It is easy to talk about the need for faith, but it is terrifying to be asked to walk by it. In the spring of 2011, God made it obvious to a small group of us that He wanted us to start a new Christian school that would emphasize reflecting His entire kingdom. This meant that all families regardless of their economic situations could send their children to our school. When the tuition barrier was broken, we found that we had not only economic diversity but also racial and denominational diversity.
It seemed so ridiculous to start a school when we had no financial resources to put toward the endeavor. All of us on the board of Community Christian Academy came from middle-class backgrounds where not only did we not have thousands of dollars to put towards a school but also we didn’t have friends who had thousands of dollars to donate to a school. As we prayed and fasted throughout the fall and winter of 2011/2012, we kept asking God how we were to create such a school. As we prayed, God continuously answered in the same way. “I didn’t ask you to figure it out; I asked you if you would obey and follow Me.” As we were willing to follow Him and move forward, God began to bring pieces together to start a school.
In February 2012, the Lord provided facilities for Community Christian Academy through circumstances that only God could have orchestrated. Unbeknownst to the board, the members of Alliance Bible Church in Charlottesville, Virginia were seeking God’s will for a new period in their church history. For decades, they had run a preschool program and had, in fact, built their church facility to house that school. However, six years ago, the church decided to close the school, and the facilities had been unused since then. God was raising a desire within the congregation to bring new life into the unused space. At just the perfect time, God brought the two entities together through some previously unknown mutual contact. Just in time to get the paperwork filled with the county to start a school, Community Christian Academy has a facility that was nearly fully furnished to begin school. We had furniture, art supplies, teaching materials, office supplies, afterschool games, and even toilet paper and cleaning supplies. As we thanked the Lord for providing facilities, He reminded us that He did not give us a facility; He gave us a school.
Like the Israelites, our faith was strong for only a short time. By June of 2012, we stilled lacked enough students and finances to hire teachers. We seriously considered delaying the opening of school for a year while we worked to raise funds since we had less than $100 in our bank account. Kimberly Moore, the Executive Director, called Melvin Adams of Renewanation to seek his advice at this crossroads. With his experience, Melvin cautioned that if we didn’t open the school now, we would likely never open the school. He suggested that we ask the teacher candidates we had if they would walk in faith with us knowing that they might work without being paid. While this wasn’t what we wanted for our faculty, we felt led to move in that direction. The top two candidates we had in mind could not afford to work without pay, but after they prayed and discussed the possibility with their spouses, both teachers stated that God had called them to teach at Community Christian Academy, and they were prepare to trust Him to take care of their needs whether or not the school could afford to pay them. With a handful of students, a furnished facility, and teachers willing to teach regardless of pay, God challenged the board with the idea that there is a difference between a rough road and an impasse. While the road is rough and will likely remain that way for some time, we had to open the school because we were not at an impasse.
Nearly a month ago, we started kindergarten through third grades with a dozen students. We did make our first payroll last week, and now we are praying for the rent money to come in. It is hard knowing that if God doesn’t do a miracle from week to week that we won’t have the funds for our bills, but so far, He has proven His faithfulness to meet each need as it comes along. To quote a friend of mine, “God does not give a vision without the provision.” For us, that means that we can offer a Christian education to any family who wants one for their children.