Two years ago merely a handful of premies in Gainesville and six or eight children were involved in childcare. Many premies saw the need for childcare only in terms of keeping the kids out of the satsang hall. We would come together weekly for "childcare meetings" and share the most beautiful love via satsang.
Slowly, consciousness began to grow. The number of children was increasing as was an awareness that we had to consider what was best for them not just for our own selves. Childcare was cut back from every night to weekend nights, and in-home babysitting was started. Everyone in this community can now be called by a parent who needs a baby-sitter. In this way, the children get the rest they need and parents can attend satsang together. It also provides a somewhat less threatening situation for premies who haven't been around children very much.
Last January, my husband and I visited Unity School in Denver. We were completely inspired by the love and dedication. We had the opportunity to share satsang with Brian McDermott and Sally VanManen, which brought us to a deeper understanding of Who was really running the show, and a suggestion that perhaps we should start a small day-care project. This would be a pilot project to see if the community was ready to support, spiritually as well as financially, such an undertaking. They further directed us to come togther for school-project satsang once a week.
When we returned to Gainesville, we opened a small day-care center. After a few months, I began to understand some of what was happening. I felt that my desire to serve was being fulfilled, and that the same opportunity was opening up for more premies. It looked like we needed a teacher and more space. During a visit from Rosemary Kulhawik and Roselle Steigner who were on their way to Denver from Guru Puja 1977, things began to happen. Early that week, I called a special school-project meeting. Until the actual day arrived I didn't know why. The woman who owned the "Beginnings Pre-School" in Gainesville wanted to sell or rent it to us. Everything began to move very quickly. Suddenly the money we needed was there. But David, our community co-ordinator, who was out of town, asked us to slow down until he could return and "feel out" what was happening. But did you ever try to stop or even slow down an express train rolling full-speed ahead? In the end, He had given us a pre-school licensed for 30 children, with 8 non-premie children already attending.
The calls went out. We needed teachers. But really we needed devotees. I felt that Maharaj Ji was completely in control of who was going to do service at His school. At present, Bill Grenga, Sharon Hutchison, and Becky Kravitz are our teachers. Since September, 1977, we have grown to almost 20 children, half from premie families. As our community is growning rapidly (200 active premies), we expect to be serving many more children by this Fall. We plan to open a Kindergarten, and possibly a First Grade very soon.
Rainbow Preschool gives us an opportunity to serve Guru Maharaj Ji in such a special way. All the premies with a sincere desire to serve are able to do so - from maintenance and cleaning, to toy-making, to fund-raising, to bookkeeping, to "lawyering." Truly, not all the children or money in the world can create a school which Guru Maharaj Ji can call His own. It is only Guru Maharaj Ji who can allow us to belong to Him completely. Until then, we remain eternally grateful for all He has given us, and for all we have been able to give Him.
-- Kathy Siegler