The administration of Calvary Christian School was asked to provide a short article about the school's missions program for the national publication of the Association of Christian Schools International. The following article represents a short overview of the reasoning behind the school's mission program, Calvary's Impact.
WHY DEVELOP A MISSIONS TRIP PROGRAM AT A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL?An emphasis on missions is a key component to training the students at our school. While missions is emphasized at every grade level in our school, I believe that our mission trip program for both middle and high school students has been very useful in helping us reach the spiritual, social, and educational goals we have established for our students. Over the last nine years our school has sent fourteen missions teams comprised of middle school students, high school students, faculty, and parents to eight locations; seven of them outside the United States. Each team has been comprised of 15-40 members who have raised their own support and have attended ten work-up team meetings over a three month period prior to leaving for the mission field. These meetings are used for Bible study, team building, program planning and practice. Trips are seven to ten days long, and involve puppet, drama, singing and clowning ministry in schools, street ministry, back yard Bible clubs and ministry in churches on the missions field. Work projects are usually a part of our trips. We sometimes do medical related work such as issuing prescription eye glasses (a Lion's Club program) to those who have vision problems. Finally, we always seek to equip the people we are visiting with ministry tools that we help facilitate further ministry once we leave a site.
The trips place team members in a position to better listen to God?s Spirit move in their lives. Those who have been involved in Christian education know that it is really the Holy Spirit that changes hearts and renews minds. Placing team members where they can do the Lord's work for and with others, while allowing His Spirit to minister in their lives, is a part of our year long work with students. It seems that in the Lord's economy, when giving to others, God is faithful to bless the heart of the team member that is giving. Because of changed hearts on missions trips, the social environment in our school has become one that honors the Lord. Students that have been on these trips become a driving force in our school through their testimony and self directed actions such as student led Bible studies and student created chapel programs. The on-site education of working in a different culture impacts the global perspective and Christian worldview that we are trying to develop in our students. Activities such as swimming on a coral reef, hiking in a tropical rain forest, exploring a volcanic island and addressing sanitation issues with migrant workers, impacts students understanding of science. Our missions trips have become a key part of building a school-wide Christian community. Because we have over forty-five different churches represented at our school, these trips give our parents another piece of common ground on which to stand- spreading the love, grace, and salvation message of our Lord.
Missions trips change the hearts and lives of everyone involved. A student who begins these trips in sixth grade may be a part of eight to ten trips before graduation. This will profoundly impact their life. Each year, the character of our students, faculty, parents, and school look more like the Lord. What a blessing to be a part of this program that is impacting the world with the transforming power of our Lord!
By: John R. Wallace, Jr. Senior Administrator, Calvary Christian School, December, 2002. Updated, January, 2006.