Sunnydale Adventist Academy could fill a warehouse with the stories of how God has worked and moved to bring students to our campus. From the early beginnings of our school, students contributed hard labor and what little money they had just to stay in school. In later years, donors began to contribute so that students could attend. Guardians, parents, churches, alumni and businesses have continued to work together to provide Christian education for any student who wants to come, no matter their religion, race or economic circumstances. Because of that our campus has had the opportunity to introduce students to Jesus and invite them into a personal relationship with Him.
One story that illustrates this point beautifully is the story of three brothers: John, Tony and Pete.* John, the oldest child in his family, was sent to Sunnydale by his parents because they wanted him to have a better future away from the difficulties faced by refugee families in inner city America. With the help of sponsors and donors, John was able to attend and graduate from Sunnydale. He was followed by his brother Tony.
After the initial adjustment to boarding school life, Tony accepted Jesus as his Savior and began to make important, intentional decisions about how he lived his life at home and at school. He has participated in evangelistic seminars, Campus Ministries, Bible studies and campus leadership. He has worked hard during the summer and every break from school in order to pay a portion of his educational expenses. His hard work is paying off as he improves his future and his personal skills.
This school year his younger brother, Pete, has joined the SAA family. Tony recently asked for a meeting with our VP of Finance to inform them that it is his goal to pay for his and his brother’s education for this school year by working every home leave. When asked why he sees this as important, Tony says, “Sunnydale is important to me and my family because it has built us to be the strong individuals we are today, both physically and spiritually.” What a blessing to know that God is working in the hearts and minds of our students. What a blessing to see that the monies that we are impressed to give are being used to glorify God!
The stories we could tell of how God is working in students, families, staff and alumni are too numerous to put into a book, let alone a simple article. These stories being woven on campus daily are part of the tapestry we will see someday in our heavenly home. Won’t it be wonderful to meet a new friend in heaven who will say to you, “God used your gifts to introduce me to Jesus. Thank you!”
Kristen Kuehmichel is the communication and development director for Sunnydale Adventist Academy.
*names have been changed