This month is the 95th anniversary of Dalat International School. The school started in February of 1929 in a rented house in Dalat, Vietnam.
There were three students and one teacher at the time. Today, the school has an enrollment of 714 students and 160 teachers and staff. In the beginning, all of the staff and students lived and studied together in one home. Today, about 40 students and staff still live on campus while the rest commute to school daily. In 1929, all of the staff and students were part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Today, we have staff and students from 23 countries and a number of different church and religious backgrounds.
A few years ago, one of our retiring staff members chronicled the memories of students and staff over the years and compiled them into a book. The book is entitled Great Is His Faithfulness, as the school has truly survived and thrived by His grace. God brought the school safely through 4 campuses, 3 countries, 2 wars, 1 tsunami, and 1 pandemic. When Dalat moved to our current campus in 1971, the staff suggested changing the school’s name to Sandycroft, which was the name of this property. Many of the adults were in favor of renaming the school, but the students overwhelmingly voted to keep the name Dalat, even though they were in Penang. The name itself held so many memories.
There have been a lot of challenging times through the years, but we know that God is faithful.
I am so honored to be a part of this continuing legacy. Each of you also plays an important part. If you read through the memory book (free copies available from the Advancement Office), you will quickly see that most of the memories are of people, not places or things. People impacted the lives of one another through many generations. Today, the contributions of each member of our community also impact the others.
As we look to the future, we can expect more changes. There are more buildings to be constructed, and we expect continued growth in enrollment. And of course, there will be changes that we cannot predict. We still trust in God’s faithfulness to see us through. The 7th graders mentioned that they would be graduating at the 100th anniversary of Dalat in 2029 and how special they would feel to be part of that tradition.