Accreditation: Our Journey to a Better School
How can we put into words the feeling of completing a two-year long project? How do we adequately thank all the people who poured out time and effort for such a school-wide endeavor? More importantly, how do we adequately thank the Lord who saw us through such an exhausting but fruitful ordeal?
The end of an accreditation process is a beginning. We, the workers of MGC New Life Christian Academy, spent the past couple years preparing for re-accreditation. Now that the two-hundred-or-so-page write up has been completed, we look ahead and see that there is still much work to be done. Through it all, however, God has not stopped working in our hearts and lives. In fact, as we recall where we were twenty-five years ago, and see where we are today, it is clear that God has always been our sustainer and deliverer. This is a great motivation for us to both worship Him and serve Him better as stewards of His graciously given resources.
Albeit tiring at times, the whole self-study process was God’s gift to us. It allowed us to see and appreciate all the work that goes into making the school run. We were able to learn about the methods and strategies of the different academic departments, the new facilities available thanks to God’s provision, and the demographics of the school, to name a few. It showed us the areas we need to grow in, pushing us to strive for greater excellence in our craft. It showed us the methods we need to rethink and revamp to meet the particular needs of our students. And above all, it showed us that without God’s enabling grace, we are nothing. Our need to depend on the Lord daily has only become more apparent during the process to get re-accredited.
The four-day visit from the visiting team, headed by Mr. Alan Farlin, the Asian Coordinator of SIL TCK Care and Education and team, composed of Mrs. Evelyn Bumatay, Country Director of ACSI Philippines; Mrs. Paula Newell, Counselor at Bandung Alliance Intercultural School; Dr. Judy Go Tan, Principal of St. Stephen’s High School; Dr. Maria Rosario Alfafara, School Directress of Mandaue Christian School, Inc.; Mrs. Luzviminda Isobal, Principal of Bethel International School ; and Malcolm Pirie, Principal of Hope Christian School, was another gift. During their visit, we got to dialogue with them about the areas we, as a school, are excelling in, areas where we need to grow, and suggestions for new methods that we had not considered or had not even been on our radar. Having experts in the educational field come and see the school with fresh eyes, and then give their input and feedback was invaluable. The steering committee even had opportunity to interact on? a deeper level with the team as they ate together during the visit.
So what do we feel? Relief is not an adequate word; relief tends to indicate the closure of something negative. Exhaustion? That carries a negative connotation too. Perhaps a better word is challenged. We have been challenged to grow. We have been challenged to keep learning. We have been challenged to maintain our integrity as Christian teachers. And, finally, we have been challenged to trust God all the more for the strength and empowerment that comes only from Him and His grace. One more word that could sum up this journey is not an adjective, but a command: worship. We have seen now more than ever the need to offer our work, our hearts, and our lives as worship to Lord. May He be glorified no matter what the outcome of the accreditation visit is.