Up Front | President’s Update, September 2012
What a summer it has been! As we embark on our 90th year, there are two memories from this summer that stand out above the rest. First has been the transformation of Founders Hall (Academic Centre) and the second was an amazing Homecoming event.
Golden Hills School Division (GHSD) & Prairie Christian Academy (PCA)
We have known for several years that the current PCA High School building was near the end of its life and that without significant investment, it would remain inefficient and potentially unsafe. We did not understand the urgency of this until earlier this spring when a formal GHSD inspection recommended that PCA vacate some classrooms immediately and seek alternative solutions. The best solution was centralizing the majority of college classes on the third floor of Founders Hall while allowing PCA to use the second floor.
Through the efforts of a group of volunteers from Alabama, campus staff and staff volunteers, these facilities were ready for the start of the school year. All of the windows have been replaced, classrooms have been re-painted, carpet has been laid, floors have been polished and we have saved significant operational costs through consolidation.
After almost a year of preparation, close to 700 former students, family members and staff came together to celebrate God's faithfulness to Prairie Bible Institute over its ninety-year history. Enthusiasm was high as alumni reunited with friends, classmates and former teachers and introduced their families to the Prairie campus.
The weekend included everything from class reunions and rallies to a choir performance, craft shop, dessert night, concerts for all ages and a hymn sing. A hi-light of the event was a 90th birthday party on Saturday afternoon where over 1000 cupcakes were consumed. Greetings from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many others were included in a special album created for the occasion.
The youth embarked on a retreat filled with exciting adventures, lots of fun and a challenge to go deeper in the Lord. The Adventure Zone led younger children through the book of Daniel where they saw God demonstrate to the watching world that He is the one true God and cares for His own.
The weekend was a wonderful time of blessing as the Lord brought us together as an extended Prairie family with a shared heritage. We thank Him for a memorable Homecoming!
Allegations of Abuse
Many of you have been following the story surrounding allegations of abuse by individuals connected to Prairie. We have prepared a Summary and Commonly Asked Questions page that provides more detail and outlines what has been done thus far. You can find it linked here.
Management Team Shuffle
This summer, we said goodbye to a key member of our team and shifted a few others around. To find out more, click here.
On the Horizon
While this year’s new student numbers were off our decade-best showing last year, they were on track with the average for the last 8 years. Even more encouraging is that our returning student numbers are up. In a recent survey, our students have shown increased satisfaction with their experience here and we can see how their happiness and campus unity has contributed to the increase. Overall, student numbers are on track with our budget expectations and we are enjoying an excellent start to the year.
Prairie Bible Institute is pleased to host a series of community events and we welcome you to attend. Our hope is that you will leave encouraged in your walk with God and your understanding of who He is and that you will be better equipped to serve Him wherever He plants you. This year's events and speakers include a Beth Moore simulcast (Sept 15), Charles Price (Sept 25-26), Purely Canadian Youth Workers Conference (Nov 2-4), Mark Francisco (Nov 27) and George Verwer (Jan 21-22). For more information, please visit www.prairie.edu/prairiepresents.
I appreciate every one of our alumni, friends and supporters, many of which take the time to remind us of how important our purpose is and encourage us through prayer. I trust that this update will inspire you as you continue to support the ministry of Prairie Bible Institute. You can also catch the weekly Up Front audio program that is streamed both on Prairie Radio or Podcasted here.
(posted Sept 12, 2012)