The benefits of Adventist Christian education were extolled at this year’s Education Rally which was held under the theme ‘ Mission First, I will Go’ . The guest speaker was Pastor Melvin Francis, Executive Secretary of East Jamaica Conference (EJC) who titled his sermon, ‘Keeping Christian Education Christian’.
The rally showcased students and teachers from the five preparatory schools and one high school owned by the Conference and featured testimonials from a student, a parent and a principal that together gave powerful evidence that God keeps His promises as long as we remain faithful and true to his Word.
“Christian education is battling an inferiority complex a midst a popular academic culture,” said Francis at one point during his message. “We are battling the game of schools,” he added, explaining afterwards that this is the game where teachers, students and parents are more interested in high grades than character building. “They are more interested in passing exams and getting higher test scores than giving the values laid out in the Word of God to our young people,” he said.
“Keeping christian education christian is not easy, because there is a devil whose intention it is to bring down christian education,” Francis said. He posited that children today are desperately lonely because to a large extent “kids are growing up alone” and many are being exposed to satanic influences and themes through the television, popular music and videos of the day.
“Today’s young people are tormented by loneliness, controlled by sex, fascinated with Satan and used to suicide. Satanic themes and symbols and darkness run through much of the music that our young people listen to and their videos are filled with them. One young man summed it up this way when he said, “kids in our schools think Satan is a lot more Interesting than God.”
Putting on his best preaching voice and standing upon the authority of God’s word, Francis declared without apology that “In times like these, we need a Savior, an anchor and the Bible.” He was quick to assure the congregation that despite all the challenges that we are confronted with that we have an anchor in Jesus Christ.
Education Director, Dr. Donna Brown was beaming with excitement when she addressed the church during the rally. She was more than happy to see the church filled with teachers, students and their parents all working together for the common cause of training their children in the fear of the Lord.
“You might be wondering why I am so excited this morning and why I have this passion as I get up to greet you,” Brown said but she was quick to disclose the reason for her joy. “I am having this passion because today at the Washington Gardens SDA Church, I am seeing the manifestation of God’s Holy Words where the three institutions , the home, the school and the church are coming together to save mankind. What a powerful message”, she added.
Principal of the Kingsway High and Prep. School, Mrs. Alethia Williams who has been working at the school for the past twenty years, shared her personal testimony of the challenge she faced with her son, D’Lajauni, when it was time to make the decision for him to attend high school.
“I was put to the test when my son was in grade six (at Kingsway Prep. School) and my family members began to ask, “Where are you going to be sending the boy for high school ?”, Williams said.
She disclosed that her son signed up for the top schools in Kingston and when the results came “he was the top boy” and he was placed in the school of his choice. “Everybody was celebrating, including me,” Williams said. She went on to share that she took her son to the high school that he passed for and even allowed him to go on the tour of the new school campus but she decided to put God to the test.
“When September morning came, he was wondering why he was not going to the school of his choice that he passed for, Williams disclosed, “but I decided that I was going to be obedient,” she added. “When my son found out that he was going to come back to the same place at Kingsway, he rebelled. He promised that he was going to fail deliberatly every subject that he was going to be taught at Kingsway High School. And so the pressure was on from even my family members who were Seventh-day Adventists. Some said “how can you allow the boy to study so hard and you are not going to send him to the school of his choice ? “”
After seeking direction from the Lord, Williams said they enrolled her son at Kingsway HIgh school and the Lord inspired her to sign him up for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) in first form since he had communicated that he was going to fail everything in school.
“He was the first first former to sit CXC at Kingsway High School,” Williams said. “His grade for that first CXC subject that he was planning to fail was a grade 1 with a straight “A” profile.” Before he reached fifth form, he had six CXC subjects and he graduated from Kingsway High School with thirteen subjects,” Williams said with a smile.
Mrs. Williams was proud to share that her son who was a student from the Kindergarten Division of Kingsway Prep. School, is now enrolled at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) where he is currently pursuing his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate Degree in Forensic Science .
“When we believe in God and claim his blessings, God tells us that he will open to us the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing,” Williams said.