When we talk about graduation, the thought that usually comes to our minds is a grand ceremony. A grand ceremony where rows and rows of students are sitting impatiently in their long graduations robs and hats waiting for their names to be called. Once their names are called and each student received their diploma, the joy of relief is finally let out with a great big shout of joy and hats are thrown in the air. But not in the year of 2020. When the world was hit with Covid-19, it sent shock waves across the globe and everybody was impacted in some way. But even with the pandemic and so many changes taking place, God still stayed sovereign. Sekolah Dian Harapan Jember is very thankful to God that the first fruits of K3 students were able to graduate and close another chapter in their lives.
SDH Jember’s graduation ceremony, or in our terms, “Thanksgiving Celebration”, was started with many uncertainties, but the teachers worked hard week in and week out in preparation for the event. Eventually, the rundown was set, and the teachers decided to use Zoom as the platform for the Thanksgiving Celebration. The rehearsal was first done by the teachers from each of their homes, and eventually also followed with the students and parents the following week. Even though facing many obstacles such as bad internet connection and loud back sound, the teachers, parents, and students were able to follow the flow of the Thanksgiving Celebration event well.
On the day of the Thanksgiving Celebration, the teachers gathered at school in separate classrooms each with a monitor to avoid bad internet connection and other sounds that might distract. On the other hand, each student followed from their homes. Minutes before the event
started, there were many anxieties in the hearts of the teachers, but with a word of prayers, we knew God was in control. We knew exactly who to trust and who to rely on. So as the event took place, the teachers really appreciated how seriously each participant took the event. Each K3 student prepared speeches and various songs to express their gratitude to God for what He has done for them in this academic year. Each of them presented it well and left all the teachers and parents with wide smiles on their faces. It was evident just how much God has guided the K3 students of SDH Jember through their growth.
At the closing of the Thanksgiving Celebration, the parents expressed their gratitude. Even though the parents at the beginning of the semester expected a “physical graduation”, they were touched to see the effort of the teachers and the students in the event. The event was closed by a surprise visit from the teachers to the students’ homes. In the visitation, the teacher handed the students’ certificate, medals, and took pictures with the homeroom teacher and principal.
In the Thanksgiving Celebration, there were only four K3 students that graduated. The number of students may be small, but the moment and the experience are something that will be cherished for many years to come. The students have been through a lot this academic year, and it is only by His grace they are able to close one chapter in their lives. They may be students today, but who knows what life’s journey may take them through later. Let us pray and hope that these children live their lives “in You ever after”.