2020: Heavenly Vision
A Year for Seeing
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” – I Cor. 13:12
2020 was frequently heralded as the year of “vision.” Ironically, the year that was touted as being one of “clarity” has been filled with challenges that no one could have ever foreseen. But while many will look back on 2020 and note only the hardships, we can see how God has worked through the difficulties to accomplish His purposes. Join us as we look back with heavenly perspective on the events of 2020—we think you’ll agree that even through the murky chaos of the year, God has been at work.
Seeing Increased Need in Asia
WCFS now is serving over 1,100 home-educated students globally. Most of our global students are from the Philippines and United Arab Emirates, where m
any Filipino families are living as expatriates. We began our ministry in the Philippines more than 10 years ago. However, their growth has surged in the last 4 years (we had less than 100 students there in 2015) due to changes in the Filipino education law.
Our affiliate, Homeschool Global/Homeschool Global Middle East, has worked very closely with the Filipino Department of Education to have our US-based high school diploma recognized as an alternative to the 2016 expansion of Filipino compulsory attendance to age 18. The new law requires two years of trade school (grades 11 & 12) be completed before a student could be accepted into any college or university. Students enrolled and completing our diploma program are exempt from the trade school requirements.
We need prayer for grace and wisdom to accomplish the work needed to support this surge in oversea enrollments. As with every growth spurt, we are making sure the new enrollments are processed and cared for without going beyond our “supply line.” But that is not the primary need.
Maintaining our Biblical Objectives is most crucial! We are blessed that the homeschool movement in the Philippines is largely being developed and led by very sincere evangelical Christians. Filipino homeschooling ministries are poised to positively impact the Philippines for Christ in one of the most core needs of this underdeveloped country. Please pray for them (and us) as we partner together to meet these needs!
Seeing Provision During a Pandemic
COVID-19 presented similar challenges to WCFS as faced by other educational institutions. We were forced to either move several events to online venues, or to postpone or cancel them altogether. We also worked hard to establish distance forms of communication via video platforms and provided numerous educational and practical resources to WCFS families homebound because of the state lockdowns. In lieu of our annual spring Family Heritage Expo, we hosted an online “Shine and Share” event in which WCFS families presented songs, testimonies, and school projects right from their homes via Livestream!
COVID-19 also brought an increase in new family enrollments for the 2020-2021 school year as families, both in Maryland and throughout the United States, sought a different educational platform than online public schooling. We expect this need will continue to grow as public school closures remain in place.
Last year we announced the need for an elevator to better serve the ADA needs of our less-mobile staff. We were blessed beyond measure with such an outpouring of love and sacrifice that fully met this budget goal. At this printing, the design phase is complete and our building plans are being submitted to the County for approval. Once we have the building permit in hand, the actual installation should be fairly short. Yes, COVID restrictions have cause huge delays, but hopefully, the worst is behind us.
Thanks to COVID-19, our building was vacant for a good length of time and we were finally able to install our blue-padded pews that had been in storage since 2012! School Board Member emeritus, Gideon Baugher, refinished our floors in prep for the elevator and pew installation. Graduates Jeremiah and Chastity Cox spent their summer in painting and refurbishing the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Add to the above the beautiful hand-made bathroom sink cabinets made by Dale Frierson, the building has a clean and fresh feel to it. We are very thankful to God for His kind provisions!
Seeing the Blessing of a Godly Heritage
Despite COVID-19 challenges, we were able to hold a closed commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. This “pillared” graduation was a joyous occasion to celebrate all that the Lord had done in these young people’s lives, and the fruition of the tender and godly care of their parents and grandparents.
COVID-19 did not keep us from commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrims’ voyage to America aboard The Mayflower. We were able to honor the Pilgrims and learn from their visionary sacrifice during this year’s Family Leadership Conference at Roxbury Holiness Camp in PA. Our theme “Boundaries of Faith” celebrated our heritage of religious liberty in this nation, particularly as reflected in home education. This year’s conference was also combined with a belated Expo, Field Day, and Picnic. It was blessed time of fellowship for all who attended!
With a growing concern over the lack of cultural understanding of America’s unique, Biblically-impacted system of government, we launched a new “Applied Citizenship 101” class offering for junior high and high school students. The class is held in conjunction with our bi-monthly Nathaniel Bowditch Mentoring Clinic, in which we have five students participating this year.
Seeing 2021: A Year of Continued Opportunity
We understand that 2021 is likely to have similar challenges as 2020; but it is also a year of great opportunity. Jesus is calling our attention to the fields that are ready for spiritual harvest (John 4:35). Please watch and pray with us that we would have eyes to see the needs that He sees, and that He would provide all that is necessary to finish the work He has started. Thank you for your prayers and support in our endeavor to help people all over the world treasure God’s design for their families!