Dear Friends and Partners;
This has truly been a year unlike any other. Or has it? Ecclesiastes 2:9 says, “There is nothing new under the sun!” Deadly diseases and global unrest are nothing new really. But for most of us, these are perhaps some of the most difficult times we have faced personally.
Here in the Philippines our year kicked off with a nearby volcano erupting, devastating entire towns and affecting thousands of families. It threatened much worse destruction, but thankfully settled down. Then, just as we were getting past that, COVID-19 erupted. The impact this has had on life and ministry here can hardly be overstated.
For Frontline Christian Academy (FCA) the challenges are immense. The government has chosen not to allow face-to-face classes for the entire school year. All schools are required to transition to online/modular classes or close-down. Sadly, many have already closed. FCA is capable of the transition in terms of technology and determination. We are hard-working, smart, and committed. But private schools have experienced an unprecedented wave of students transferring to public schools. Parents believe online schooling will all be equal, so they might as well avail of the free public courses. But public teachers were already overwhelmed with some 60 students per class, in poor facilities and a lack of quality resources. Now they will be expected to manage and teach 80-100 students under much harder circumstances.
Nevertheless, the exodus of some 400,000 students has left private schools reeling, and we are no exception. Roughly 50% of our students have transferred. And this is just as we are finishing up phase one of our new school building. As you can imagine, with a beautiful and better facility we had anticipated a large increase in students. It was important too because, for the first time in our ministry history, we leveraged financing to finish construction and we now carry a monthly mortgage.
This sure is not how we imagined a joyous transition to our new school. It’s been a long journey to finally see the new school become a reality – only to face it being painfully void of students this year. At times I have asked God why. Why like this? Why now? But then I realize that even if He explained it all, I wouldn’t understand; that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.
So we are facing a financial deficit this year with the loss of so many students. We’ll need miracles to make it through. I don’t know how we’ll manage to pay our amazing and faithful teachers (many of whom are the breadwinners of their families). But I have come to accept that all I can do as a leader is to take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and keep looking to God for covering, favor, and solutions.
Still, there are things to be thankful for: I am thankful for the courage and faith of our faculty and staff. They are such troopers! Willing to do whatever necessary to help carry this burden. My family is well also, and I recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I’m also thankful though we do not know exactly what the future holds, we do know Who holds the future.
Would you please put us on your prayer list? Pray that God makes a way for us to get through this, and to make the $3000 monthly mortgage payments (or find funding to pay off the entire $270,000 loan). We trust the Lord to touch groups or individuals who can and want to help FCA remain operational until this storm passes.
We are also praying for you! And we’re so thankful for all our partners. We count you as our dear friends and family in Christ. Thank you for standing with us.
Working while it’s day,
Rhoda Lynn (Pessina) Dayo
Director of Education Ministries
Philippine Frontline Ministries, Inc.
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