The COVID-19 pandemic postponed and cancelled many events, including a medical / evangelism / construction trip to Yap to rebuild the school roof in March, as well as the installation of new windows and air conditioners for the Delap school in Majuro planned for June. Yet, we can give thanks for the recent completion of the project in Saipan. Saipan school has just recovered in part from an earlier crisis – damage from a super typhoon less than two years ago. Today they are literally moving into a new phase that will support missionaries and the mission work for years to come.
The Saipan Seventh-day Adventist School has gone through several challenges within the last couple of years. In October of 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu came through and damaged a small portion of our school. Unfortunately, our teacher and student missionary housing was not quite as lucky and it received significant damage. Our teachers and student missionaries had to move and find other housing until the school could afford to build new housing on the school campus or to get the school housing repaired. Thankfully, funds began to come in for repair work of the current housing, and teachers are slowly moving back. Funds also came in for the school to build three new container homes for our teachers and student missionaries. This will allow our student missionaries to live on campus and better serve our school. This year, our school educated 108 students with 12 staff.
When the containers arrived in February, it took two and a half months to convert them into the new apartments. First, we watched them bring in three 40-foot containers that were just empty shells for housing and a 20-foot container fora laundry room. The construction workers have welded the containers together, put on a roof, made cut outs for windows and a door, and the interior has been given a complete makeover with new flooring and walls. The inside of the container doesn’t even look like a container. Each of the 40-foot containers has two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a restroom. Each of the bedrooms has its own small air conditioner. Oh, and they even have hot water! The school purchased new appliances, such as a range and refrigerator, as well as beds and a small couch for each of the apartments.
The apartments are looking really nice and will be a huge blessing for the teachers, student missionaries, and the school. By having these for our teachers and student missionaries, the school will save quite a bit of money that had been going out for rent. I know that everyone is excited to be moving in, and the actual move-in day is May 5. Without the generous support of those that contributed financially for this project, it would have never happened. We are so grateful for the major contributions from Hope for Humanity at the NAD, the Saipan SDA Dental Clinic, and the Guam Micronesia Alumni. Thank you for helping to make life a bit easier for our current and future teachers and student missionaries. Thank you for remembering this small dot on a map in the Pacific called Saipan.