Hello family and friends,
We hope you are doing well! Over the past six weeks, COVID restrictions have gradually loosened in the Manila area, so Faith Academy has slowly been able to increase the amount of face-to-face activities at school. Hybrid learning is in full-swing, after school activities (including sports!) have begun, and life is beginning to resemble pre-pandemic life.
We have really enjoyed getting to know our students more and seeing them adjust to being in school again. Several of them had not seen their friends in almost two years! Many of our students have said that they get more work done at school than they did while working at home, so they are able to rest in the evening. It seems as though our students have better work/life boundaries than during the pandemic. However, some students are still struggling with intense social anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Please pray that our students will see God’s love reflected by their teachers in the classroom.
Britt has enjoyed teaching a unit on identity in her Christian Living class. Learning about one’s identity is a huge topic! Some of the students are really enjoying this “deep heart work,” while it is quite intimidating for others to ask soul-level questions like “who am I?” and “what is my purpose in life?” One thing that God has taught her recently is she does not need to see the “fruit” (results) of her work, but to be faithful and obedient with what has been entrusted to her. Please pray that God would give Britt wisdom to know how to care for her students, and to keep an eternal perspective as she teaches.
We are thankful that after-school sports have begun! For now, Grady is coaching volleyball and Brittany is coaching swimming. Coaching is a big passion of ours as we consider it a powerful opportunity for discipleship. Speaking from experience, sports have been great avenues for us to learn important life skills. While students don’t always want to be in class, it is rare to have athletes on sports teams who don’t want to be there.
We are also realizing how much time coaches get to spend with their athletes, and we have already begun to see the impact that coaching can have. For example, one of Grady’s Church History students used to not engage much in his course, but since having him as a volleyball coach, she is participating more actively and asking more questions during class. Please pray for more opportunities to build relationships and share life with our athletes.
At our recent all-staff meeting, we got to hear from the Head of School and learn some of the school-wide goals for the future. One of the things that stood out to us is that Faith Academy wants to understand the demographics of the student body better, so that the school can meet the diverse needs of its community. In particular, Faith is seeking to understand and support its Chinese national students whose parents are ministry workers (primarily pastors) in China. Approximately 10% of the student body is Chinese, and they foresee this percentage to rise in the future. This excites us because we are reminded of the far-reaching gospel impact that our school has. Please pray that we as a school would figure out ways to best meet the needs of our Chinese students and families.
A Grade 11 student has spent this semester working on creating a piece honoring her time at Faith Academy. She says of the piece, “Different pieces of sticks (different color, size, shape) come together to form one complete art piece. This is how I think of Faith… we all look different and we all come from different backgrounds. But we all unite and form one community. For the same purpose!”
Britt enjoys working alongside Hasina Boulter, who is the head swim coach at Faith Academy.
Other Prayer Requests
Prayer for continued growth, protection, and unity in our marriage.
Please pray for the upcoming Philippine election in May.
Pray for safety and for the strengthening of the Church in this time.
Thank you so much for your prayer and support. It really means a lot to us!
Much love, Britt and Grady