The Words of the Jones Family

 

Bridgeport International Academy receives a Blessing from True Parents

Betsy Jones
May 2005

On Easter Sunday, April 3, three senior American couples attended Hoon Dok Hae at East Garden. Dr. Chang ShikYang asked Hugh Spurgin, Edwin Ang and Farley Jones to sit at the table with our True Parents. After Hoon Dok Hae, their wives were also invited to have breakfast with True Father. It was a special day of resurrection for each of our spirits and hearts. True Father began to speak to Dr. and Mrs. Spurgin about His vision for Bridgeport International Academy (BIA). He asked Nora whether she had ever felt, during these last eight years, that she could have done a better job as the principal than her husband had done. Nora was thoughtful and said she had watched her husband work very long hours, day and night, giving his all to create a good foundation for our True Parentsí high school. Nora observed that she could not have done any better than he did. Father smiled, then He asked Nora to become the principal of BIA and for Marie Ang and myself to assist her. He said that He wanted women to take the lead in educating our youth. In giving us an enrollment goal of 150 students, Father said that we are in the midst of the age of women. Next, True Father turned to Dr. Chang ShikYang and asked him to take responsibility for the oversight of Fatherís middle and high schools located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Father commented that He is calling on us as "the mothers of the American church" to work together to nurture, educate, and lead the second generation by making Bridgeport International Academy a model school. The Academy is founded on our True Parentsí vision of academic excellence, mastery of technological skills, and development of personal character and moral integrity. Upon this foundation, a fully educated person would develop the wisdom to utilize knowledge and skills for the benefit of others.

Frequently, our Father spoke to Nora, asking her questions and guiding her regarding the education of the next generation of leaders. One could feel Fatherís heart of deep appreciation for the pioneering work of the Spurgins, as a couple, in investing in the second generation and in establishing the foundation in Bridgeport for a model high school. Happy to see "the America elders", Father began reminiscing about His personal experiences with each of our couples during the early years of the American movement. Sharing His memories, Father proceeded to make personal comments to each of us. We were all deeply touched by His warmth and His recollection of such common experiences.. It was a precious opportunity to feel Fatherís love for all of our American families. Then He asked about Hillie and George Edwards, a 777 couple. Anne Hillard or "Hillie" is currently Director of the Agency on Aging of Loudon County, Virginia. Nora later spoke with her about helping to write grant proposals for BIA.

The next day, Monday, Father invited us to go fishing with Him -- in His boat. After Hoon Dok Hae, Nora, Edwin, Marie, Yoko Kobayashi, myself, and Tom and Lynn Walsh, went fishing with Father. Nora, Yoko, and I ran to catch Fatherís boat, and we just made it. Although it was pouring rain, our hearts were warm and full as we saw Father smiling at us as we climbed onto his boat. After fishing on the Hudson River, we were invited to have lunch in New Jersey with our True Parents. During lunch, He again focused on Nora and gave her words of encouragement as the new leader of Fatherís high school. Later, we went shopping and felt very loved and cared for by our Parents. As women with many years of experience with True Father and who worked together over many years as teachers, social workers, and nurses, we were grateful that our Father had put us together once again to help to bring the heart of a parent in Fatherís school.

On Tuesday, Father invited us to come to East Garden to watch Hyo Jin Nimís performance in Japan at 3 a.m. in the morning. Hyo Jin Nimís concert truly is bringing rebirth to many; it included music and testimonies from young people. Father praised Hyo Jin Nim and was moved by the fact that he gave a 100% effort. Next, Father asked us as "the Bridgeport mothers", with our husbands, to stand before the entire congregation. To our surprise, Father then announced that He was providing money to purchase a new building for Bridgeport International Academy that should be utilized for the education of our second generation and of other children of various religious faiths worldwide. Finally, He declared that Dr. Yang would be the new leader for the middle and high school in Bridgeport.

On that Easter morning and the days that followed, many blessings came to Bridgeport International Academy. Father gave his vision for the Academy to be a truly international school for students from every continent of the world. He wants the graduates of BIA to become leaders who have experienced in high school a mini-global community consisting of a diversity of students and teachers. Studying in such a diverse community is a unique experience, which will help shape the adult life of each student. Even officials from NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges), the regional accrediting body, have taken note of the incredible diversity at Bridgeport International Academy, which has teachers and students from Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, North America, Western Europe, and Russia.

The spiritual and financial blessings that were bestowed upon Bridgeport International Academy are an expression of our Fatherís love and deep commitment to our second generation. He said that Blessed couples should send their precious children to the schools that He has established in Connecticut, where many second generation of all ages are currently living and studying. Father not only provided the Academy with resources to purchase and restore a school building (and thus expand), but He chose what He calls "the mothers of Bridgeport" to take the lead in nurturing and educating our school-age children. BIA Update

On April 19, Bridgeport International Academy began a Summer Intensive English Program for a group of international students from Japan, Korea, Costa Rica, and Taiwan. Hopefully, they will have gained the English skills to join other BIA students when the Academy begins its ninth school year on August 22. On June 3, the Academy will hold its sixth graduation ceremony. Some graduates will go to STF, others will go to college, and one student who is interested in nursing plans to go to Africa with a medical team. BIAís first Muslim student from Africa is scheduled to graduate; his parents will travel from Senegal to see him receive his diploma.

Our growing Academy needs to hire at least one more teacher for the coming school year. We are especially interested in finding additional second generation teachers who either have a degree in education or who want to study for a graduate degree in education, while teaching at the Academy. We are able to help a teacher obtain a masterís degree from the University of Bridgeport. If you are interested (or know someone who is), visit our website atbridgeportacademy.org, contact Nora Spurgin by email at biahighschool@hotmail.com, or phone either (203) 334 - 3434 or 260-6801.

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