Thursday, July 28, 2011

Farewell to Sungarden school

Last night I said farewell to Sungarden Nursery School.

I had served as the chairman of the Board for the past 3 years and served as an ordinary boardmember for 3 years prior to that.

Sungarden School had become part of my life. Along with an excellent team of people, and largely by the grace of God, we managed to build a new school in record-time and now look forward to expanding the school into a fully fledged, affordable, community primary school. Grades 1 and 2 are visioned to open in 2013.

To anybody who does not believe in miracles, I invite to simply come look at this school. Last year this time, we heard God's call to build a school on the property of Eastside Community Church. By end of August we got plans together and estimated that it would cost in the region of R1mil. Nobody had the money and we were smack-bang in the middle of the global economic recession. Furthermore, the plans needed to be approved and the necessary government and municipal regulations had to be met.

Well, where plans usually take months to approve, our were passed within 48 hours of submission. This in itself is a miracle. No special contacts, no bribes :-), just prayer and people committed to walking with the papers. The last outstanding amount on the building was paid in April. NO DEBT!!!

Was it a stressful time? Absolutely! Did it keep us on our knees? Like you cannot believe!!! The school is now operating AT A slight PROFIT (with 55 children), with room to grow (up to 100)!!! I cannot rejoice enough. Most important, the children are happy. This makes me happy and thankful that I had the opportunity to be part of the process.

The school has now been, with me stepping down as chair, completely handed over to Eastside Community Church.

There were moments in the process when I couldn't wait for this day, as one's patience was continuously tested by people, doubt and a general output of tremendous energy. This is not what I am feeling now. I shed a tear on the way home, but with great hope as I listened to our dreaming continuing of a school which is environmentally friendly, exposing children to the greenbelt which borders the school and allowing them the opportunity to enjoy nature within a safe context. My sincerest thanks go to the staff of Sungarden and of Eastside.

I look forward to sending Nathan to Grade 0 there next year.

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