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Renovation helps Abbotsford independent school continue teaching the true meaning of Christmas

Mennonite Educational Institute students take a message of hope into the world
At MEI Schools, they teach students that the true meaning of Christmas is about hope, joy and peace.

For the staff and teachers at Abbotsford’s Mennonite Educational Institute – an independent school providing faith-based education – the Christmas season holds special meaning and significance.

“As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we remember that he came as saviour of the whole world,” says M.E.I. Head of Schools Vijay Manuel. “And our minds turn to Romans 15:13 that reads: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

As a Bible-believing school, the MEI family embraces their identity as a school that integrates their faith into everything they do, including academics, athletics and the arts.

“This is what we want for our children,” Manuel says. “We’re here to teach our students that so much about Jesus’ coming as a child brings hope, joy, peace and freedom from sin for those who trust in him.”

As we head into the Christmas season, MEI invites the community to join them in instilling this hope, as they work toward renovations and improvements throughout the campus, including preschool, elementary, middle and secondary schools.

Supporting MEI Schools’ major projects will enable them to continue instilling the message of hope for many years to come.
Supporting MEI Schools’ major projects will enable them to continue instilling the message of hope for many years to come.

Planned renovations include a 20,000-square-foot addition to the high school, a 10,000-sq.-ft. addition to the elementary school (including a new preschool), a new ‘black box’ theatre for the arts, a tunnel underneath Downes Road to ease traffic congestion, a multi-sport field, court and track, and much more.

With the $15-million “Public Phase” of the campaign continuing until the end of December – and plans to announce the total contributions in early 2023 – it’s hoped MEI families and supporters will join in the joy of the season and contribute to the vision.

Once the “Public Phase” has been fulfilled, the “Building Phase” begins, with another $8 million needed to reach their goal.

“We’re building on a foundation of 78 years of instilling in our students what Christmas truly means,” Manuel says. “The project is intended to set MEI Schools up for another 40 plus years of filling our children with a message of positivity and hope that they can take out into the world!”

Find out more on Facebook and Instagram and visit to donate or pledge, and for all the resources connected to this project.