Barner Christian Academy


Volume 12, No. 5


Seven of the names of our teaching staff sound like a song: Bing, Bong, Jo, Joy, Ed, El, and Elna (tee- dum, dee). The challenge before every school year begins is to find able, qualified Christian staff. After four of last year’s staff either transferred or died, Elvie and I prayed for replacements.

Then one morning a few days ago there was a knock on the door of our main school building. There stood one of my star graduates from the Bible College, Bong. He’d finished his four-year Bachelor’s degree in three, with top honors.

His internship had been as director of a rural Christian school of 200 pupils, and as interim pastor there. Yet after his internship, the church that had asked him to be their fulltime pastor had a last minute change of mind. So he came to apply at Barner Learning Center.

After consultation we accepted him in a five- fold category: 1) Teacher’s Aide, 2) Gym Coach, 3) School Chaplain, 4) Children’s Pastor (in the church), and 5) Follow-up pastor for the families of the sponsored pupils. Bong’s ideas are terrific, and he fits in well with the rest of the staff.

One bonus: since Bong is a large young man, and since I’ve lost 30 pounds since returning to Asia, I gave him many of my old pants that don’t fit me anymore!

God supplies for all of our needs!.”


“Pagsimba!” Sunday was Youth Day at church, and the service was run by the youth. After the service, the games began.

All on both teams were stumped by Elvie’s scrambled word “Mapbagis”. Suddenly the Revelation team surged ahead of the Genesis team when their answer “Pagsimba” (Cebuano for ‘worship’) was called out.

Competitions lasted four fun-filled hours, with the new believers demonstrating their Christian growth in Bible drills, Bible “telephone quiz”, hymn quiz, and General Bible (“Who killed Goliath?”). The grand finale was enthusiastic, as the memory verse competition brought a score of 108 complete verses to 50.

Elvie had prompted the new believers 8 months ago to be prepared for this competition, and now we see that these new believers really know their Bibles!


A high point in Filipino graduations is when honors are announced and distributed. “Valedictorian, Best in Math, Most Courteous, etc.” Yet the government has suggested that such competition in pre-elementary grades be absolved. Elvie proposed to the PTA that there be no ribbons, medals, or honors this year.

The parents agreed to the decision. Yet three days prior to graduation, murmuring arose among the parents as to a change of mind. They spoke of boycotting the exercises. Elvie held separate emergency meetings with the teachers, parents, and the president (me). We all decided to “bite the bullet” and follow-through with the PTA’s original decision.

On graduation day, 100% of the parents participated, and over 40 applied for summer school! Lessons learned: 1) even when PTA arrives at a unanimous decision, discussion should follow on any repercussions; 2) teachers will be consulted after PTA decisions to reinforce those decisions within the classroom; 3) governmental suggestions will be referred to via hard-copy handouts.

We are taking an authoritative, yet participational approach in running our Christian school. A verse I read in my devotions explains this:

“He told them, ‘consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality".

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Last edited September 02, 2002
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