I’ve been a student, chaplain and board/council member at a number of Seventh-day Adventist schools. I have been the pastor of churches based in Adventist schools and a director and chair of an Adventist school system. My children have been students, my wife has been a teacher support person, bus driver and board member. My son is a chaplain now and one of my daughters is on maternity leave from being a chaplain/teacher at Adventist schools.
As a student I attended state schools when there was no Adventist school nearby and as a pastor I have taught religious education there. I have some experience of the alternatives and a reasonably broad perspective and I am a believer in the Seventh-day Adventist school system.
The original dream is still alive within Adventist schools in the South Pacific.
Adventist schools aren’t perfect; the staff and students are all too human at times. Inconsistent discipline, lack of integrity in living the values, lifestyle issues . . . are all real. But our pioneers established schools so we could produce missionaries to fuel the ongoing movement around the world. Adventist schools have values, they have a mission, they uphold Jesus and they teach and model our beliefs, including service. The original dream is still alive within Adventist schools in the South Pacific.
Adventist schools rank in the top three schools academically in at least four countries in the South Pacific. Schools consistently baptise staff, students and families—I’ve seen and heard the stories myself. The recent in-service gatherings for teachers and school staff in most conferences in Australia upheld Jesus and were focused on our spiritual mission. The Church recently honoured teachers in their ministry with special recognition in Tonga and Solomon Islands.
Allen is a Grade 4 drop-out and the cook for Jones Adventist School in the Western Solomon Islands. Since 2005 he has led more than 500 people (mostly students) to Jesus, studied the Bible with them and seen them give their lives in service to others. Our schools are still focused on making missionaries now and for eternity.