Last summer, my father led a volunteer group of about 30 medical professionals and educators on a mission trip to Thailand. He had not managed such a large undertaking before and was very stressed as the date of departure drew closer. All the pieces eventually started falling into place, but there was still one final item on his list of “Things-That-Could-Go-Wrong-Before-We-Even-Get-There.” Traveling internationally with a large group is never easy, and he was concerned about the huge amount of equipment and supplies that they were taking with them – donated vitamins, supplements, medicine, Bibles, clothing, toys, etc. Entire suitcases were taken up with these items, and he worried about what an overzealous customs agent might think of the contents.
His anxiety continued to grow as the group landed in Bangkok and started filing off the plane. Would they be stopped? Would their luggage be searched – and worse – confiscated? Would he be able to explain the mission of their trip in a way that did not raise any unwarranted suspicion?
Imagine his surprise as he walked off the plane and was immediately greeted at the gate by a high-ranking official in the Thai National Army. This general was a dear “friend-of-a-friend”; he and my dad shared a mutual friend in the States. This friend had told the general of my dad’s trip and had supplied him with all the relevant flight information and trip details. He had voiced my dad’s concerns to this official, who simply responded that he would “take care of everything.”
As my dad tells the story, he watched in complete amazement as the general easily and expediently escorted him and his group past security, past police dogs, past customs. Not only, my dad chuckled, were they not asked to open even one bag, but they were saluted – saluted! – as they strode through the crowded airport.
“It’s not what you know, but who you know.” How many times have we heard that? And how many times have you experienced that in your own life – both personal and professional? In this issue, we highlight some amazing resources that are offered to both educators and administrators in the Adventist educational system – things that are available to you. Consider us your “general,” your personal guide to ideas and tools and resources that may be of small – or large – help to you in this coming year. You may be familiar with some; you may never have heard of some others. We’d encourage you to look through this issue and have that mouse finger ready to click and explore the wealth of information that we’ve compiled for you.
Launched in the spring of 2015, Ambassadors for Adventist Christian Education (AACE) has been helping schools across the NAD by harnessing the amazing power of volunteers! If you haven’t heard of AACE yet, it is a volunteer-based organization that seeks to recruit, organize and support volunteers for the K-12 Adventist educational system.
AACE works in two ways:
Once a school makes a request through the AACE website, an AACE consultant works with the school to either match them up to an Ambassador-at-Large or directly through a Local Chapter Ambassador.
AACE has been fortunate to have so many individuals and organizations come forward and decide to donate their time, energy and skills to an Adventist school. Many Ambassadors are alumni of Adventist education; others have a child or grandchild currently in a school, while still others are community members interested in helping.
We would encourage you to take full advantage of this resource! If you have a specific project that has stalled for lack of time or energy or if there has been an issue that you’ve been wishing you could discuss with an “expert,” chances are AACE has in its database an Ambassador to fit the bill!
There have been such fantastic results from the collaboration of Ambassadors and schools and as AACE continues to expand, we are sure it will do well with the support of volunteer ambassadors in its mission to strengthen Adventist schools across the NAD.
This Month’s Question:
Complete the sentence -- "Teaching offers me ______________"Selected responses will be featured on our website and future newsletters. Please email your response, along with your position and school name, to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month, we asked the CRAE Connection community:
Here are a few of the responses we received:
Under the leadership and fire of Local Chapter Ambassador, Melanie Duffield, BAA has been able to do some amazing things to and for their campus over the past year!
AACE has been able to provide Melanie with materials to use for her presentations at local churches as well as PR and marketing resources for the community. The ongoing dialogue between these two parties, however, has proven to be the most useful aspect of this collaboration. As a pilot program, Melanie has provided useful feedback for AACE in how to support schools more effectively, and AACE has been able serve as a sounding board and consultant for BAA as it continues on its upward path of growth and progress.