On Monday and Tuesday, our students came back excited and happy to be back and school, but their parents appeared to be even more joyous. We spent multiple hours over the summer planning for what we knew would be a very different and unusual school year, but at least we were here and able to conduct classes face to face. We are weary from trying to navigate through this viral pandemic, wondering what surprises are waiting tomorrow after we've experienced today's trials.
We did not expect to become involved in contact tracing and E-learning for all students the first week of school. But like everything else involved with this viral pandemic, we had to initiate procedures for handling a potential contact with a case of COVID-19 the second day of school.
Our procedures worked well. We were able to make the announcement and conduct a parent meeting via zoom that evening, got everyone involved tested the next day and had two full days of E-learning as the testing results came back. The news turned out to be all good, confirming that the procedures we have in place work very well and accomplish their purpose and providing us with answered prayer and assurance that God is, indeed, watching over our campus.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses....
There is a perspective that can be placed with all of this. Last week, many friends of mine who live along the gulf coast in Southeast Texas, where we lived for over 20 years, spent their week boarding up windows and preparing to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Laura, which turned out to be one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the gulf coast in decades. Though some parts of Texas got lots of wind and rain, Lake Charles, Louisiana was directly hit by this category 4 hurricane. Schools there will not be opening for some time, maybe not before Christmas in some cases, because the damage was catastrophic. We need to thank God that our brush with the virus worked out well and turn our attention to praying for and looking for ways to help people in Southwestern Louisiana.
"Let us therefore draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, that we might receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
This will not be the last time we have to do contact tracing, quarantine or testing of someone in our school community. Until medical science gets this under control, either through testing and isolation or by coming up with a useable vaccine, there will be other instances where someone must quarantine or get testing and some students may wind up spending time in E-learning as a result. Hopefully, since we have followed guidelines and grouped students into cohorts, it will not require closing the whole school down again. But we always have the ability to find strength through prayer and we can always take comfort in knowing that God is watching over us, protecting us and knows exactly what we need when we need it. This is a great time for our students to get an object lesson in the power of prayer.
Please pray for the people of Southwest Louisiana. On top of everything else, they now have the aftermath of a hurricane to deal with. They need to have some mercy and grace directed their way.