From “school in the mall” to “school on the hill” — by the power of God

AWESTRUCK ENTRANCE: Global Leadership Academy pupils stream into their new school building — carrying their shoes in awe of God’s amazing provision.

[notice]In 2010 God provided an unusual setting for the launch of a new Christian school in Jeffreys Bay — a shopping mall [See our earlier story]. To everybody’s surprise the big, glass storefronts enhanced school management and classroom discipline — so much so, that when the Global Leadership Academy team set out to build their own school, they made sure that the classrooms would have big windows facing the corridors. Johann McFarlane, a ministry stakeholder, reports on the opening of the new school building this week.[/notice]

Five years ago we stood on a big, open space of seven hectares of land that had been given to us for the building of a school that had opened two years before in the Equinox Mall in Jeffreys Bay.

Our prayer then was: “Lord, if ever there is a school building here, we will know it can only have come from You, because we have nothing”.

CELEBRATING THE KING: Teachers arriving from the upstairs staffroom for the first school assembly — led by a guitar-playing teacher singing I lift my hands to the coming King.

On Monday we were able to move into a new school building, beautifully designed with light, space, and colour, as well as being eco-friendly. This is what the Lord has done, and we were all filled with the joy of being witnesses to His power and glory.

While some of the teachers were involved in moving the furniture, the others were still conducting their last classes in the mall.

Everybody took part in moving from the mall to the school: teachers, volunteers, pupils.

From Wednesday last week the “Groot Trek” happened, and on Monday August 29 the whole school moved into the new building — taking off their shoes in awe of the beautiful building bearing testimony to the fact that God had indeed provided the plan — every brick, every worker and contractor, every volunteer.

TANGIBLE JOY: Happy to be at their new school campus.

The joy that can only come when God supplies in abundance and beauty was tangible, and the excitement of the learners visible — and obviously audible!

The figures confirm the fact that this school complex is nothing short of a miracle: The original estimate by the Q&S team was that this first phase would cost R35 million. So far R11 million has been spent, and a bond of R4,5 million has to be repaid. R15,5 million against R35 million! Who can deny that this is a supernatural happening!

Thus the school stands there as a testimony to future generations of the power of the God of the invisible world in our visible environment. Part of the reason why the school could be built at such a low cost is the many volunteers from the community, including parents. teachers, and pupils, who worked tirelessly during many weekends and school holidays. A prime example of this is the architect, Jacobus Scott, who designed the school as his first project at an absolute minimum cost.

airy classroom
TO WORK: Pupils in their new classroom.

Last Sunday, at the service of the Global Leadership Community (the parent body of the school), Christopher Aggenbach, a missionary from Zambia, whose third child to attend the school is coming soon, prayed that through the school, teachers will equip learners to build the kingdom of God in the world and to serve God with their lives.

On Monday morning, the pupils were very excited to enter the new school. Some played games on the coffee shop tables, others were laughing and joking outside the entrance, while others showed how they had been missing the sports fields while the school was in the mall — by immediately testing out the rugby/soccer field.

At the first assembly in the new school building, Anna-Marie Franken, leader of Global Challenge Expeditions and the visionary leader who encouraged and led everybody involved in the school project in the same way that Nehemiah did, read from the constitution of the school which includes a prophecy about the school.

FOOT WASHING: Teachers wash the feet of volunteers at the first assembly while principal Marietjie McFarlane, right, looks on.

She told the pupils that as God has been faithful in the completion of this first phase of the school building, He would continue to complete His work in every phase, so as to reach their full God-given potential.

One of the highlights and most moving parts of Monday’s assembly was when the teachers came down from the staffroom with one of them leading the procession with a guitar singing I lift my hands to the coming King.

Another highlight was the teachers washing the feet of the volunteers. Concluding the ceremony, the principal, Marietjie McFarlane, asked the pipils to again put on their shoes as a symbol of Isaiah 52: 7 — How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news. The rest of the assembly consisted of joyous praise, worship and celebration to the Lord for His goodness and grace towards the school.

CREATIVE CORNER: Pupils enjoy the new art class.

Currently the school has 270 pupils. These include young people from nine different countries and children of six missionaries from all over the world. In the six and a half years since its inception, the four matric classes have all obtained a 100% pass rate in public examinations.

The art pupils were delighted with their new classroom with its specially designed desks where they got to have their first lesson already on Friday. On Monday, the school’s new, big attraction — the coffee shop — required no introduction.

Other facilities were all running on Monday after the opening ceremony. During second break pupils were treated to free pizzas served from the coffee shop and sponsored by a family in Scotland.

As we know that this school was born from God’s heart seven years ago, we know that He will continue to use it in the service of His kingdom, especially in forming young people who are willing and equipped to be the bearers of the kingdom principles throughout the world. For that we pray.

WARM WELCOME: Anna-Marie Franken, Director of Global Challenge Expeditions, right, and Kagiso Sebetso, staff member of Global Challenge Expeditions and member of the building committee, at the reception desk.


  1. Hermien Venter

    What a beautiful story! May the Lord bless you and keep you and shine His Face upon you. We can see His glory and His faithfulness. His love endures forever.

  2. Christine Chinchen

    It is so exciting to see pupils in the new school. An amazing testimony of our Father’s love and provision for His children.

  3. Wonderful news and so encouraging that Our Father God is moving in wondrous ways in our beautiful land.We pray that the pupils will have a positive future Christian impact in SA

  4. Extremely proud of your achievement