Years ago I had a vision to offer an on-line Christian school. God led us to a ministry partner and we went for it. My role was school manager, overseer and fund raiser. My first lesson was finding a teacher. It wasn’t easy but we found one. Asking a mature lady to move from another state and come to Iowa with virtually no students (trusting they’d come) and promising pay was gut wrenching. It was amazing how God led us to one particular lady that would take a risk with us. It was like cutting teeth the first year. But boy did we learn together!
God put on the heart of certain people to donate computers, furniture, and support from a cooperating like-minded ministry. We experienced up to 10 kids at one point and learned how to deal with different cultures, plagiarism, how to keep kids motivated in an on-line setting, how to be flexible, creative and keep it enjoyable. We introduced Bible which was fun for me to teach, invited professionals to come and share with the kids. We had supportive parents, kids who thrived and some who didn’t. We figured out routines, school policies, web presence, trips, evaluations and untold additional details that are included in a start up. It was a blast and we gave it everything we had! It ended in two years, but the lessons remain. Here are a few:
• Respect those who take risk with you
• Learning is intimate and personal
• God works in spite of our insecurities and pride
• There are always computer problems
• Everyone is in a different place in life
• Some kids thrive on line, for others it is a challenge
• Not everyone believes in what you do
• Not everyone has the grit to see things through
• There are guaranteed obstacles, how you handle them is essential
• Kids need breaks
• Big windows are refreshing
• Timing is everything
• While some impact is realized immediately, you’ll often wait many years to see the lives you impact
• God moves in people and circumstances that you simply can’t explain. Celebrate and be flexible
David is a father, husband, business owner, and ministry leader. He is Founder and Director of a Hope 2 Offer, an Iowa non-profit and The Orange Planet, a central Iowa based basketball instruction company started in 2008.
As always, thanks for reading Unmasked.