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McClung News Journal
January 2003
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How It All Started...Page 1
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Page 6-Big Day
Page 7-Dengue
Page 8-Recovery
Page 9
10-Thanxgivin'
11-Christmas
Page 12
Easter
April/May
End of First Year
Back in 'Nam
September '02
Better Sept
October '02
Autumn '02
November '02
Dec/Jan '03
January 2003
Feb/March '03
April '03
May '03
Trinidad Trip
School's Out Again
Sept. '03
Sept. Part 2
Oct/Nov '03
Nov '03
Dec '03
Jan 2004
Feb/March '04
April/May '04
Leaving Suriname
FUN PAGE

Wed, 29 Jan 2003

Greetings Dear Friends in Christ's name!
                                    
                                    Well, I guess this additional letter is a result of my slacking off 
                                    last month--(looks like I'm catching up now).  It has been said that every 
                                    failure is a result of failure to pray, so I am asking you to join us 
                                    on our knees and pray with us regarding a few situations happening here.
                                    
                                    A lot has happened here in the past 2 weeks, so I will speed you up to 
                                    date.  Last week, Joe Hale (the founder of NICS) came here for a rare 
                                    visit.  I will help you understand  where he fits in...NICS or the 
                                    Network of International Christian Schools is our 'umbrella' mission 
                                    organization--we are NICS teachers and the American Cooperative School (ACS) 
                                    is under the NICS umbrella.  ACS just joined NICS about 3 years ago, so 
                                    ACS is fairly new to the organization.  As you know, we've had some 
                                    major difficulties with our school board in the past.  These difficulties 
                                    have been prayed over and resolved through God's intervention--so 
                                    things were good...Now Joe comes in for his visit.  He explains to the staff 
                                    that there are basically 2 types of NICS schools--Type A--where NICS is 
                                    the sovereign head of the school and makes all the decisions for the 
                                    school, and Type B--where the school is run by a local school board.  ACS 
                                    is a Type B school.  The proposal presented to us, was to transform our 
                                    school to a Type A school.  This sounds promising at face value--no 
                                    more board squabbles, right?  However, other problems arise in this 
                                    situation (too many to mention).  Joe met with the school board for an entire 
                                    day and laid things out on the table--basically, ACS becomes a Type A 
                                    school or NICS pulls out--along with its teachers/principal.  It was 
                                    also announced that our principal, Dr. Martens, would be retiring after 
                                    this school year.  That was a lot to swallow last week.
                                    
                                    Now, to add to the quagmire...this week (right now), there is a man 
                                    from the US State Department here at our school to train the board on 
                                    conflict resolution and how to run a board meeting.  The US State Dept. has 
                                    its eyes on our school too because they have a vested interest in us.  
                                    They have 'donated' money for our new science lab and 'donated' library 
                                    books to our school library--but these donations seem to have some 
                                    strings attached.  We have a lady from the US Embassy on the school board, 
                                    and the embassy is concerned over the appearance of squabbling US 
                                    citizens.  Heaven knows that we don't want our situation to reflect poorly 
                                    on US relations with Suriname.  The State Dept. also has a reputation of 
                                    over-taking "struggling" American international schools.  Once that 
                                    happens, because of the liberal stance of separation of church and state, 
                                    these schools no longer are classified as "Christian schools" but State 
                                    Dept. schools. 
                                    
                                    On top of all of this, we are trying to get our school accreditation 
                                    this year.  The accreditation process has been placed on hold due to the 
                                    conflicts of the school board.  That is the reason for our 2 visitors.  
                                    Both want accreditation for our school, as do the entire staff.  
                                    Accreditation is important for our students and teachers.  It helps students 
                                    being accepted into the US university system and it shows that the 
                                    teachers and schools meet US standards.
                                    
                                    So, as you see, we have much to pray over.  We are totally confident 
                                    that it is God's will for us to be here at ACS next year.  We do not 
                                    doubt that.  Several potential teachers have been in contact with the 
                                    school over the last several weeks.  We feel, if it was God's will for ACS 
                                    to close its doors, then teacher prospects would not be directed our 
                                    way. 
                                    
                                    So, we are requesting prayer for (1) the accreditation process, (2) 
                                    which direction God wants this board situation to go, (3) where God wants 
                                    us next school year,
                                    (4) the new teachers and housing for next year, (5) our students and 
                                    classroom situations, (6) Dr. Frank and Ruth Martens and their 
                                    transition, (7) the next principal of ACS, (8) our relationship with our 2 fellow 
                                    teachers that have major difficulties, and (9) new tenants for our home 
                                    in NC.
                                    
                                    On a good note, I gave the message to our local church a few weeks ago 
                                    and it was so well received that they have asked me to assist the 
                                    church with preaching one Sunday a month, so (10) God uses me in this 
                                    capacity.
                                    
                                    We continue to pray for President Bush and his leadership decisions and 
                                    our US servicemen.
                                    
                                    Thank you for praying with us.  Please share these needs with other 
                                    church members.
                                    
                                    In Him,
                                    
                                    John and Patricia
                                    

Feb/March '03