March 12, 2013
by Pavlina Davis
After working with the Kingdom Message Ministry School in the Philippines for almost three years, my husband and I were given the opportunity to go, see, and touch that which we have been involved in from the comfort of our home office. To say that we were excited upon hearing the news of our traveling would be an understatement.
A major part of our stay in the Philippines was spent in the Kingdom Message Ministry School. There had been some changes implemented into the general operation during the past year and our desire was to better understand the school’s establishment, its operations and efficiency of the processes. Since June 2012 the school has been fully financially supported by the brethren and friends from the United States, Europe, and Africa. And so, part of our investigation was also aimed at fulfilling the legal requirements of the respective countries (mainly the United States) to perform organizational and financial audits. We have looked into the governance of the school, operational management, organizational structure, performance and financial management, administrative systems, risk management, curriculum, etc. We have been very pleased to find much documentation and processes in place in such a way that it would pass the test in any developed country. Those items that didn’t match the standards of best practices will be implemented step by step in the next few months (e.g. regular fire drills).
It was said by external (ministry of education) and internal (staff) personnel that KMMS is one of the better schools in the area. The staff has a great desire to work together in order to impart Godly principles into the children and teach them how to love God. The teachers appreciate the liberty not only to be able to teach the children good manners and principles as other Christian schools do, but also to teach the Bible as a subject and its application to one’s life.
Most of the children in the school come from the very poorest of the poor. In order for them to qualify for sponsorship, they have to submit a government document that is given only to the indigent population. In addition to this, only a simple look at the children and their parents/guardians and the visible lack of nutrition shows their desperate need. One wishes there was more we could do for them (e.g. provide more feeding programs, vitamins, etc.), but we rejoice in what God has given to us at this time. It is such a blessing to hear the 4-year olds recite the whole passages of the Bible, or to see the teacher using fractions during math class to teach the little ones about God sharing His Son with us and how we can share with others.
One of our team members, Brother Chijioke Nwauche who travels to many African countries, stated that the classrooms were very well equipped with teaching materials (posters, etc.) in comparison to most African schools. Upon further investigation we learned that all these materials were the teachers’ private property as the school didn’t have enough finances to provide for these. We truly appreciate the teachers’ personal sacrifice!
Shortly before we embarked on our trip back to our base in the U.S., we were able to meet a lady who will assume the position of a principal (part-time) in June 2013. The ministry of education had tolerated us not having a principle for these three years, but this time had come to an end. The new principal has 30+ years of experience in education (first as a teacher, then as a principal, and finally, as a superintendent). We all (but the teachers the most!) are very much looking forward to having her on board.
One of the major difficulties the school is facing at the moment is its premises. As the number of students grows, so does the need for more space. Also, the teachers are asking, “Please, can we do something with the classrooms (better ventilation, space, lighting, etc.) so that the children can think better?” Even though we will be working on a few building updates during the summer months (April, May), we know we will not be able to remain in the same rented building for much longer. Our desire is to have our own school premises with lots of space not only in the classrooms so that the teachers could actually walk in between the students’ desks, but also outside so that the children would have a place to play and exercise. Please pray with us with regard to this need as we know God will provide for that which is in His heart.
Overall, the visit to the school has proved to be very profitable. There is a great willingness of all parties to co-operate and bring the school to the next level. It is a real pleasure to see the life of God being imparted into the Filipino next generation, especially those in great need.