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Baguio Report #3

Reports #3 and #4 will deal with the same time-frame, but with entirely different subjects. #3 will deal with administrivia.

My preaching/ministry/Bible study background is only about half the reason why I have been invited into overseas work. My administrative background in the schools taught me to think about curriculum, staffing, facilities, budget, and etc. Most foreign mission failures are a result of crises in these matters and not in ministry-related matters. Foreign works fail, in other words, because very good people with the very best of intentions fail to address basic administrative necessities. Lacking say-so authority, I am kind of a program evaluation consultant (with a stern personality when needed).
 
In addition to preaching and teaching, and counseling (see "Amanda") the greater part of my work has been dealing with administrative loose ends. And the loose ends here were certainly flapping in the breeze. My US co-worker is an "idea man"; the guy on the ground here is a much bigger "idea man." Those who know me best are a bit surprised to learn that i am the "nuts and bolts guy" (and the big idea guys are driving me crazy).
 
We have been able to (i) complete an educational assessment of the schools here to answer the essential question, "Who are our students educationally and what are they equipped to learn?" This document becomes book, chapter and verse to inform many decisions.
 
We have been able (thank the Good Lord) to (ii) impose financial order on a system that had literally kept me awake some nights. The funds (from the Northwest Church of Christ in Ft. Worth) had been sent by PayPal (yikes!) to a personal account (horrors!). Not one single shred of accountability existed. There were no reports on spending either generated or returned to us. My heart still skips beats.
 
I had not been able to, in good conscience, recommend that anyone send any more financial support here, but now things have changed (see "stern personality"). We now have a separate bank account with on-line features that allow for review of the account from the US. We have also imposed monthly reports regarding income and outflow. This is very good.
 
We have been able to redesign the school. I had been highly tolerant of growing pains - for awhile, but we could not continue as we were. We have successfully addressed curriculum, in the fullest sense of the word, and have vastly improved staffing. We are also effectively addressing funding to get the school off of ground level. Also addressed successfully have been matters such as mission, our "service area," and the vocational training component of the school. We even addressed facilities (which were gross!).
 
From an administrivial perspective, I have never felt better about Restoration Bible College.