After being closed for three years, the Muscatine Adventist Christian School reopened its doors this week with nine students, five of whom are not from Adventist families.
The school had been vibrant back in the ’50s and ’60s but had been steadily declining in enrollment until its closure in 2015.
Then, last year at a church dinner, a new believer and young mother named Linsey inquired about the school, expressing a desire for her daughter to have a Christian education.
This sparked a conversation with two other mothers, which soon led to the question of what would be needed to reopen the school.
Our church communications secretary, Vonda Ludke, started posting information about the interest in reopening the school, and a news reporter from the local paper called wanting to know more. Soon an article showed up in the local paper which was followed by a call from a TV station in Davenport. Before long there was a news segment on the evening news featuring our plans to reopen the school.
It was becoming clear that this was a “God thing” so we scheduled an informational meeting for the church and the public. A third of those at the meeting were from the community, and a number of others inquired by phone. Our conference education superintendent, Joe Allison, worked with us and joined us in prayer.
In February the Muscatine Church voted to support reopening the school. The holiday season slowed down our recruiting, but we managed to get commitments for five students.
But what about a teacher? An initial applicant didn’t make it to an interview. Months went by and no one was showing interest. We heard about a teacher in the Philippines and interviewed her via Skype, but it would take months for her to secure a work visa. Sensing the urgency of time, the church gathered for prayer.
By late June, just months away from the school’s opening, we still didn’t have a teacher. Then someone we had thought of almost a year before came forward. Heidi Swayze and her family moved to the Muscatine area. She was a highly sought-after graduate of Union College. Her plans were to stay home with their newborn, but she felt impressed to apply. We were overjoyed! She was the missing piece we needed. Financial donations came in. Pledges of financial support from the members were made.
We praise God for helping us see the steps of faith needed for this process. On behalf of all involved, I want to thank those around the North American Division for praying. Left to ourselves, we would not have been able to see this as a possibility, but let’s remember that nothing is impossible with God!