Something is not right in the world. A pandemic, earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, hunger, homelessness, mass shootings, gun violence, abductions, murders, rapes, and kidnappings are just some of the results of the virus of sin. Everyone is stressed over those problems, even our children. When will it all end? Where is God? Does He care? Is there an answer?
God is here, and He cares! He is the answer. The promise and hope found in Psalms 46:1 (NKJV), “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” is as true today as it was when it was written. God’s Word reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”—Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NKJV). We can trust His promises. He never lets us down.
The answer for our sick world and our hurting children is found in Jesus. His answer tells us that we don’t have to fear. In the war against violence and sin, He is with us, and He has given us tools to defeat the enemy. Education is one of the tools that equips our children, keeps them safe, and leads them to victory by preparing them for now and for eternity. “True education means more than pursuing a certain course of study. It has to do with the whole person, and with the whole period of existence possible to human beings. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. The source of such an education is brought to view in these inspired words that point to the Infinite One: In Him ‘are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ Col. 2:3”—True Education, p. 9.
In the midst of the challenges our institutions face today, the answer is still to follow the blueprint given by God, to do our part, and place our trust in Him. In 1903, Ellen White, in the book Education, p. 13, reminds us that education is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. With those thoughts in mind, the goal of Adventist education in the Atlantic Union is to:
1. Train our children to lead by utilizing best practices and new technologies that engage them and prepare them for the changing world.
2. Empower them to serve by instilling in their hearts the love of God and the love for mankind, leading them in activities that reach their local community and the world at large. Remind them both in big and small ways, from early childhood to grade 12, that their purpose is to go on missions for God wherever He leads them.
3. Inspire them to be ready. Ready or not, Jesus is coming. Each day through encounters with Jesus, teachers will inspire their students to fall in love with Jesus and develop a relationship with Him.
The delivery has changed (we have traded our chalkboard for a Smartboard, a notebook for a laptop), but the goal remains the same. Adventist education through Bible-based values endeavors to prepare children for this world and the world to come. “Education is not a tool for development—individual, community, and the nation. It is the foundation for our future. It is an empowerment to make choices and emboldens the youth to chase their dreams,” says Nita Ambani, an Indian philanthropist (www.brainyquote.com/quotes/nita_ambani_641632).
Amid uncertainties, fears, and chaos, Jesus is still the answer. Amid the storm, Adventist education is still the light on the hill that points children in the right direction. “Adventist education is one of the most effective ways to prepare young people for the second coming of Christ”—How to Kill Adventist Education (and How to Give it a Fighting Chance!), p. 12.