In a previous blog, I highligted the journey the school has made from nomadic borrowers to proud property owners. Most of you are especially aware of the events over the past seven years, and in particular, the changes since last school year. But, just in case,let me recap...
Seven years ago, HCA did not own a bulding of its own. We did own a tract of land, but it was across town, and we ended up selling it for a loss, so let's go on the assumption that seven years ago, we owned nothing of value, other than desks, chairs, a few computers, and a bus. Since then, in a seven year period, the school has obtained 15 acres of land and three large buildings, which comprise the campus you enjoy today. The total value of these properties is over $7 Million, of which we only still owe about $1.2 Million.
This remarkable statistic amazes me as I write this, even though I was there to see it all unfold. I can remember several board meetings back in the day when we all sat around a table and discussed creative ways to make sure we would be able to pay our faculty that month. At that moment in time (only about 10 years ago), our current campus was no more than a distant dream. We certainly had more immediate survival needs to address.
Now, here we sit on a beautiful piece of property in Northwest Hickory, enjoying space that belongs to us, and watching over 450 children receive a Classical Christian education. I have to admit, there were times when I doubted it could ever happen, and even now, I am not sure exaclty how it did. One thing I do know for certain is that God has chosen to shed grace on this place, which has truly been a joy to experience first-hand. Ephesians 3:20 says that God provides for us more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. That power is obviously the Holy Spirit, but it is interesting to me that Paul points out that His power dwells within us.
In other words, the Spirit of God is able to do amazing, incomprehensible things through His people. Many times, we are on the search for a miracle to poof out of a cloud, when the answer actually lies within us: the power of God. You see, God saves us for His glory (Isaiah 43:25), which means that He plans to use us in God-sized ways which would otherwise be beyond our normal ability level. God is glorified when humans understand that apart from Him, they can do nothing (John 15:5) AND when they realize that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength (Phil. 4:13).
The latest example of this power of God working through people at HCA has unfolded before your eyes this fall. Every day over the past month, as you round the hairpin turn at the end of the gravel lot, you have watched trees fall, dirt leveled, and a playground rise (navy, gold, and white by the way). For 19 years, HCA students have played in parking lots all over Hickory. We have endured asphalt burns, fire lane sign cuts, and curb ankle syndrome (the only documented cases have been HCA kids). God recently laid it on the heart of a grandparent in the school to do something about this. So, what you see now is a one-acre field (or at least it will be a field, once we get grass to grow) for kickball and cartwheels, behind a real-deal playground with custom colored big-time equipment for kids to be kids.
For years, we have been concerned about the fact that our kids have had very little space to run and play, but we really did not have the resources to do anything about it. The power of the Holy Spirit, working through a family member of HCA students took us beyond anything that we could have thought up on our own, just as the scripture says. Isn't it reassuring that God is always right? I am including a few before & after pictures below. Enjoy the change, and please make sure your children know that we serve a Great Big God, who loves us so much that He even cares about the little details of our lives, and not only meets them, but exceeds them, time and time again.
(By the way, allow me to express a special "thank you" to the men who came last Thursday to spread mulch until dark. What a blessing! Thanks guys.)
|The back of the property before|
|The back of the property now|