Congratulations to the first crop of graduates from Harvest Community School: Abbie Bruner and Delores McMillan! Read more about our first graduation at Manning Live.
Harvest has over forty students and eight people on staff and many volunteers! We have expanded to four classes plus high school! Plans are underway to create more office space this summer.
The staff and board of Harvest have achieved many important firsts in the past two years:
We are also delighted about what our community is becoming:
Stay tuned for more exciting news as the staff prepares for a new year!
God placed many lessons for parents and teachers in the outdoor life. Today, a student and I watched two mourning doves solve a problem. They landed between the water filter (black bin) and white bucket. The couple waddled to the edge of the mini-pool, peered into the splashing water, and realized they could not drink without taking a tumble. They did not frantically rush about nor flail. They cautiously strolled around the pool until they reached the waterfall. One took the lead, leaned over, and drank without mishap.
This morning, a similar thing happened with one of our students. His brother had fixed a breakfast sandwich for him. He took one bite of it in the car and then another, but rejected it because of mayonnaise. Sometimes, he likes mayo; sometimes, he does not. Today, he did not. Skipping breakfast is not an option for him because of headaches. So, when they arrived at school, his mom told him that he had to eat half the sandwich. Fuming and fussing, he did not process reasons why he needed to eat breakfast. Mayo is not my favorite condiment either, and I did not relish forcing a someone to chow down something I did not even like.
Like the doves, I did not rush the student over the edge and demand him to eat on command. I let him sit quietly and calm down. He turned to me and said, "Mrs. Tammy, can I wipe off the mayo?"
Happy to stall, I said, "Of course!"
He opened the sandwich slowly. Then, he pulled off a piece of meat covered in mayo. I noticed the remaining two were slathered in mustard.
He took a napkin and began to wipe the piece of mayo bread. I studied the meat sitting on the mustardy slice of bread with meat.
Suddenly, a whisper from God came to me. If the student folded the mustard side, he would have half a sandwich. A mayo-free half! I shared my idea with him and noted that he could obey his mom without having to eat mayo. He smiled and asked if he could toss the other half in the trash. "Of course!" I said.
What I learned from the doves is that sometimes answers do not come in a rush. They come when quietly walking around the edge of a problem. The solution is not obvious until you take a few steps and see where God is leading you.
Jesus focused upon relationships when He concisely stated the entire Law in two simple truths: love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Like Him, we treasure relationships, too. We put the word community into our name because we are longing for more than a school where families simply drop off their children. Two short months ago, we never would have imagined in our wildest dreams to see such an outpouring of community in the debut of Harvest.
Parents, teachers, administration, and even our very own students have joined us in painting, cleaning, etc. We have gone home with sore muscles from pulling rotting plywood from a perfectly good porch to pressure washing grime off the sides of the building. Extended family has joined us by doing the dirtiest jobs—emptying the muck from the pond and filling a trailer with debris from the construction job. Those unable to do serious hard labor have donated furniture, a refrigerator, money (which is much easier now that we have online donation), encouragement, etc.
We are especially excited that people who may not ever directly benefit from our school have gotten involved with Working Party 2013 (the title of our photo album in case you would like to see some pictures). Days and days of painting and cleaning. One man donated two costly outdoor tables for fresh air lunches. One of our county's coupon divas came by with a bucket full of cleaning supplies that only costs five cents, including the bucket! Carolina Tree Care took down a tree for us, and we have a rain check for them to do a few more next month. Others have stopped by to drop off books, science equipment, puzzles, and games!
We have hired experienced construction workers to do jobs beyond our ability: replacing sheetrock and a few porch floor boards, making minor roof repairs, priming the walls, painting two rooms with twelve-foot ceilings, installing carpet, and converting the kitchen to a classroom. They have been working extra hard for very reasonable wages to help us get ready for our Drop-In and Tour next Monday (August 12 at 6:30 p.m.).
Today someone stopped by who saw the condition of the building when we first turned on the power. He was bowled over by all the progress we have made to get the school ready to open its doors. He asked Angie how we had managed to do so much work in so little time. She smiled and told him how God has been sending so many people to us, even if only for an afternoon. He agreed with the clear evidence of His hand in our little school.
How blessed we are to see this verse from Paul's letter to the Galatians in action: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
A community called to offer another way to learn for students in Clarendon County