVID-19, the students studied two amazing verses. We began with Isaiah 55:8-9:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isn’t that the truth! I hope, like our students did, you see God moving ahead of us, preparing these teenagers for a 3-month-long detour from anything we’ve experienced before. It’s been scary! How awesome to know that although we could not imagine a world turned upside-down, God, from His high heaven, has ways and thoughts that He alone can understand, even when we don’t.
The students and I continue to be awed, as we reflect on the second verse we’ve studied, Jeremiah 29:11-13. This time of pandemic, while uncertain, is not for disaster, but for good. He has plans that help us look forward to a bright future:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
In those days when you pray, I will listen.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
God’s Guidance Through Uncertainty
I confess to you that I have had moments of frustration, to the point of tears, having taken it upon myself to fret about the future of New Community Academy. (As founder and executive director of the school, I have mistakenly presumed this to be in my job description). These thoughts weighed on me . . . How could we create an entirely virtual program with one week’s notice? . . . How would our students, most of whom have found traditional education to be troublesome, continue to learn and grow through remote schooling? . . . What will another year of possible school closures look like for us? . . . How will we be able to draw in new students for the next academic year? . . . Can NCA even survive?
Then, as He does so well, God brought our school memory verses to mind. There is the comfort, realizing again that God had already provided the answer—before we had the problem! His ways are beyond anything we can imagine! He’s got this.
Online School Success!
It should then be no surprise that the Lord blessed our staff and students; they stepped up with grace and commitment. On March 23rd, with just one week’s preparation, we went to live teaching through our “Online New Community Academy.” We adapted our curriculum, discovered the wonders and potential of the Internet, (thank you, Lord, for Zoom), and created an excellent program for continued learning that some larger, public schools were not able to construct due to such short notice.
We looked for Him, and found Him faithful. NCA never skipped a beat.
On Tuesday, June 9th, that beat will be the beat of Pomp and Circumstance as our seniors will process in cap and gown to receive their well-deserved diplomas. Everyone is invited to join us for a “Drive-In” graduation ceremony at the school! We will meet in our cars in the parking lot at Purpose Church Pomona at 10:00am.
So, now onward to next semester! God has made it clear that we must and will continue to offer what’s called a “Hybrid School.” That is, we will pray that we can meet together in person on the school campus, but must be prepared to return if necessary to our “Online New Community Academy – Part II.”
Offering Hybrid School will require 3 things:
- Your faithful ministry of prayer and encouragement:
- For our staff: for creativity, stamina, patience and peace (you’ve probably heard it said, online school is challenging!)
- For our students: commitment to their studies, a sense of school “family” while we are isolated from one another, and the ability to learn through a Chrome book while sitting at their kitchen table.
- New students and their families to join us, who as one teacher phrased it, “will be looking for, and need, a flexible program for their high-schoolers during this pandemic.”
- Donors like you who will continue your generous financial support. We will have families who will no longer be able to afford a private education, yet our expenses will continue for staff salaries, supplies, as well as online and traditional curriculums.
Great News for our Grads
In closing, here’s another example of God’s kindness in such a stormy time. Two of our graduates just received the outstanding news that they have been accepted to attend Cal Baptist University this fall—with generous scholarships! Hazel and Trinity wait to receive word on whether or not they can start their classes on the campus in Riverside, or because of school closures, must go online for their classes this semester. Whatever the case, we congratulate both ladies on their tremendous achievements!
God does indeed have plans for us! They are plans for good and not disaster, to give a future and a hope. Thank you for standing with us as we watch His plans unfold for New Community Academy.
P.S Your faithful prayers for staff and students are essential. Your continued donations (and even a one-time gift) will make a huge difference in what we can accomplish for this mission. New students are such a blessing for the environment we will be able to create for our school. You can give to NCA directly and securely online here.