After being closed for three years, Muscatine Adventist Christian School reopened its doors this fall with nine students, five of whom are from the local community.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the school was doing well, but it steadily declined in enrollment throughout the decades until its closure in 2015.
However, 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.
Vonda Ludke, communication secretary for the Muscatine Church, posted information about the desire to reopen the school, and a news reporter from the local paper called wanting to know more. An article soon appeared in the local paper, followed by a call from a TV station in Davenport. Before long there was a segment on the evening news featuring plans to reopen the school.
It became clear God was leading, so an informational meeting was scheduled 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. Joe Allison, education superintendent for the Iowa-Missouri Conference, worked with the church and joined them in prayer.
In February the Muscatine Church voted to support reopening the school. Despite a slow holiday season, they managed to secure commitments for five students.
They still needed a teacher, though. An initial applicant didn’t make it to an interview, and months went by without anyone showing interest. A candidate from the Philippines was interviewed via Skype, but it would take months for her to secure a work visa. Sensing the urgency, the church gathered for prayer.
By late June, only a couple months away from the school’s opening, the school still didn’t have a teacher. About this time, Heidi Swayze, a highly sought-after Union College graduate, and her family moved to the Muscatine area. Although she had planned to stay home with her newborn, she felt impressed to apply, and she was hired. With a teacher hired and financial donations and pledges coming in, the final pieces of the puzzle were in place.
The Muscatine Church leadership and the school praise God for the school’s reopening and wish to thank those around the North American Division for their prayers throughout the last year.
For more information about Muscatine Adventist Christian School and other Iowa-Missouri Conference schools, visit imsda.org/schools.
Eddie Cabrera is pastor of the Davenport and Muscatine churches in Iowa.