“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Back in March 2020, when we first shut down for the pandemic, our student body spent some time reflecting on this verse: God as our refuge and strength. It was an opportunity to pause and think beyond what was directly in front of us. In an odd way, this entire year has reminded us of God’s continued faithfulness.
When I think of Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI), I am first drawn to the experience of our students. Throughout this pandemic, our students have walked with an inspiring level of courage, patience and grace. It is not easy to have everything you expected taken away. In our case, we have learned from their resilience, and we enjoyed seeing how God has moved them to be creative and build those connections that MCI is known for. It is important to acknowledge and walk with humble gratitude for the ways they have continued to engage.
In a year filled with such uncertainty, we’ve noticed, and seen, MCI’s supporting community come alive in new ways. Entering this year, we had no idea where we might end up financially. Would people still have room to give, would they still see the importance of a school like MCI? Or would we no longer make the list of organizations to give to? It has been our experience that the supporting communities around MCI have shown unwavering support.
We’ve experienced a steady flow of reminders that this community called MCI reaches far beyond the walls of the school. From alumni in Hong Kong choosing to donate to our online fundraisers because they saw it on Instagram and a grandparent dropping off some sweets for the staff, to students taking their own time to bake cookies/cinnamon buns for staff and a flood of donations in December, we feel nothing but humbled by these small, yet large, acts of solidarity with MCI.
So we walk courageously with the strength we experience in community, and through God.
Paul Peters is MCI’s student life director.