Photography by Melissa Murrill
IT’S AMAZING THE PLANS THAT GOD HAD to bless the students and staff at Hinsdale Adventist Academy (HAA) the summer of 2018. While they enjoyed their summer break, little did they know that God would completely transform their library into a gorgeous, soothing, interactive place by the next time they walked on campus. All He needed for this was one person who said “Yes.” That person was Melissa Murrill.
Melissa and her family have a long history with Hinsdale Adventist Academy. Her husband attended first grade there, and now her two boys, Mason and Max, are elementary students. It was when Melissa was working as a volunteer at HAA that she said God called her on journey to this amazing labor of love.
When Melissa walked into HAA’s old library to con-duct her student interviews as an HR resource for the Junior Achievement program, she felt overwhelmed by the environment. While many in the past had given love and time to the school’s library, unfortunately, it more recently had not gotten the care it needed. She didn’t know where to sit or even place things. There were stacks of books, broken furniture, toys, carts of books to reshelve, piles of things with stuff draped over it, and the room itself was very dark. “If I could capture all of it,” she said, “it was just sad.”
Most people who see a need in a school would like to help, but often can’t. Or they have a love for the project and want to help, but they sometimes are not able to finish it. When Melissa offered to help, her original intention had been to just work a couple of hours every week on the library. Instead, it turned into a complete summer overhaul of researching libraries, researching design, sorting books, painting, decorating and renovating. It became a family project with her husband, sons and mother helping with the work. Along the way, those passing the project became inspired by what was going on and wanted to help, too. The summer saw the school’s administration rolling up their sleeves and helping with painting while others stepped up with donations.
Through this process, Melissa also got to see the hand of God. At one point, she was chatting casually with someone about the need for a new carpet. She was able to witness a donor stepping forward and offering to provide thousands of dollars for it. With Home and School’s help with the installation, the library was able to purchase brand new carpet. Melissa says, “God spoke to someone’s heart who believed in what we were doing and saw the difference it would make. It was like God said, ‘You have this idea and you’re willing to do the work?’ If I said ‘Yes,’ God would provide the means.” She felt like this experience was God telling her, “What you’re doing is what I want you to be doing. Keep going; move forward; keep doing what you’re doing.”
The students walking into Hinsdale Adventist Academy this year discovered a completely brand new, gorgeous library. Gone was the dark room, the cramped bookcases and the unused space. In their place, they found large, airy spaces; cool, soothing colors; a variety of comfy seating options; and many decorative touches to please the eyes. In fact, the library changes looked like the work of a professional interior designer.
Now the library is filled with life. Students lounge on the sofas, chatting. Students huddle together, studying on the tables. Students sprawl on the comfy pillows and futons to relax and read; and committees meet at the tables, enjoying the beauty of the new space.
God has been truly gracious to Hinsdale Adventist Academy to give us something so beautiful and so necessary. All He needed was for one person to say, “Yes!”