am writing this Welcome on April 3, 2020, not knowing what the state of Adventist education will look like in June, when you receive this newsletter. However, what I do know is this: Jesus, while talking to his Disciples in a time of doubt and anxiety commanded, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me” John 14:1 (NIV). While continuing his conversation with the disciples, Jesus drives home the point once again in John 14:27 (NIV), “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus is speaking to us today. Unbelievable and unprecedented things have taken place and are taking place. And, yet, in all that is transpiring we can have peace and we do not have to be afraid. Praise God!
Adventist educators across the NAD stepped up to the plate and delivered, without exception. Early Childhood, into Elementary, onto Secondary, through College, Graduate School, and the Adventist Colleges Abroad program, educators found new and creative ways to continue the Adventist education of its children, youth, and young adults. Most educators left their comfort zones and provided some form of distance learning, allowing students space, time, and hope to finish the school year and prepare for tomorrow. These few months have seen remarkable growth for both educators and families. This time period will be known as something different; teaching and learning in COVID-19.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your patience, perseverance, creativity, faith, and sacrifice. You are currently in the process of planning and strategizing to finish up this school year while planning for the next.
I leave you with this thought and truth from the pen of Ellen G White, “’Something better’ is the watchword of education, the law of all true living. Whatever Christ asks us to renounce, He offers in its stead something better. Often the youth cherish objects, pursuits, and pleasures that may not appear to be evil, but that fall short of the highest good. They divert the life from its noblest aim. Arbitrary measures or direct denunciation may not avail in leading these youth to relinquish that which they hold dear. Let them be directed to something better than display, ambition, or self-indulgence. Bring them in contact with truer beauty, with loftier principles, and with nobler lives. Lead them to behold the One “altogether lovely.” When once the gaze is fixed upon Him, the life finds its center. The enthusiasm, the generous devotion, the passionate ardor, of the youth find here their true object. Duty becomes a delight and sacrifice a pleasure. To honor Christ, to become like Him, to work for Him, is the life’s highest ambition and its greatest joy.” Education p. 296
As we enter a new paradigm of education delivery and practice, let us take this challenge with us.
Prayers and courage,
Arne Nielsen, Vice President for Education
Arne Nielsen, M.Ed.
Vice President of Education
Arne P. Nielsen believes that the real object of education, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is to transform the lives of students and “restore in man the image of his Maker …promoting the development of body, mind, and soul.”
Arne holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Andrews University and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University. He plans to resume his studies in the Leadership PhD program at Andrews University.
Dear North American Division Educators:
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