For the select few who follow or even read this blog from time to time...

The past few months have been nearly consumed with a great deal of work related to accreditation. Over the past two years, Highlands International School has been working toward a dual accreditation with SACS and ACSI, culminating in an intense 3-day site visit at the end of April (hence my lack of blogging since February!). While the visit started off a bit rough, with a couple members of the team boldly stating their concern and/or skepticism concerning various aspects of our school's policy and procedures, the trip ended victoriously with the representatives of the two organizations confidently giving their thumbs up for our school and the incredible progress that has been made in a remarkably short amount of time. Needless to say, we were thrilled!

Over this long, tedious, and tiresome process, there were many times I verbalized my frustration with the insane amount of work that had to be done individually as well as together as a staff. We each created detailed curriculum guides for the subjects that we teach and wrote part of a self-study document that, once compiled, ended up being 350 pages long! There were also many more hours put into preparation work for the actual visit. Thus when we received that proud stamp of approval, we all celebrated because it has been a true united effort, one that has caused us to see beyond the here and now and work for the future of this life-changing mission we've all been a part of.

When it was all said and done, I was surprised by how privileged I felt and how humbled I was. When the official announcement was made to our small, 20-member staff team, the reaction was emotional. In that moment, I was overwhelmed with the blessing this had all been to be a part of, with the collective vision we were working toward, and the daunting goal that had been achieved. I was then humbled realizing how my perspective had often been one of disdain for this process, and yet all along the Lord was teaching me just how many things in life and especially in the Christian faith I now benefit from because of the diligence and sacrifice of others before me. I realized that no one person deserved the credit (although maybe some encouragement from the accreditation team didn't hurt!). We truly believe the Lord has ordained this school and we have only been a small part of the foundational steps in seeing His long-term plan made into a reality.

One of the SACS representatives, a principal of a prestigious school who was openly not a believer, thanked the staff on their closing day with us. He shared, "I am better after having been to your school. I go home a better man than when I came."

I pray that you are encouraged to know that the Lord truly was glorified in this process that many of you have prayed for and been a part of from a distance. I also share this with you in the hopes that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you remain diligent in the seemingly small tasks the Lord has set before you. As I told my students in chapel this past week, I believe that the Lord is always preparing us for greater things, things which on this side of eternity may seem simple, mundane, or even useless in the process. Whether planting seeds, setting up the next group to win, building truths into your kids, discipling a new believer, or bringing vision where it is lacking, laying the foundation is never a menial task.