Shelter from the Storm
Rain provides the backdrop for today's observation. As we were enjoying a quiet, restful Sunday afternoon, David whispered for me to look out the window. A round-bellied bird sat on a banana leaf sheltered from the rain by the huge banana leaf above. Our feathered friend gave a gentle reminder of how much more Our Father takes care of us, shelters us from the storms--not takes them away but provides us a safe place with Him.
We've celebrated His peace during several storms this year--from student migration to family illness, from bus transmission/motor failure to personal surgery. Storms arrived and passed, and He has been faithful as always to provide finances, parts, healing, peace through His presence and provision. You've provided desks, and we believe will provide the computers that we need for our expansion in 2020 as we accept 60 new 7th grade students instead of our typical 42.
Thank YOU for helping us "weather the storms". As we approach the close of another successful, productive school year, please join us in praying for the seniors as they graduate next month, for us as we raise funds and seek 60 new sponsors, and for rest and safety for teachers, students, and families during the two-month vacation.
Out came the sun...
"Out came the sun & dried up all the rain"...we're celebrating every minute of sunshine we get lately, though they've been rather rare as rainy season arrived early and in grand form! As I sat by the window last week watching the rain steadily stream (not lazily drip) from a large hibiscus leaf, I noticed that it was flowing to that leaf from the one above it, which was being supplied by the one above it. I was reminded of our responsibility to pass on to the next generation what we have learned. We are studying in-depth Paul's second letter to Timothy in which he instructs Timothy to ENTRUST to reliable [people] what has been learned, to FOLLOW the pattern of sound teaching, to PURSUE righteousness.
Paul told Timothy to gently instruct those who oppose; I noticed that occasionally the rain rolling off the tin roof would splatter in all directions, but that didn't interrupt the steady flow that faithfully poured from one bright green leaf to the next. So we must faithfully pour what God has taught us into the next generation, regardless of the outside forces that attempt to splatter our influence in all directions. We teachers at IER are daily entrusting our hard-earned life lessons, our wisdom gained from experience along with foundational scriptures that have given us sound teaching so that our students are encouraged to pursue righteousness. We do our part as we are supported and cheered on by all of you who invest in the ministry of IER. We thank you for pouring yourselves into this ministry this year and encourage you to know that you are changing lives in mighty ways.
PERSPECTIVE October 2016
Perspective-the state of one’s ideas, the facts known in having a meaningful interrelationship, or the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship. Blessed to have the opportunity to visit a volcanic crater with our long-time friends Mike & Sally last week, we stood far above the crater watching it gurgle, bubble, belch gases, and produce swirling clouds. We thought we were impressed by the size, the view, the danger, the creation of God, but then suddenly someone in the crowd excitedly shouted, “There’s a man down there!” As we strained to make out the miniscule dot, the vulcanologist at work, we realized with a powerfully new perspective the enormity of the crater, the spectacular view, the danger to the man who made his way around the rim, and the marvel of creation with an entirely new appreciation. We later saw an aerial view that displayed a towering volcano with an even more enormous crater filled with a beautiful turquoise lake that was located behind us unbeknownst to us.
What a great analogy of how we have limited perspective of life’s events, sometimes expanded by new information or deeper spiritual revelations, but rarely do we see the “big picture” that God sees. Another reminder is how often we experience satisfaction with “small living” when just beyond us God has for us so much more than we can ask or imagine. Let’s challenge ourselves to seek more intimacy with our Father Creator and to exercise a deeper faith in Him to follow His plans created for us before the foundation of the world. Thank you for all of your prayers and support for us! Please join us in praying for students and teachers as we enter second semester. We pray that your heart may be enlightened to know the hope, the riches, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.
TESTimony August 2016
What an action-packed “summer” we’ve had! God brought alongside of us many brothers and sisters with various talents–seamstresses, firemen, engineers, environmentalists, "excavators”,
therapists, and corporals just to name a few. The recurring theme of chapel messages was to forgive the past, keep our eyes on Jesus to step out of the boat and walk by faith, and celebrate trials as opportunities to grow so that today’s TEST becomes tomorrow’s TESTimony. We celebrate that life with Jesus is a beautiful dance. We have been extraordinarily blessed again this year to have so many amazing servants invest in the lives of IER staff, students, and the campus facilities, as well as the local commmunities. God is always faithful. We’re grateful that just as a plant dies and scatters its dried seeds that bear much fruit, so it is with us believers as we die to ourselves and allow His Spirit to fill us with sweet seed-bearing fruit that He bountifully multiplies. Blessed to be a blessing…may it be!
This is the time of year when we share IER’s specific needs that you might like to meet.
1) For our most recent classroom, new home ec’ lab, and to replace classroom fans that no longer work, we need 12 new fans.
2) We need 2 new air conditioners to replace the original ones that no longer adequately cool the two computer labs.
3) Last, but definitely not least, we have been searching for a school bus to replace the current one that has required extensive expensive repairs this year, resulting in school cancellation since all but one of our teachers and half of our students travel daily in this bus.
**To make a donation, please send a check designated for the specific item or for “2016 Needs” to the IER, PO Box 3575, Moultrie, GA 31776. We thank you in advance for relief from the heat and for reliable transportation!
MARVELOUS May 2016
We are spirits, living in a body, possessing a soul (mind, will, emotions) seems to be God’s theme for this quarter. Our souls manipulate and struggle to avoid submitting to our spirits. But when our spirits win that battle and our souls submit, we discover the life and peace that we were made for as we focus more on Our Creator and less on our circumstances…and our faith slowly grows deeper.
As high school administrators surrounded by 177 amazing adolescents, we witness that struggle not only in ourselves, but also in our students daily…hourly. What a triumph to see the living, active Sword penetrate to divide soul and spirit, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, and result in wise decisions that thwart the schemes of the enemy!
We’ve had a very busy couple of months celebrating Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, raising funds for community social work on Color Day, burning energy on National Sports Day, all while engaging in active learning in classes . The results of our 2015 national exams demonstrated that our students scored well above national average in all but two of 24 core objective subcomponents. God’s favor clearly rests on IER and will equip us to raise our scores in those weak areas.
We are so grateful to have had the Woetzels come to teach classes and selflessly serve for 6 weeks, as well as others who came to invest in IER–Providence Christian Academy, the Yaegers, Buddy, and Alex. We’re continually thankful for the Knights who are serving with us this year. We’re so blessed to have a front-row seat in seeing God sharpen minds and strengthen spirits through IER. Thank you for your faithfulness and dedication to all of us at IER.
MULTIPLICATION March 2016
Our family on campus has multiplied from 3 to 9 this year with the addition of TWO families volunteering and 2 teachers who have moved to the property to be closer to work (and avoid the infamous scenic but bumpy daily bus ride). We’re feeling blessed beyond all that we could ask or imagine. As we study together, we were recently considering Philip whose calling started out as a deacon serving tables, changed to “home” missionary evangelist to Samaria, called next as “foreign” missionary to an Ethiopian…in the middle of nowhere, and then came to a point where he was transported by God Himself (no dusty bumpy bus rides for this guy!) to Azotus, where he had a decision to make regarding which direction to pursue next–back to first ministry, back to Samaria, or back to hometown. As with Philip, sometimes our specific calling may change; we constantly discover here how all that we did before in the states prepared us for what we’re doing here, though we had no idea at the time, which reminds us that all that we’re doing now is preparing us for God’s future plans for us. This highlights the necessity of living in the moment, both being and doing all that God has called us to with all of our hearts, souls, and minds “all for the glory of God”.
We’re thoroughly enjoying 2016 with our students, teachers, and volunteers. The new 7th graders are tiny, adorable, very affectionate, and very dedicated this year. We’re amazed at how much the students grow and change from one year to the next, especially evident when we took the sponsor photos last week and compared them to last year’s photos. But even more we love seeing the spiritual and academic growth . The teachers are doing well, employing great strategies, adding engaging activities, and students are very actively involved! It’s great to see such interest, enthusiasm, and productivity! We thank you for your role in this success–both financially and prayerfully. Know that we pray for you and thank God for you. May crooked ways be made straight, rough ways smooth, mountains & hills be made low, and valleys rise up to meet you.
TAKE YOUR STAND
As I went out to sit on “my” patio, I became an enemy…of a mother bird feeding her babies up in the rafters. With each entry and exit, she swooped menacingly closer and closer to intimidate me and defend “her” territory and her babies. The aggressive bird prompted me to ask of us believers, “Are we willing to tenaciously defend the territory where God has “planted” us against the enemy Satan, ruler of the kingdom of the air (Ephesians 2:2), who has limited power and authority in this world domain?” In Ephesians 6:11, Paul advised, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. ” The challenge is to defend our territory, to fight for the souls, the lives of all God’s children in our communities…with love, with grace, with compassion, with joy, with powerful and effective prayer and authority. May we accept the calling, the challenge to dare to be different, to be salt and light!
We have been called, all of us, to stand in the gap, to pray for the souls of the students, teachers, and families of IER. Thanks to your faithfulness and through the teaching of the Word, students are learning to be courageous, stand strong in faith, rely on our faithful Father, forgive, and persevere. Teachers are holding firm to faith, maintaining a positive attitude, and serving as marvelous role models for students in the face of ever-increasing government demands. God is teaching us to be thankful, content, patient and kind…to demonstrate His love.
With the completion of the graduation ceremony yesterday, we are pleased to announce the fulfillment of another successful, blessed school year. God has given us an incredible year of witnessing His powerful Presence totally transforming lives! We’ve had the honor of hosting wonderful groups who have been tremendously used by God to impact our lives! It is such a treasure to be involved in what He’s doing here at IER.
Spectacular thanks for all of your special September prayers for us! Recap of the successes God blessed us with as a result of your prayers:
9/5 – So many proud parents celebrated their 129 honor roll students at our end-of-quarter meeting for grade report distribution.
9/8 – Seniors honored their literacy students in the La Ceiba literacy parade followed by a certificate ceremony.
9/10 – Freshmen organized a fabulous, fun-filled Children’s Day celebration with the K-6 students of La Colorado, and fortunately the rain held off until we were approximately halfway into our hour-long hike back to the school!
9/12,13,15 – Great gratitude for Mark Younger & his countless hours invested in the IER band to prepare not only for our IER Independence Day parade, but also for the other 2 parades for which we were asked to provide the marching music.
9/17 – Special thanks to College Park Baptist Church for providing the gifts for our superb, dedicated teachers for Teachers’ Day.
9/26 – Juniors hosted a fabulous farewell luncheon for the seniors before their month-long internship in La Ceiba to practice all of the computer skills they’ve mastered.
What an action-packed, blessing-filled month!! Sometimes it feels like our hands aren’t big enough to catch all of the blessings! God is so amazing, and we THANK YOU!!