Trusting God’s Faithfulness
Written by Dennis Runey, Headmaster Emeritus at Portsmouth Christian Academy
We’re hearing a lot these days about the uncertainty affecting our nation. Personal questions abound for people as they relate to jobs, schooling and relationship connections.
Businesses face many of these same issues, and it makes me reflect on PCA’s own time of uncertainty and the choice we had to trust God or wrestle with doubt and fear.
In the early days of PCA, the school faced a seemingly unending series of challenges to its existence. Though the growth of PCA was initially steady, efforts to fulfill the goal of providing an excellent education in a Christ-focused environment, at an affordable price, faced strong headwinds at every turn. Though lease arrangements with the Portsmouth school district were favorable, maintaining a safe and clean learning environment was a daily challenge; finding teachers who were experienced, certified, and mission-aligned was a hard wish list to fill; and cash shortages made purchasing texts, classroom furniture, and even basic supplies nearly impossible.
Down, but not out, we persisted and, as always, God provided for our needs, often in miraculous ways. But the effort was draining and there seemed little relief from the constant day-to-day struggle.
At that time, there was another Christian school in New England that enjoyed a well-deserved reputation as the premier Christian school in the region. With an enrollment near 400, their own campus, and a tradition of excellence, my bold, but unlikely, aspiration was for PCA to become the northern New England version of this school.
One day, during a particularly difficult and stressful period, I received an invitation from a future PCA dad and board member to come to Alton, New Hampshire to meet his father, Miles. Miles was the Headmaster Emeritus of that well-reputed Christian school I hoped we would one day imitate. I leapt at the opportunity to meet with one of the most-respected Christian school leaders in New England.
My visit with Miles was an eye-opener. Expecting to hear about his former school’s many successes, I instead learned about the historic struggles of the school from its inception to its current position of prominence. I never considered that the school ever struggled, but that it was and always would be the gold standard for others to emulate. In truth, their early years entailed battles that were almost identical to the ones we were facing! Miles coped with frequent physical moves, teacher shortages, cash flow issues, and other unexpected attacks on the school.
What I took from the meeting was a deeper appreciation for the struggle that precedes success; that no worthwhile endeavor is easy; that faith in God will sustain, even in the darkest of times, and behind every seemingly successful organization is a story of persistent faith in the face of suffocating adversity.
I left our meeting deeply grateful for the encouragement Miles had given me, both by his kind words and by sharing the struggles he faced and overcame. I gained a greater sense of confidence that PCA, too, would prevail in the face of its challenges, if we were willing to stay the course, trust in God, and remain true to our calling. That encouragement and fresh perspective inspired our school to become the school it is today.
I pray that the story of PCA’s business encourages you in your own business and in your personal life to stay the course during times of uncertainty and to trust the Lord’s faithfulness. I would encourage you to remain flexible and be ready to respond in new ways to the challenges before us. Remember: times of uncertainty call out our lack of control and call us to the One who knows the end from the beginning.
Watch members of the PCA community give a detailed history of our school in the video below!