by Nilo Bautista
The education component of the Robert and Marion Lim PEACE Foundation embodied by Evangel Futurekids Academy (EFA) marked its 7th year of existence. It has continued to provide premium basic education at an affordable cost in M.J. Cuenco community despite the overwhelming challenges faced by the school management headed by Rev. Jocelyn Chua. School year 2013-2014 saw a giant step taken in opening up a class for grade 4 pupils. Total student enrollment was 140, an increase of 20 pupils from the previous year.
The year was filled with tough challenges. On October 15, 2013 a strong earthquake hit Cebu City and Bohol, which resulted in the cancellation of few school activities. The EFA school building came under thorough inspection for safety by authorized structural engineers. Thankfully, Cebu Liberty Lumber building where EFA is located was declared safe for occupancy. Thus, we were able to move on with the school operations to this day.
The following month, ‘Yolanda’ made history as the strongest typhoon (international codename ‘Haiyan’) the world had ever experienced hit our region. Hence, classes had to be cancelled, and the children had to attend make up classes on Saturdays. God is good in enabling them to work hard and focus on their studies despite the different calamities striking the Visayas. The children’s parents rose to help the victims by giving relief goods through EFA, especially for the victims in Tacloban City.
The graduation and recognition ceremony was truly one of the most anticipated events of the year considering all the ‘hardships’ our little kids had to face. However, it was rescheduled one week later as 30 pupils and their families were the unfortunate victims of the biggest fire that hit MJ Cuenco community. The fire destroyed hundreds of houses in Brgy. Lorega. Thankfully, no life was lost. Thus, Rev. Jocelyn Chua and the Board of Trustees decided to reach out to the victims and postponed the graduation and recognition.
Tough challenges indeed – EFA went through the fire, earthquake and typhoon! Thanks to God’s faithfulness; a total of 24 Kinder II pupils got to graduate. The ceremony was well attended by the parents, friends and relatives of the graduates and honor students. Kinder 1 pupil Keziah Joy Miego opened the entire program with a very moving prayer. Her family was among the victims of the fire incident in Brgy. Lorega.
The Spirit of God moved in the entire program, and many could testify that God indeed did a good work in the lives of the little ones and their parents. The graduating class first honors, Isaiah Florida, gave an impressive speech that cheered the audience.
The selected honor students from different levels presented the song ‘Yesterday’s Dream’ which lifted the spirits of the parents and guests. The program was also graced with special numbers from Grade 3 pupils with their beautiful Flute Rendition and Grade 4 pupils with their patriotic Speech Choir. The highlight of the day went to the students of the Graduating Class with their outstanding song number “I Am A Promise”, who received thunderous applause from the audience.
Rev. Chuck Chua gave the inspirational message with a powerful quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. to both parents and teachers that says: INTELLIGENCE PLUS CHARACTER – THAT IS THE GOAL OF TRUE EDUCATION. The core of the message was taken from the life story of Daniel and the three Hebrew boys. He then closed the message by pointing out the 3 Pillars of Education using the acronym of the school, EFA which speaks of Ecclesia=Church, Family=Home and Academy=School.
Most of the EFA Board of Trustees and the Robert and Marion Lim PEACE Foundation Trustees attended the graduation rites as well. By God’s grace, it had been a year of overcoming challenges, remarkable growth and continuing pursuit to better educate the children in every aspect necessary.
We look forward to seeing the many plans of God unfold this coming school year 2014-2015. We want to acknowledge the different groups and individuals who supported the ministry, especially Pastors Robert and Marion Lim together with Evangel Family Church Singapore headed by Pastors Dale and Chui Lim for their constant prayer and support. May the good Lord continue to open doors for the ministry to expand this year for His glory!