Each year College Park Christian Academy located in Columbia, Missouri, picks a spiritual theme. This year we have chosen the theme Under Construction. Every Friday at chapel you can hear the kids sing, “He’s still working on me…” And even during this time of COVID challenges, our school has been blessed through opportunities providing evidence that God is working at CPCA.
When the school year began, we anticipated about 50 students. However, due to various reasons, as the start of school approached, a few families chose not to enroll and instead of reaching our goal we began with four classrooms and fewer students than hoped for. When September rolled around and our local public school remained virtual, several families—specifically those with students in kindergarten—began to inquire about our program.
Within a few weeks there was enough interest to move forward in adding a fifth classroom, pending teacher hiring. Two Adventist teachers in our community were willing to each teach part-time and a date was set to separate our transitional kindergarten/kindergarten class into two classrooms. With teachers hired and a start date on the calendar, families on the waiting list were notified of the new availability. Unfortunately, one by one, the families responded that they had made other arrangements. One family that did show interest needed after-school care that could not be accommodated by our campus.
Personally, that was a difficult time for me. I questioned my leadership and spent a few sleepless nights calling out to God asking Him why we were led down this path. I questioned if we would be able to afford to keep the additional staff and felt a heavy weight of failure resting on my shoulders.
When I reached the point that I could personally claim no credit for the growth of our school, then God began to work in mighty ways. One parent shared with a friend that our school was expanding and had openings in the kindergarten class. That one conversation led to a tour and a family enrolling. Before that new family even made it home, they spoke to another family, and soon our phone and email were buzzing. Families with kindergarteners and families who did not need after-school care were touring our school and signing up left and right. Days were filled with teaching and afternoons were filled with meeting new families who were eager to have their children attend school in-person.
When our transitional kindergarten class opened their doors in late September, our kindergarten classroom was full of new friends, too. Loyal parents who positively promote our school provide the best recruitment. God was showing His plan for College Park Christian Academy, but He wasn’t finished yet.
As the year progressed and the public school remained virtual, classes at CPCA filled and waiting lists grew. In December, God led us to convert our chapel into a sixth classroom. When we resumed in January, our enrollment was nearly double that from the first day of school. During this time of COVID there are challenges as we have limited class sizes and are required to meet the local ordinances; however, this year is also a testament that God is blessing our school. Not only did God provide the students, but He inspired a teacher from our local community to come out of retirement to meet the needs of our expanding school.
Not only is God growing our school, but He has led 17 of our students to participate in baptismal classes. God has blessed us through grant opportunities and numerous donations. He is working on my heart, to show that CPCA is His school and I don’t need to worry. God does provide and we are blessed. “He’s still working on me…” and CPCA and those in our community as we build our faith and increase our ministry.
As we plan for 2021-2022, it is interesting to note that the first families to sign up for the new school year are some of our community families who chose CPCA for in-person learning, and their positive experience has promoted re-enrollment. While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know the One who holds the future in His hands. Please join us in praying for CPCA and all of our Adventist schools as God continues working on our campuses and in our communities.