The restrictions, due to the pandemic, have cancelled many off-campus events, but that does not mean all field trips have been cancelled. Photo credit: Karen Everett

April 1, 2021

Grand Rapids students learn power of prayer during a year like no other

While in-person education has not been allowed for many of our children at Grand Rapids Adventist Academy for almost a year, online education has been required and school life has changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

As teachers have looked at what is and is not working, they have discovered a few positive results from the online learning experience.

One of the positive experiences about online education has been that the students show more willingness to share their heartfelt prayer requests with their teachers and fellow class members. The students are understanding that corporate prayer makes a difference.

Second, some of the prayer requests during their class worship show heartaches the significant financial challenges families are facing. For example, some parents are now working fewer hours while others have lost their jobs completely. Some families that are helping extended family members placing financial strains on the students’ families. These family difficulties are shared with their classmates as prayer requests during Zoom worship times. The students are learning from these trials that their hope is in the Lord.

Fresh air and sunshine are more import- ant than ever. The last Friday in January found temperatures warming above freezing as the sun shone through the clear blue Michigan winter sky.
Fresh air and sunshine are more import- ant than ever. The last Friday in January found temperatures warming above freezing as the sun shone through the clear blue Michigan winter sky.

And the Lord has provided help for some of these situations through anonymous and generous donations of food for families in need. There also has been unexpected financial help for tuition expenses in ways that has not happened in past years. These experiences illustrate the Lord has given the students and their families hope.

Children are watching their family members becoming ill and being hospitalized because of COVID. They watch the news, and the children are filled with fear, doom and gloom. They are experiencing situations where their life is bad and then things just get worse, worse in completely unexpected ways. Our students are voicing these problems and their anxieties with their teachers and learning that their hope is in the Lord.

Many prayers have been requested for the healing of family, friends and the nation. And the Lord has placed a healing hand on many of our school’s ill loved ones. The students are beginning to witness recoveries and positive answers to their prayers. As the teachers are able to work with their students, they are beginning to find peace of mind. And they are finding hope in the Lord.

Daily the students pray that they can return to school and not have to attend classes online anymore, but they know their teachers and parents do not have the final word on when they can have in-person learning. The students pray to be allowed to learn together with their friends and teachers again and they know their hope is in the Lord.

Prayers answered for in-person instruction

Thankfully, in January, the prayer for in-class instruction was answered and everyone is back in the classroom. Teachers are appreciated in ways they have not experienced before. The students now appreciate how valuable it is to have their teacher working in the classroom with them. Now students pray there will be no more remote learning. 


Judy L. Shull, Grand Rapids Adventist Academy school board chair