by Stan Scroggins, BMAA Missionary
The culmination of six years of meetings, dreaming and planning, over two years of construction and continuous prayer was crowned with the wonderful ceremony memorializing and honoring the life of the late BMAA Missionary Darlene Carey on May 19.
We missionaries often use the modern mission mantra “leave no footprint” — meaning that when our mission is done and we depart the mission field, the work will be self-sustaining by the indigenous churches and people. With that in mind, it became very clear that we must come up with a way the Filipinos could continue the work of the Baptist Missionary Association Bible College in Talisay, Philippines after the American missionaries depart. The new Darlene Carey Christian Academy will help move them in that direction.
Once fully enrolled, the academy can supplement one-third of the budget of the Bible College. So not only is the academy’s purpose to provide education to Filipino children, but it also allows for the continued preparation for the ministry of pastors, missionaries and church workers here in the Philippines and all of Southeast Asia.
There are lots of words to help phrase our gratefulness. Let me express just a few ways that helped make the dream possible:
• First, our fellow laborers and missionaries — Doug and Diane Lee and Jimmy and Julie Walker. Jimmy took up the task early in his work. Having a background in Christian school administration made him the ideal leader of the project once he arrived here. Doug and Diane Lee sustained us throughout with encouragement, prayers and support.
• Next are our faithful BMA churches and individuals. This $200,000 project is debt free and paid for by gifts from all over the United States. Every amount, big and small, has provided sustainability for the Filipinos which otherwise would not have been possible. To the wonderful ladies of our National Women’s Missionary Auxiliary, what can be said to emphasize their impact on the project? Thank you to every local church WMA, local and state association chapters that promoted and supported the over $57,000 given through the National WMA Project.
At the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, we were excited to welcome: all our American Philippine Missionaries (Fil Kakilala, Cris and Alicia Samson, Danny and Rita Ballard, Doug and Diane Lee and Stan and Donna Scroggins); local missionaries John and Louella Page; area pastors; BMA Bible College faculty and staff; the Academy principal Raydarlyn Vallejere and her teachers; BMA of the Philippines President Jojo Vallejere; National Department of Education representatives; the local congressman’s representative; and guests from the United States, Jimmy Walker and Dr. Philip Attebery.
Darlene Carey was the epitome of self-sacrifice for the people God had called her to serve. Thousands of people were led to Christ through her personal testimony. She provided education for hundreds of children and mentored pastors and helped establish churches. They are all a lasting, living legacy of the Lord’s desire for the nations He accomplished through Darlene’s life. All who knew her know that she would most assuredly recoil from all the attention and accolades, honor and praise, and instead, rightfully point us to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom all honor, praise and glory is due.