Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Development Meetings in North Carolina

We arrived in Greensboro NC late Sunday night and headed over to David and Jill Mayer's house in Clemmons. The Mayer's are mission partners of the Stinnette's and are very interested in helping the school. I appreciated very much their hospitality. Our purpose to be there was to meet with some of our board members (Bill Schuit flew down from New Jersey and Howard Merrell drove from Virginia) our grant writer and researcher (Katherine Currie drove over from Winston-Salem) and the Mayers (David is an architect who has volunteered to design our campus and Jill is an English teacher) to discuss a development plan for raising finances for the school and how we will use the finances to create a campus that will better meet the needs of our students. Our board had already approved a basic plan for this but we needed to "flesh out" the plan quite a bit.

David Mayer presented a design for the campus that would include the adjoining property that we hope to purchase, beautiful buildings (classrooms, library, admin, dorms and faculty housing), roads and parking and green areas. It was very exciting to me to see stuff, that had been only in my head, actually on paper. We have a lot of work to do and money to raise to make the picture a reality, but I am confident that as God has done miracles to get us this far, He will finish the process. We have already seen God move in a mighty way already to bring us people and resources and we expect to see more of it in the future.

One other development from the meeting was the finalization of our plans for our Summer Certificate in Basic English program on the Guam campus. Thanks to Skype, Jill and I were able to conference with Melody Plaxton on Guam. Our plan is to have Melody and Jill run an 8-week intensive CBE program on the Guam campus in June and July. The program will enable students from the Micronesian islands, Guam and Asia to raise their English level to qualify for entrance into PIU's (or other schools') regular programs. In addition, we hope to have other students who will be trying to improve their English level to enter Guam's job market.  We have already been able to recruit some ESL teachers here in the US who will come to Guam as summer missionaries for this project. Qualifying students will be able to use Title IV funds for this program. We are also working on getting grant money for students who do not qualify for Pell funds. We hope to have 40-60 students depending on how many teachers and staff we have recruited. We will be doing some student recruiting for the program next.

After two days of meeting I think we had everyone pretty much on the same page regarding the steps we need to take to develop PIU into what we think God is calling us to do. Please be in prayer for us as we move forward to raise the money and implement the plans. 

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