lft-rgt: Ivy Jones, asst. principal and bus driver; volunteer Andrew Spears, Yvonne Pondexter – pre-k 3 teacher; the children

I was leaving school one Friday afternoon remembering all the stops I needed to make prior to going home in preparation for the Sabbath. Due to road construction, I found myself passing by member Elder Bernice Johnson’s street.

We had received a one-call message to send up special prayers for Elder Johnson because she had been hospitalized. I wondered? Was she still hospitalized or was she at home recuperating and up to visitors? Well, there was only one way to find out. Before I knew it, my car made a right turn down Bootsie Street, her street.

After pulling up in the driveway, Max, her dog, gave me a loud, energetic rousing applause! After entering her home, Elder Johnson told me she had just been released from the hospital Thursday evening. And yes, she was delighted to see me. I had told myself it would be a short visit of 15 minutes, but her physical therapist stopped by shortly after me, and my 15 minute visit turned into an hour visit. But oh, how I enjoyed every minute spent with her and her dear family! Upon leaving, I announced I would probably be back tomorrow with the Elder, my husband, on Sabbath.

Upon leaving her home, I felt so peaceful. Yes, I still had a few stops to make, but somehow I knew I had been just where God intended me to be.

Not long after our visits, I opened my eyes one morning and the Holy Spirit spoke to me: “Take your PreK 3 class to visit Elder Johnson.” My immediate response was, “Ok.” You see, I had been praying for God to give me a way to get my children more involved in the community so they can become mission minded for Jesus. We were a small group and Elder Johnson had a large family room where she could receive us. When I asked Elder Johnson, she said she would be delighted to receive us. When I told the children, they shouted with joy!

I immediately started making arrangements to take them. Mrs. Sibyl Jordan, our school principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Academy, thought it was a great idea. I asked our vice principal, Ivy Jones, if she would drive us in the school van, and she was more than happy to take use.

Finally, February 25, 2015 arrived. It was cold, windy, and raining, but when I saw the children, you would have thought the weather was perfect with a BIG rainbow in the sky. They had no complaints! They were so happy and excited! We had prepared some special colorful gift paper flowers and a get well card to share with Elder Johnson and they were elated about their mission trip.

So off we went. Max, once again, greeted the children with a rousing applause! My boys, paused a moment thinking they might give him a special visit too, but I encouraged them to come on in the house. They stood in front of Elder Johnson in a semi-circle and sing “Jesus Loves Me,” If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and “I have the Joy, Joy, Joy, Down in my Heart.” Then they recited part of the “Ten Commandments for Children.” They proudly presented their gifts to Elder Johnson and gave her some hugs. Ivy Jones closed out with prayer.

This was really special for us because Elder Johnson is a firm believer and supporter of Seventh-day Adventist education. She has been for years! Always giving, raising money, continually praying for the school, teachers, students, and serving on the school board. Mrs. Jones mentioned in her prayers that even one of my students is currently a recipient of a scholarship partially funded by Elder Johnson. I thank God for all supporters of Seventh-day Adventist Christian Education.

Yvonne Pondexter

PreK3 Teacher


Elder Bernice Johnson holding floral bouquet made by children



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