While we often read Gleaner articles about sharing Christ on mission trips, the learning that develops this desire to share Him often takes place at school or in the home. It is our desire at Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Wash., to mentor students into leadership positions. We are blessed to have many students for whom this training has already begun at home under the direction of God-fearing parents.
Our chapel program, held three times weekly, provides an opportunity for students to share with their classmates and develop their leadership skills on a regular basis. Recently Connor Natiuk, a sophomore, shared an experience he had over the summer during his driver’s training. He was doing freeway driving, so there was a lot of time for talking with his instructor. She asked him questions about himself and where he lived, and when she found out he was from Meadow Glade, Wash., the questions took a turn in a spiritual direction.
Natiuk was able to share with her about God and invite her to attend church, which she said she’d never done. When they got back to the driving school, Natiuk asked if she would like him to pray with her, and so his driver’s education class ended with prayer in the parking lot. “That is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Natiuk reports.
A totally different experience was had by the Life With Christ class members when they headed to Chinle, Ariz., to do the week of prayer for the students at the elementary school on the Navajo Nation Reservation. Aaron Payne, Life With Christ Instructor and CAA chaplain, made it clear from the beginning that the CAA students’ primary purpose was to love the students. They would share talks, sing songs and plan activities that would point kids to God, but the thing that would most clearly show them His love would be their interaction with and love for the students.
The CAA students each chose a little brother or little sister who became the primary focus of their attention during their time at the school. If the volume of tears and length of time spent crying when CAA left at the end of the week was any indicator of the amount of love shared, it was overwhelmingly and unbelievably successful. “I didn’t realize how attached we had gotten to the kids until we had to leave them,” Abby Sissons, a CAA freshman, says. Sophomore Danny Dowswell agrees and says it was the best mission trip he’d ever been on.
As we continue our planning for two mission trips during spring break, one to Mexico and one to the Dominican Republic, we solicit your prayers. Who knows what God has planned for students and adults who desire to share Him with others and bless the lives of all those with whom they come in contact?
CAA Gleaner correspondent