DO 2432 5/88—The Time Has Come for Family Schools!
1. What would I do if I were an Area Shepherd & had two or three Homes in my area, & World Services set a minimum of 30 children to be considered a School? What if my area had two or three Homes, none of which had 30 children? If we combined all of our children into a School we would have over 30 children!
2. Let's say you had even two Homes with over 30 children between them, you could turn one into a School and the other Home could perform the dual services of witnessing & provisioning. Some of the personnel of both Homes could participate in provisioning, & the other Home, the Open Home, in witnessing etc. The one would be a School Home‚ & the other could perhaps primarily do both witnessing & provisioning.
3. Of course‚ we've found out our Schools can be one of the biggest witnesses we have! In Japan it's become their biggest witness. They have people pouring through every day, numbers of visitors‚ & for every visitor who comes to the School, they will go out & tell scores of others about it, at least ten or a dozen other people about it! So they're not just reaching the people who actually come there, but they're reaching all their family & their friends as well! I would say for every person that comes there, they're reaching 10 or 20 other people at least!—Maybe 10 relatives & 10 friends, 20 other people! I don't know exactly what the stats are, I'm looking forward to seeing them. (816 Visitors so far!)
4. The Schools ought to make reports just like Homes, a Monthly School Report, including their numbers, number of children in each age category‚ number of staff, & the staff divided into categories such as how many teachers, how many maintenance men, how many promotional people, how many are engaged in fulltime witnessing, guides & greeters & all that sort of thing.
5. We need to see a School population report each month, a personnel report showing who's staff & the different kinds of staff & students‚ what age groups & how many in each age group. They should also do financial reports, as well as report on their witnessing stats, number of visitors, number saved etc. Just like we have a stats report on the whole Family every month, they should be able to make a similar report for their Schools.
6. And each month we need to have the cumulative stats over all these months to date. What is the total number of visitors who have visited since their School started, & how many got saved?—How many pieces of literature were distributed & all those things. I want to see those reports!—Personnel—both staff & students, with the students' age groups & a personnel breakdown on the staff, showing how many are engaged in each different type of ministry.
7. First of all we need to know who are the administrative personnel, & along with administrative personnel there are bound to be certain people assigned to promotion, publicity, PR people, & of course, there are the teachers, maintenance men etc. Then have the children classified as to how many are in each age group. Then how many visitors, & of those, how many got the tour of the School & how many got saved.
8. Their Finance Report ought to just briefly summarise not only the broad classifications of sources of income, but the broad classifications of expenditures as well.—Like how much was spent on rent, food, utilities, maintenance etc. We need to have those stats for each School.
9. If a certain number of Homes in an area would form a School, we might be able to give them so much support per child to help them & to encourage them to form such Schools, providing, of course‚ that our WS income picks up again, which I expect it to.
10. The stats would include all of the children in the School, & that means from babies on up, because the babies require baby-minding & baby–minders. All Homes that combine into a School are also bound to have babies & toddlers & they would be considered a part of the student body of the School. So if they've got 30 or more with all the children counted together, they could therefore qualify to be a School.
HOW TO QUALIFY AS A SCHOOL!
11. It would not count if it just means they've got three Homes & each Home has 10 children & they just add up the children of all three Homes, that wouldn't qualify as a School. They've actually got to have one building, at least one Home specifically specified as the School, where they have all of these children on one premises, although on that premises they may have several buildings. But they've got to have one campus, so to speak. In other words, it's got to actually be a School & they've got to be all together.
12. We could have groups of Homes in an area writing in & claiming they have over 30 children, when maybe the Homes are scattered all over town! That's not a School! But if they have at least one building or a campus of several buildings where all of the children & staff are concentrated on one premises‚ one property, together, such as the Jumbo, such as Ho's, such as the Japan School etc., each of those qualify as having one campus, even though some of them have several buildings. Even though some of the staff live in separate buildings, even off campus as some do in Japan, they still qualify as a School. The School is still a combined united unit on one property.
13. In other words, if it's a place with a building or buildings which could be recognised as a School, to which visitors could come & see all the children & realise that they're all there in one building, in one property, one campus, then they qualify as a School.—If they have a regular staff & a regular schedule with a regular curriculum, & classes & activities etc. all on one campus.
14. I'm not talking about some kind of a scattered thing, like the invisible U.N. university we've read about, where people come to see the university & there's no such thing‚ there's no building, there's no student body‚ there's no staff‚ they're just various office units scattered around the city. That's not what I'm talking about! That's not a School!
15. We're talking about an actual School that has a staff & student body that can be a witness & that can be seen in one place at one time, & can give programs & shows & be inspected & give tours as a witness! So I would say that would qualify as a School, the combined children, students of several Homes, & the combined staff, even if they're taken from several Homes.
16. If there's not enough room at the School for all of the staff or even perhaps for all of the students to sleep at night, yet they can meet all together in one place in one building or on one property to have a School in the daytime, such as other public & private schools do, then it still qualifies.
DAY SCHOOLS: HOW TO!
17. Not all schools are boarding schools. In some cases they may have to live in their nearby Homes, both staff & students. But they need to have one school building or property where they gather together in the daytime for school‚ just like a normal public school. They do not have to be boarding schools. They do not have to all sleep on the same property or necessarily even eat on the same property.
18. They can have students that attend the School only during the daytime, who eat breakfast at home, come to school, eat only their own lunch at school, & go home for supper & to sleep, & that's perfectly all right‚ as long as they get together in one building or on one campus in a united School operation where they can be a united witness & testimony & can be seen & heard in one place during the daytime, all staff & all students.—Even though in some cases they do not actually live on campus, but may live off-campus in their own homes, both staff & students.
19. In other words, they do not have to be boarding schools. But I would certainly recommend that they at least all eat lunch together. You might even solve the lunch problem, just like many public schools do, & not have to have a big kitchen & a huge food operation, by having the children bring their own lunches to school.
20. Right now most situations do not have sufficient facilities for a boarding school, where they have to sleep all of them in & they have to feed them all three meals a day. The quickest, easiest situation which they could start with right now would be for both the staff & students to continue living in their separate Homes where they are now, providing either one of the Homes has sufficient facilities for classrooms for the various age groups & sufficient assembly room for all the staff & students together. If one Home is big enough for that, with one big room that's large enough for general assembly, & enough classrooms for the various age groups in the daytime‚ although only part of them actually live there at night & eat their breakfast & supper there, the rest could come in from the other Homes in the daytime.
GENERAL ASSEMBLIES: WHERE TO!
21. But there must be sufficient space for a general assembly room, a very large livingroom or something, where they can pack them in. I've been in lots of public schools that didn't have an auditorium, so they met in the gym. Well, our Homes certainly don't have gyms! But I've even been to some schools where in order to get the whole school together, even the high school I went to, they had to meet out on the bleachers outdoors on benches to have enough room for the whole student body! Our school was the largest public school in California as I recall, they had 5,000 students, & the auditorium was not large enough.
22. Even when they had their graduations‚ there was barely room enough for the graduating students & their parents & friends & as many of the student body who could get there in time to get seats, otherwise there was standing room only. So when possible, they met outdoors for a large gathering of the total student body. When it was good weather & it wasn't raining & it wasn't too cold or too hot, they met out on the bleachers facing the playing field.
23. So I would say we wouldn't necessarily require that they all had to have one room big enough to meet all together, even if they have a nice yard that is fairly protected from neighbours' view & not too noisy‚ not on some big boulevard that's got such a high level of noise & traffic that you can't hear anybody speaking. They'd have to have a yard & they'd have to have sufficiently good weather to be able to meet outdoors at some time of day, most days, in a general assembly.
24. And as long as they were careful about what they said in general assembly, it wouldn't even matter if it was visible to the neighbours, or audible to the neighbours‚ it could even be a good witness to the neighbours! Therefore they could even use their yard for a general assembly‚ providing the neighbourhood will tolerate it‚ providing it isn't forbidden by zoning laws to have a School there, to have so many people there‚ to have meetings there. They'd have to be careful about that as far as visible meetings or audible meetings are concerned outdoors.
25. It's far better if they can have an interior meeting hall of some kind which will hold them all for general assemblies, if that's possible. Then you're far more secure & more hidden & you're not as apt to get complaints from the neighbours.
26. One of the Homes would have to be large enough for such school facilities, preferably with a meeting room large enough to hold the full staff & student body plus a few guests which you will probably have very frequently. It should also have enough classrooms to separate the various student groups, and of course if possible, either a yard big enough for a playground, if the neighbours will tolerate it, or a nearby public playground or school ground that might not be in use, or a playing field or vacant lot or something where the kids have got room to run & play & get some exercise & play games & things like that. They will be more or less unofficial schools as far as the System is concerned‚ but permitted.—Such as the Japan School, unapproved by the System but permitted.
27. I would say those are the various minimum requirements to qualify as a Family School. They must at least have sufficient one-location premises on one campus, though they be one or more buildings, to house the school at least in the daytime, where they have at least one place for them all to meet together for assembly programs, including visitors. And then they have to have enough rooms in the house or building to separate the various age groups & classes for the students, as well as an administrative office or something like that. Then they need enough yard for a playground, or a nearby playground, yard, field, lot, whatever!
28. And it must be a sufficient group to qualify as a School, I'd say at least 30 students, in a building where they can be permitted, viewed‚ seen, heard, witnessed, & serve as a witness & as a testimony. These are all necessary qualifications for a School.—Even though all the staff & student body may not all sleep there & eat there all the time, may not live there. In some cases it would probably be preferable that they don't so they don't have to have a huge dormitory operation & a huge kitchen & dining hall operation.
29. In some cases, say they had a minimum of 30 students, it usually takes about one-on-one, we've found, as far as staff is concerned. If you've got 30 students‚ you need about 30 staff members, including administration, publicity, teachers, maintenance men etc. (Maria: Well, that's the ideal.) Well, they may not have, we're not going to require a minimum on that. But I'm just saying, normally if they've got 30 students they may have about 60 people there during the daytime.
SUGGESTED SCHOOL PROPERTIES!
30. Therefore they need a pretty big house or a pretty big property. Not too many houses have a livingroom that can seat or even stand 60 people! And not too many neighborhoods are going to put up with 60 people in one house in the daytime & all the attendant noise of 30 kids playing out in the front yard yelling & screaming & being naturally noisy as kids are when they play! It's not going to set too well with neighbours who are too close & annoyed by the noise & worried about so many people coming & going.
31. As much as possible the property should be well–separated from the neighbours by either high walls, fences or space. It should be, if at all possible, fairly well spaced from neighbours that could be annoyed & complain, because the first complaint to the authorities could be the end of such a School if it's not zoned for it & it's not permitted etc. Even though it's not, as some are not, even some of our Homes‚ they get by with it by being quiet & not letting the neighbours see too many people coming & going in the daytime etc.
32. I'm just making suggestions‚ having been a school teacher for a good many years. For one thing, I know what you're up against when it comes to having a School. Where I taught they had a large church building. First of all it had enough auditorium for everybody to assemble, staff & students, then it had enough separate Sunday school rooms that it had enough classrooms for the various grades, from 1st grade to 12th grade.
33. If you could get an old church building of some kind it would make an ideal day school & could even sleep at least part of the staff & the students right there in the building if they have to come from afar. They may not be able to let the authorities know that people are sleeping there, but a church building is already zoned for meetings & to actually have classes‚ at least on Sunday & a lot of times DVBS, Daily Vacation Bible School, during the summer weeks daily. So there should be no objections from the neighbours at all about meetings or classes etc. They also usually have sufficient restroom facilities for so many people.
34. That's about what the Japan School building amounted to really, a church building. It had an auditorium & a lot of classrooms, & that's what they're using them for. Only there they sleep a good many of the staff & students right in the building at night & serve them all three meals a day! I wouldn't necessarily say that that is the most ideal situation.
35. In order to have a small School such as some of these Homes could have if they'd get together, I would say it might even be a better situation where they don't have to sleep so many people at night & they don't have to feed three huge meals a day to a huge staff & student body! I'd say it would be almost better if they're in the same town or the same city if it's not too expensive, that some of the staff & students live out where they're now living, so that they bring their own lunches, just like I did when I was a high school student. I brought my own lunch every day.
36. God bless my sister-in–law, my brother's wife, she made me what I liked for lunch, a bacon, lettuce, tomato & scrambled egg sandwich wrapped up in oil paper‚ because by the time I ate it at lunch time it was pretty soggy! But I liked it & I ate it for lunch every day, the same thing.—Scrambled egg & bacon, & the bacon was as limp & soggy as the rest of it, and so was the lettuce & tomato by the time I ate it for lunch! But I carried that with me in a little paper bag to school every day. I didn't like to eat in the dining hall where all the kids that were rich & had money enough to buy their lunches ate, I usually ate out in the school yard or on the field bleachers or someplace with all the rest of the poor kids who brought their lunches, where we ate together & we had a lot more in common than with the rich kids that went through the cafeteria line & paid for their hot lunches.
37. So it's no big deal to have to have each individual Home make lunches for whatever students they have living in the Home, & carry them to school & eat them out in the school yard. If part of the staff & students already live in the school building 24 hours a day, live there, eat & sleep there‚ they could make their own meals there, of course, & that would be their responsibility, to feed the people who live in the building night & day, eat & sleep there & go to school there.
38. But I'd say the outside students who come from nearby Homes should bring their own lunches. I think we have that situation in most cities where a small School like that would be possible. We have a number of Homes that could go together to get some kind of school property, to maybe get the donation of an old unused church—& there are lots of unused churches in some countries where they can't even get enough people or preachers to use'm any more!
39. England is one of the most notorious for that because so many of the people have, for example, moved to other places & they can't even get enough priests or preachers any more & the church buildings are just standing there idle, unused & falling apart. If they'd offer to go in & fix them up & beautify them & make them look decent & presentable & preserve'm, some of these places would even let you use their church building, providing they don't know who you are!—Ha!
40. In certain circumstances the church building is controlled by the denomination‚ & you have to go to higher ups to get the use of it. With others it's controlled by the local people, such as Baptist churches etc. They have the say–so, & they probably have to have a town meeting or something to give you the use of it. In other cases they're sometimes privately owned & you just go to the owner & ask for the use of it, or even rent it—or the Community Hall.
41. The one thing about paying rent is that the owner can always use that as a pretty good excuse for having you there, & people can hardly complain against that. Whereas giving you the use of the building is a lot harder & has to go through a lot more process, & too many people wind up with a finger in the pie as to whether they want you there or not. Whereas if they can say, "Well, we're getting rent for it, I'm getting money for it", they've got the best excuse that the System can possibly accept.
42. They will accept almost any excuse that says you're making money out of it! Then nobody's complaining about‚ "Why are you letting these people have this thing free?" Even if you give only a small sum you can still say you're renting it. You take a lot of things that are done in politics, according to law they cannot be given the use of the thing free of charge, so they pay one dollar‚ or one dollar a year‚ that sort of thing, just to say they're paying for it!
43. There are also school buildings that have gone into disuse as they have combined a number of school districts together in a union school, which was the case with our high school in California. That's why it had 5,000 students & it had big huge school buses that came from as far as 60 miles away, clear down to Big Sur, & it took those poor kids an hour-&–a-half to get to school!—An hour-&-a-half in the morning & they had to go home an hour-&-a-half in the evening!
TRANSPORTATION SUGGESTIONS: DAD THE BUS DRIVER!
44. In some cases in large cities where we have sufficient students in all the Homes, & if public transportation is exorbitant & too high, such as it is in countries like Japan, it might be practical even to have a small school bus of your own going around to pick up the students.—That's what our school did in Los Angeles, & I was the bus driver! I had a 30-mile school bus route all around through the busiest parts of Los Angeles picking up students.
45. When I first joined the school staff there & was just the bus driver, the bus driver was taking two hours from his first pick-up going to school‚ & two hours going from school to his last drop-off. But I got busy & got a map & figured out all the locations of all the homes exactly on the map & I figured out the best possible nearby route, then I went & told them I wasn't giving taxi service any more! This former bus driver was going right to the door of every home & sitting there waiting for the kid to finish his breakfast or finish getting dressed & get out there to the bus!
46. I said, "No more taxi service, no more limo service where we're going to sit there & wait for you! From now on you walk so many blocks out to the main boulevard & I will pick you up there just like the city buses do!—You can walk that far!" I considered that if it wasn't more than six blocks or so from their house to the main thoroughfare where I would be coming along with the bus, that wasn't too far for those kids to walk. Public school kids had to walk several blocks to get to the school bus route, & most people usually had to walk several blocks to get to the city bus route, why not walk several blocks to my bus route? And I literally cut that bus route in half!
47. I started off driving 30 miles through the busy city of Los Angeles, morning & evening, one horrible ridiculous circuitous route! And I got home that first day & was determined I was going to do something about it. I think it was within only about two weeks that I had that route fine-tuned & the kids used to the idea of having to walk a few blocks to get to the bus route, & I cut it in half from about 30 miles to 15 miles, & from two hours to one hour!
48. (Maria: I bet the kids were thankful for that.)—Yes! Especially the kids that were on the first pickups‚ they didn't have to ride two hours to school every day, & they got home earlier. They were thankful, I was thankful & the school was thankful because it saved half the gasoline! A few spoiled kids were not very thankful & complained about it & a few parents complained that we didn't come by & pick them up at the door any more, they had to get their kid ready & get him off in time to be sure he was there on time for the bus or the bus just passed him by! It wasn't going to sit outside waiting for him any more!
49. (Maria: In most cities our Homes are fairly far apart.) Yes, but if they don't live too far away, it could work. Besides, bus fares in some countries are not that exorbitant. You take some of the poorer countries, you can travel miles for very little, extremely low fares‚ miles! We figured that out once before in some of those places, how cheap it was for them to travel so many miles. In places like India & Latin America & some of the Third World countries‚ the bus fares, even train fares are dirt cheap!
50. In other words, if transportation is not too severe a problem, they can use local public transportation. If it is, they might consider a school bus with a fairly simple school bus route & have the kids out there waiting on the corner like I did mine. I said, "Now listen, my time to reach your corner is say 8 o'clock in the morning, first pickup. I'm supposed to be there at 8 o'clock. You be there at 8 o'clock. But I will deliberately run ten minutes late so that if I'm there ten minutes later than 8 o'clock & you're not there, I'm perfectly justified in passing you by, because you're ten minutes late!" Get it?
51. But it really worked, I'll tell you! If I didn't see them on the corner I just sailed right on by. I'd sometimes slow down & look down the block to see if they were running & just hadn't quite made it, & if they were within one block of the bus where they could be there in a few seconds, then I'd stop. I'd usually look down the street in the direction from which they came & if they were right close I'd stop. But if they weren't on the corner & they weren't down the block, I just sailed right on by! And boy, did I save time!
52. I used the regular city bus stops. I usually even followed the city bus routes, except I had to go around a big circuitous route where no city bus would go. But I used the main thoroughfares where there were bus stops & I would be able to pull into the bus stop & pick up the kids. I used the corners on which there were bus stops. I said, "You be there at that corner at that bus stop & I'll pick you up if you're there. If you're not there‚ that's tough, your folks will have to bring you to school!"
53. And I'll tell you‚ some of them lived 15 miles away, & after the first few pass-ups their parents made sure they were there! They didn't just leave it up to the kid. They made sure they got up & had their breakfast & were off with their books & everything & out there on that bus stop‚ or they had to drive them all the way in if they were late. So it was a great help. (You could also use Car Pools!)
MORE ADVICE ON HOW TO HAVE A SCHOOL!
54. I'd say this is pretty much of a milestone talk because it's setting the minimum requirements & qualifications & ideas about having a local School! We're getting big enough with enough children that I think most of our cities who have 3 Homes or more will be able to do it! And by the time you've got three Homes & each Home with 20-25 kids, you've got a School!
55. Even if each of the three Homes only has ten kids, you've got a School, 30 children. So almost any city should be able to put this into practice almost immediately. Of course, they have to be in an area that will tolerate it, that's important, because you can't have an above–ground School in any country where we have to be underground, or forget it!
56. Countries where they're having to operate underground‚ you can't have a School, unless it's very very private. We do have one country where we have a large School on a large campus, in a country that we've had to evacuate! Because it's so ideal as one of our training centers, it has to be largely supported by WS because they cannot go out & publicly witness or be on the streets or even be known to be there at all, except for a trusted few local friends. So even under underground conditions, I won't say it's totally impossible.
57. In cities of 2 or 3 or more Homes, where they have a total of 30 children or more, they should be able without too much problem to find one of the Homes large enough to house the daytime classes.—And where part of the staff & students live in that Home, & even if it's not big enough to house them all, the rest can live in the other Homes outside, & come to school either on foot or by car pool or by their own bus or city transportation.
58. As far as renting a huge property & housing everybody & having a big kitchen & feeding operation & sleeping everybody, when you think how much it will save for people to come to school in the daytime & go home at night, the transportation won't look so expensive!—Especially since each Home has to bear the expense of their own students getting there, & they can either use public transport or put them all in their car & ferry them to the School themselves, which I don't think would be that big a problem in most cities. I had to drive 30 miles with a school bus every morning to begin with & I finally cut it down to 15.
59. But I think any Home that's got a dozen children shouldn't find transportation too big a task‚ just like driving them to a daycare center or driving them to a public school, to drive your kids to school! And if you're affluent enough to afford a school bus & go around & pick them up so they don't have to be bothered with it‚ that's fine. Or if the public transportation is not too expensive & is safe enough for the older children to get themselves to school, fine!
60. But I'm sure each city can work out those details, & I'm sure each city that has enough kids for a School, let's say something like a 30-child minimum, should be able to swing it somehow‚ to either use one of their larger Homes or find a property where they can meet in the daytime & then go home at night. I think it would save a great deal if they didn't have to stay there at night & all eat 3 meals a day there.
61. They could eat their breakfast at home just like most school kids do, & then hustle off to school by whatever means of transportation, carrying their lunch with them, eat their lunch at school on the school grounds & then go back home at night for supper. That will save what is one of the biggest, most difficult operations that they have had at the Japan School, for example, having to have huge regular commercial kitchen facilities & equipment to feed nearly 200 people 3 meals a day! It requires a tremendous amount of provisioning, so that at least one Service Home is required to spend their full time at provisioning mostly just for the School, their needs in the ways of equipment, furniture, food, vehicles etc.
62. So I can see the average small city with 2 or 3 Homes or more‚ or even the average big city having its own School.—And big cities, if the Homes are too scattered & too far apart & it's too far & too big a trial to have to drive the kids to school every morning & come pick them up every night, they could seriously consider having several Schools, a different School in each area where the Homes are closer together. That's what the System does, they have public schools scattered all over town so that you go to whatever school is closest to you.
63. (Maria: Well‚ all our Homes, let's face it, are really Schools. Every Home in Japan‚ for example, has about 15 children, so they do already have their School.) Yes, of course, they've got their Home Schools already. So it shouldn't be too big a task to combine some of those schools‚ some of those Homes' children & staff, to meet either in one of the Homes just in the daytime for school, or to find a sufficient property that could house them for meetings & classes in the daytime only, as in some ways it's actually better not to have them all together at night.
64. For one thing, the rules about housing in most cities have to do with how many people live there, how many people sleep there, how many people eat there. Then you run into all kinds of space rules, housing rules, how much toilet facilities you have‚ feeding facilities, health laws, all kinds of things.
65. Actually the fewer people you have the better!—Especially if it's a Home School, if it's right in one of the Homes.—Or you get a building which is already zoned or classified as a place of meeting or school, such as an old school or an old church or old community hall. All kinds of things could be used for that purpose, even an old hotel or something, where they're already permitted to have a lot of people in them & to even house them sometimes.
66. So I think any ingenious Home Shepherds & Area Shepherds should be able to get together & figure out what to do about having a School if combined they have more than 30 children. They've got to decide who's to administer the School, who's to teach & who's to be janitor, maintenance man & all the rest. In this way‚ without having to have so many large sleeping & cooking & eating facilities, you not only have an easier operation to handle, but you also avoid a lot of restrictive zoning & health laws etc.
67. This way the students could come to school in the daytime & go home at night. They could also eat breakfast & supper at home, & sleep at home. The only problem there is getting them together, a matter of transportation. It's also a matter of having a large enough Home or building where you can safely have meetings & classes.
68. You can hopefully avoid the huge facilities problem & the building restrictions & the space restrictions & number of toilet restrictions & health laws for your kitchen & feeding facilities & all that sort of thing, which we're probably already violating right now in some of our Schools. If you don't have an operation that's so big & attracting too much attention, you might get away with it for awhile, which we're doing with some of our Schools‚ especially if your facilities are private enough etc.
MAKING YOUR SCHOOL A WITNESS!
69. Of course, if you're going to make your School not just a better & easier way of educating & taking care of your children, but you're also going to make it a testimony & a witness, you've pretty well got to be open & public, as they are in Japan. And they've found that having an open public School where they are permitted to do all this makes it an ideal witnessing situation.
70. So if you can have a public School, a School that's public, in other words‚ & known to be a School where you can invite friends & visitors & witness to them & let them see the kids & have programs & all sorts of things, it's a great advantage in many ways. It makes the whole School not only a blessing to the families to have their children concentrated in one place where they can have a real School & real teachers who spend their fulltime at that, but it can also be a blessing to the community as a shining light & witness & testimony to them, friends, visitors etc., which I'd say is one of the main reasons for having a School.
71. One of the main reasons to have a School is, of course, for teaching & training & caring for our children fulltime by fulltime staff who don't have to do anything else. They don't have to go out & witness, they don't have to go out & litness, they don't have to go provisioning or anything else, they are qualified teachers who can spend their full time teaching a quality education to all of our children. I think the time has come we've got to do it! The time has come that we're going to have to have Schools, it's overdue!
WHAT ABOUT "CLOSED COUNTRIES"?!
72. (Maria: I'm sure the reason the Lord had them do it in Japan was that's one of the few places in the World they could do it. Some countries are getting persecution, but might be able to do it before complete heavy persecution comes.—There are a few places in South America where they haven't had severe persecution. But most of the rest of the World is out now as far as open Schools.)
73. Well, we have at least one School that we know of‚ a large campus & a large amount of people operating in one of the very countries where we've had the most severe bad publicity & persecution. (Maria: But not operating openly.) Not openly‚ no. (Maria: And that way the Homes cannot use the sample of the School with outsiders to raise support for it.)
74. In what we might call closed countries‚ they're going to be more difficult to support, & it's going to be more difficult to get away with it, having to operate secretly, underground, privately, but it's still possible! With a little extra help from their friends, relatives & contacts, it's possible.
75. Each situation & case will have to be treated on its own merits. They need to get together & discuss whether they think it's possible or not. If they already are working in a closed country in underground Homes & not doing any public witnessing‚ then it's going to be difficult—difficult to support & almost virtually impossible to make it a testimony or a witness. So it may not even be possible or advisable or feasible in some closed countries.
76. But in countries where we can still openly witness, where we haven't been forbidden, we haven't been driven out, we haven't been too vilified by bad publicity, where it's still possible to have Open Homes & a certain amount of public witnessing, these are ideal for public Schools, open Schools where we can have good support & share that support amongst the local Homes, & have a good witness & a good testimony & visitors & a tremendous opportunity for saving souls!
77. Just because the Family's had a little bad publicity in some country doesn't necessarily mean they have to close down completely! I don't think the Family should have to evacuate a country until it's impossible to witness!—I've said this since the very beginning, Fred even used to say it: Don't stop witnessing until it's impossible! That's the rule! Don't stop your witnessing until it's impossible.
78. And just because public witnessing has been made impossible doesn't mean you have to stop witnessing.—You can go underground & do private witnessing, personal witnessing, & in many countries that's what we're doing. But in countries where the persecution has been severe enough to literally make you forbidden & legally driven out of the country, it's made it impossible to publicly witness‚ & it's such a closed country that your witness has to be that private & underground, then that is a difficult School situation & it might be impossible or at least impractical to have a School.
79. But even in some closed countries it might still be feasible to have a School, an underground School just for the purpose of taking good care of the kids. It might still be possible, providing your School building or campus is sufficiently private & inaudible & unseen to get away with it. But with that many people coming & going, it's a little unlikely.
80. These are just some of the ideas I would suggest. In a country where we are still publicly more or less accepted, at least permitted, I think this should be feasible & advisable in most of the cities of that country. Even if a city has only two or three Homes, they likely have 30 children & could have a School‚ if one of the Homes is big enough, or they could get the use of a building where it's not going to bother the neighbours, providing they don't try to make it a full-fledged boarding school with everybody living in. Most of the staff & students can live out & commute back & forth.
BIG BOARDING SCHOOLS vs. SMALLER DAY SCHOOLS!
81. (Maria: But if they have a big place, the boarding school idea in Japan has been a tremendous witness with so many people living & working happily together full time.) That's fine if they've got such facilities, but they shouldn't let that inhibit them just because they don't have a big school building where everybody can live in, sleep at night & have 3 meals a day. That also presents big problems, tremendous problems in services & equipment & meals & cooking & feeding & dining facilities & health & housing laws & all that sort of thing.
82. It's in some ways the ideal‚ but it certainly would not be practical for a lot of areas, I would say not even for most areas. I'd say the average city has maybe 2 or 3 Homes big enough to have 30 children, & they shouldn't let that stop them just because they haven't got one big Home or school building to all live & eat & sleep in.
83. They could start having a School immediately if they have even one of the Homes big enough to house the School staff & students in the daytime only, providing they're not going to be some kind of a nuisance to the neighbours. Otherwise, they should look around for a building which could house their School cheap enough—even old small hotels, old abandoned school buildings, abandoned churches, all kinds of various buildings that could be used, even an old boarding house. I'm mentioning several kinds of buildings that we have used in the past & are even now using in the present in different places.
84. So if one of the Homes is not sufficient for even a small School, then they'll have to look around for something better & try to use that. Just don't make it a criterion that you have to be able to feed & sleep everybody‚ the whole staff & all the students! It can be a commuter school where the staff & students commute back & forth. Some of them live in the School, yes, but many of them may have to come from their homes & use either private or public transportation.
85. So I think most areas will find it's easier than they thought, really, to get together & plan & organise & have a Family School!—Every fair-sized city in countries where it's possible, every city that has two or three Homes that have at least a minimum of 30 children.
86. Some of them may find that they can do a co-op even between a couple of Homes. Even if they don't have 30 children, they can make one of the Homes a fulltime day school & have fulltime teachers, fulltime staff & fulltime students every day except holidays, & that relieves the rest of the staff of these Homes to get out & witness or provision or whatever they have to do. They could have a small School.
87. Frankly, I would almost rather not make too high a minimum. I would like to make the minimum of what would be perhaps the average number of children that even two Homes have. In most of the Field Homes they do have at least a dozen or 15 children‚ each Home, most of the Field Homes today. I have been going over the stats & figuring out the number of children & the number of Homes, dividing the number of children by the number of Homes, & we did that for nearly all the Field Homes once in the various countries, & most of the Field Homes‚ in the East in particular, had an average of at least a dozen children per Home.
88. So what about making the minimum 25? If they've got 25 children they've got quite a few kids to handle & they've got enough to have a small School in one of the Homes‚ in which case they probably wouldn't have to have any other building or anything, they could just have their kids in the one Home all day long with all day supervision, & then send half of them home at night, make it very simple.
WHY SCHOOLS?—PARALLEL OF EARLY AMERICAN SETTLERS!
89. Let's face it, this is the conclusion the System came to! Not everybody could spend all their time at home teaching their kids, right? Most of them had other work to do, had to work out & earn a living! So the System finally saw that they had to provide someplace for the children to go & get an education & be supervised in the daytime while Dad worked, & now it's Dad & Mom working! And this would be a great blessing to our children.
90. In the early days of America, the earliest schools in the U.S. were usually of about a dozen children meeting in the village church building taught by the preacher with all ages represented. Eventually they built separate school buildings, the famous little one-room schools where they had perhaps a couple dozen children & one teacher, with the older children as assistant teachers that helped take care of the little kids just like we do. That's how those schools got started.
91. Of course, with the American system‚ the greatest & most horrible thing that ever happened was completely System schools with compulsory education, & big schools, where the Devil could get ahold of the whole school & the teachers & the curriculum & teach evolution & atheism & every evil thing! That is the worst thing that ever happened to public schools, compulsory education, where you had to send your kids to the System school, or some school, & in the U.S. they even throw you in jail if you try to keep your kids home & teach them at home!
92. That's why Christians in the U.S. have now formed so many private Christian schools, most of them operating in their churches where they can at last put their churches to work at least 6 or 7 days a week‚ instead of just one day a week. The churches are ideal locations for Christian schools, they have a large auditorium, they've got a lot of Sunday school rooms for classes, & if the parents can't bring the kids to school themselves, they run school buses. Some of them have a whole fleet of school buses that go out, just like public schools, & gather up hundreds of kids! So that's how it all got started.
93. Just like it is with us, it's a pressing need, it's a desperate need, where we're getting so many children we can't take care of them all ourselves, each family can't take care of them, each Home can't take care of all of them, it's impossible! They don't have enough staff to both educate‚ teach & supervise the children fulltime while some people have to go out fulltime! So the time has come for Family Schools!
PRAYER TO DO OUR BEST!
94. Lord, in Jesus' name, help the Homes to do what's best for them & their children & their country & their city, depending on the conditions in each case. Help them to get together & discuss it & decide what's best for especially our own children who need it, & whether it's possible in their situation.
95. We've just been trying, Lord, to show them how easy it could actually be & how they don't have to have such tremendous facilities & so many people as they have at the Japanese School, that even a couple of Homes could get together & put their children together & give them fulltime day-long supervision until their parents, who are out provisioning or witnessing or working, whatever they're doing, can come home & take over.
96. In some cases where it's possible for them to have a public ministry & an open witness & a large School, help them to be willing to undertake the tremendous task of doing so, because we've found that it's a tremendous witness & has literally won scores, if not hundreds‚ of souls already in a large School! But it's a very expensive, difficult‚ large responsibility, & needs a lot of work & a lot of staff, a lot of children & a lot of support.
97. So Lord, we're going to try to do our best to give these small Schools, even some of the smallest, two or three-Home Schools, some encouragement to try to get together. So we ask Thee to give us wisdom how to do it. In Jesus' name, help us all & bless us all & make us a blessing that we can be a greater blessing to the whole World & especially to our own children! He that neglects his own, fails his own, fails to care for his own‚ Lord‚ You said is worse than an infidel!—1Tim.5:8.
98. So if we're not taking proper care & education of our children‚ we're not a very good sample or example to others, & could be even considered worse than an infidel, someone unfaithful to You, if we're unfaithful to our children!
99. Lord‚ You said that we should "bring up a child in the way he should go, & when he's old he'll not depart therefrom", & "except ye be as a little child ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."—Prov.22:6; Mat.18:3. If we take good care of our children, You'll take good care of us. So help us to do so, Lord, to make them real witnesses for Thee, & to give them the best kind of Christian education in these small School situations with great individual attention & complete care & supervision & education all day long, in Jesus' name we ask for Thy glory. Amen. TYL!
SUGGESTED DAYS FOR DAY SCHOOLS!
100. Well, it just came to me as I was praying that perhaps in some situations, if they couldn't even have school every day for five or six days a week, they might be able to have it two or three days a week. If the transportation's too expensive‚ if the situation won't stand so many people there every day, perhaps they can have a two-day-a-week school, or better yet, a three-day-a-week school, maybe in some cases four days a week.
101. (Maria: Maybe they could stay overnight like a weekend school or something.) Yes, or like a weekend school where if the distances are great & transportation is prohibitive, perhaps they could come to school for half a week, three days a week, so we'd only have one way going & one way coming transportation to pay, where perhaps the local School could actually sleep them if they even have to just sleep on mattresses on the floor.
102. They could have a three–day-a-week school & only have to sleep in two nights, & they'd only have to serve six or seven meals. They could bring their lunches the first day, & only have to serve them supper that night‚ that's the first meal, & then three meals the next day, & then breakfast & lunch the third day, that's only six meals they'd have to serve. Bring their lunch the first day, they'll serve supper, then three meals the second day, & then just breakfast & lunch, that's six meals, breakfast & lunch the last day & then they go home.
103. So they'd only have to spend two nights there. I would say a fulltime School would be five or six days a week. But if because of prohibitive transportation or other reasons you can't have a fulltime School, you might try a 3-day–a-week School, perhaps even a weekend School. (Maria: The parents in some places might go for that because they use their children in their witnessing a lot during the week, so they might like that better.)
104. You can even have a weekday School like Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, or Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, or a weekend School, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, a three-day-a-week School. They could certainly spare the children that much, & then at least have them under full supervision & good training. (Maria: Then those days the adults in the other Homes would be able to go all–out without worrying at all about their children at night or any time, just do their ministry that they want to get done without their children.) Right!
105. So you could have either a fulltime boarding School with seven days a week of live–in staff & students, or you could have parttime day Schools four or five days a week, leaving weekends free for the families & kids & all to go witnessing, or you can have half–a-week Schools such as only 2 or 3 days a week—just day Schools, live-out Schools, except for those who live in the School. If they're only there 3 days a week they'd only have to actually sleep them in at the School two nights & serve them six meals, which shouldn't be too hard for the average situation, not even one Home, & they could have a small School just in one Home that way.
WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY!
106. So, praise the Lord, it's possible! Where there's a will there's a way & where there's faith, it can move mountains!—Mat.17:20. But we're all convinced that the time has come for Family Schools‚ good Family Schools, at least part time, fulltime, part live-in or fulltime live-in, whatever way you & your local situation & families can manage to work out. Just ask the Lord to help you & I'm sure He'll show the way! So may the Lord bless & keep you & make you a blessing & help you to start a Family School in your area, in Jesus' name, amen!
107. (Maria: You don't really have to have a big school, numbers are not what count in witnessing to people, because you could just have ten kids & be a wonderful sample as a tiny school, too. They go to the big Japan School with 200 people & they go home raving, "The children were so shining!") Maybe it was only half-a-dozen children they got to see. (Maria: Yes, it had nothing to do with the curricula‚ facilities, or the buildings, it's the children's sample that is so outstanding, as well as those so dedicated to their care. So it's the Spirit that they see!)
108. Amen, it has nothing to do with size. It's the Spirit that counts! "The flesh profiteth nothing", it's the Spirit that gives life & shines & is the witness!—Jn.6:63. So, PTL! Have a School! Have fun! Amen!
109. (Maria: When we first had the vision for schools we thought we had to have a big school, it had to be big numbers to be a good testimony, but now we realise that all our Homes can be schools no matter how small they are! It has to do with our vision changing from not being out in the public eye & being so overly security–conscious, to coming out more in the public & realising that our sample is what wins people more than anything else, particularly the sample of our children & their training.—And that we can't be so afraid of everything that we just completely hide our sample & our children & our training. If we come out in the open with them as much as we can in places where we can be open, then it's a much better sample than trying to hide & be so overly security–conscious.) Amen! God bless you & help you have a School!—It's wonderful! TYJ!