Right now, our school is going through a transition period. Many of you who keep up with us on Facebook have heard the rumblings, and I am sure you are curious as to just what is going on. Well, to begin with, I (Jen) am leaving at the end of this year. It's not because I no longer believe in this vision or that I am leaving for some fancy job that pays more. Quite the contrary. Over the past few months, God has made several things clear to me. First, my gifting lies in creating things. I love the challenge of putting the puzzle pieces together and the creative problem solving that goes into starting something from scratch. I feel that I have fulfilled that part of my mission here and am now ready to hand off leadership to someone who will take the school to the next level. Second, I feel strongly God calling me to a time of respite. Quiet moments are few and far between when you work in a school, and yet it is in those quiet moments that the Lord speaks. I feel that God wants me to take some time at home to listen. I will be taking on a few freelance projects, but mainly I am going to let my mind and body rest from all the toil of the last few years and dream about what the next creative project will be.
Of course, when an organization is in transition, sometimes people experience fear. At first, our parents and students were afraid that the school would close if I were not here to lead it. They then shook off that initial reaction and stepped up. There are so many exciting things that are happening right now because this group of parents and students believes in our school. The two main challenges facing our school are, of course, leadership and finances. It is amazing how God is providing for those. Within a week of announcing that I was leaving, we have already been contacted by Mason experts who are interested in leading Willow Tree. We have also had a donor pledge to match, dollar for dollar, any money raised through fundraisers or tax-deductible private donations through the end of the school year, up to $10,000. Our students have pledged their allowances, birthday money, and money from jobs and chores. That's how much they love their school! The parents are coming together to plan fundraisers, including a car wash this weekend in Boiling Springs. God's hand has been on Willow Tree from the very beginning, and it is there still. As a matter of fact, we will have our first batch of Willow Tree graduates next year!
So what do we still need? Well, there are several things. First, we need your prayers that God will continue to provide and guide. Second, we need for you to help us double that $10,000 by sending in a tax-deductible donation to Willow Tree Community School, PO Box 753, Boiling Springs, NC 28017. Third, we need students--particularly in grades 9-10 and in elementary school--in order to remain sustainable long-term. Now I know that the tuition seems like a lot for middle class families, but, really, it is about the cost of day care. You probably afforded it once, and most likely you can afford it again. We have several kinds of financial aid to offer, including the NC Opportunity Scholarship. If you are interested in finding out more, please give me a call and we can set up an appointment.
Sure, there are big changes happening at Willow Tree, but big changes are not necessarily a bad thing. They are more like an adventure. This one is a page-turner, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds!