Below, I would like to outline the process how me and my collegues reached the conclusion of building a new school by faith and where we stand right now.
We are a constantly growing institution due to the increasing number of students. This requires more space, classrooms and facilities. Currently, we are renting a school building from the council of Tard (Tard is a small village about 12 kms from Mezőkövesd). We moved to this village because we could not find a suitable lot for our growth in Mezőkövesd where we started our school. Within a few years, we faced with the following boundaries:
- there are more suitable classrooms available in Tard but the local council is not willing to rent it out for us,
- there is a loft area above our current school building which would be able to accommodate a few classrooms but the council does not allow us to complete the construction on our costs and cut the full costs off from the monthly rental.
Besides these, the building we are currently residing, strongly in demand of a full refurbishment but the owner is not willing to invest any money into it. The first wing of the building was built in the 1950’s, the rest of the building in in the early 90’s. Therefore, the doors and windows, the electrical, heating system is outdated, the plastering is coming off all around. We did not want to invest in a building which is not our property therefore we decided to purchase the building where we are now without th gym building as it functions as a local community centre too. In February 2017, we informed the council about our intentions. Previously, there was a meeting for the council representatives and the mayor where I explicated why it is beneficial for the village if there is a working school. They all agreed. At the end of the meeting, I made it clear to them that if they say no to us, it means that they do not want us and our school in their village in the future.
After a week, I was given a NO answer, they do not want to sell us the current building.
The first shock was followed by an agreement with our current maintenance body to look around in the surrounding area to see what suitable buildings or lots are available for our school.
At the same time, there was a 500 million worth of EU founded application related to school developments. We really wanted to apply but we were informed that this application does not support newly built schools, only available for existing schools who would like to refurbish their current building. It was interesting that before I found out this, I was so determined to start this school building project even without any applications, purely through faith, for the glory of God.
Then a summary sheet was created in which we listed 6 possible locations, categorized according to different criterias. The winning location was a complex of lots in Maria street, Mezőkövesd. This was the winner due to its geographical location and its further opportunities for growth. So, we started to orient towards this plan in this place.
In the meantime, there was a ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International)where I shared my prayers with other school leaders. It cleared up for me during this conference that we reached our most in Tard and the growth for our school is only possible in Mezőkövesd, in the centre of this region.
The lots in Maria street, Mezőkövesd are very narrow and the parcels are owned by many different private owners. In spite of this, we managed to purchase 10 lots (with the total of 4 hectare = 40.000 m2) within 3 weeks time! The purchases were financed by the maintance body, their financial support will also cover the planning costs but we will not be able to start the contruction from this fund. We would not like to ask for a bank loan at all.
In May 2017, we met the Mayor of Mezőkövesd, we shared our ideas and plans about the schoool with him and we were given a lot of promises with regards to the building permission.
During a Christian conference, I received a rhema during my prayer: “my yoke is easy and beautiful”, this means to me that I should not be scared of the burdens.
Last spring, we visited a sister school in Bielefeld, Germany. The logo of their school says: Glaube Macht Schule which means “faith builds a school”. This opened up a new path of thinking/planning for me. I gave a new meaning to the Letters for Jews 11: 33,34: “some build a school through faith.”
A plan for creating a video of our school arised which can help us to show our plans/ideas. Csaba Högl was chosen who created the raw video by June 2017. I got the idea of sharing our plans with our future supporters through newsletters and our website from a book by György Müller.
The school planning procedure started in the summer.
In November, we visited another sister school in the Netherlands, the Calvijn College. They are also building a new school building, as well as the one in Germany with the help of bank loans, mortgages. Seeing these schools and speaking to their leaders made me sure again that we need to follow a different path in our school building project.
In November 2017,some difficulties came up with the settlement plans: the council of Mezőkövesd did not want to issue a permission to build a school building over a certain height despite the promises of the Mayor. We handed in an appeal and I only asked the colleagues and people who support us to keep on praying for our new school. The appeal was accepted – Glory to the Lord!
- After gaining the new city layout plan we submitted an application for a building permit.
- Our neighbour appealed against our approved permit and the authorities accepted the appeal. So our building permit was withdrawn.
- The fundraiser campaign we stared did not yield the financial breakthrough we needed, so with the suggestions of our financial maintenance body we started to plan a cheaper light-structured building.
- We divided the lot so that our neighbour would not hinder the progress of the construction in the future.
- I had a prophecy in a conference: “Dream bigger.” How -my Lord? This project is already huge.
- An african pastor – who also founded a school – visited our school. The bigger dream was realized during a conversation with him. Since people are the most important for God, I realized that the bigger dream is to increase their faith.Increase the faith in our students, in their parents, in our teachers and everyone’s who is connected to this project.
- application for a new building permit
- groundwork started in summer
- september: final building permit
- november: foundation stone
- december: the base of A block is completed
- February: structural adjustment