"We don’t do youth ministry for the cameras, or the recognition, we do it for God and amazing youth," says Abraham Henry. "I am humbled and honored to serve beside these amazing folks in ministry. Join me in praying for our students, teachers, staff, and administrators as they return to the classroom for another school year all across our country."
“By the end of the day, every classroom will have AC, along with the offices,” said Abraham Henry, Lake Region Conference youth director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church Lake Union Headquarters.
This all came together very fast, he said. On his day off on Wednesday, Henry was working as a substitute at the school when Principal Kelvin Butts told the staff that it would be nice to have air conditioning.
“I heard the principal and his vision and it was amazing,” Henry said. “He wanted every student to come back to a cool, comfortable environment to learn in.”
Henry immediately started making phone calls and by the end of the day, there was enough money and donated units to put into each classroom.
"Through the grace of God and the selflessness of pastors, churches, and members, we were able to meet this need by raising $2,700 in just 4 hours. At 10pm on Wednesday, Adventist pastors transported 12 AC units, and 8,000 masks to the Fair Plain Middle School. We then prayed for the new Principal and his wife’s success in the school district," Henry said.
He said the pastors he called agreed to help without hesitation.
“That’s just the spirit of these guys,” he said. “It’s amazing. If there’s a need, they are there.”
Henry said the department he works in for the Lake Region Conference donated 12 air conditioners, with three others being donated by Home Depot and another two supplied by Lowe’s. On the following Friday, 6 pastors returned to the school to help with the difficult task of installing most of the units.
Butts said having cooler classrooms will make a huge difference.
“Tempers flare when it’s hot,” he said. “We’re not just making them comfortable. We’re creating a more conducive environment for learning.”
Rebecca Shagonaby said she’s worked as a special education teacher in the district for 14 years and has never had air conditioning.
“It can be hot for up to six weeks,” she said. “This is awesome. We’re very appreciative of this.”
Ian Mosher, an eighth grade English teacher, said he’s thankful for the air conditioning.
“The kids come in and say they can’t do this because it’s hot,” he said. “They can now focus on what I’m trying to teach.”
Republished with permission from the Herald Palladium