Students from Halifax Christian Academy and Smithville Christian High School were reminded that they all follow the same God and that God provides signposts for their lives.
At this week's chapel, students took turns sharing information about their respective schools. Sophie B. and Aydan S., both members of Smithville Christian High School's choir, talked about how they experience Belonging, Believing and Succeeding at their school.
Belonging at Smithville Christian is being part of a community, said Aydan. "In our class we are all one big group of friends and we all get along."
Sophie agreed. "God is very present here. I feel him through everyone here, and the thing that stands out is community."
Sophie said she also experiences believing at Smithville Christian through community.
"Teachers and students at this school are an example of Christ in our lives," she said. "We are encouraged in our walk with God." Sophie said things like Spiritual Emphasis Week, prayer and daily devotions "help us grow in our walk the God.
Aydan said when he was in Grade 10, he and some friends went to the prayer room one day during Spiritual Emphasis Week "so we could skip class, actually." But as the teenagers sat and talked together, the conversation became deeper and deeper "and we were completely open with each other and we confessed to each other what was going on in our lives.
"Then we prayed together. It was a turning point in my faith for me.
Sophie said students succeed at Smithville Christian High School because "teachers are very encouraging and they help us learn the way we work best."
Aydan agreed, saying teachers are always trying to find unique ways to stimulate learning.
Then Hannah S., Luke M., Lexy L. and Noah S., members of the Halifax Christian Academy Band, described their school.
Hannah said their school is small, but she loves it. Luke said one of the benefits of being in a K-12 school is knowing everyone, even the primary students.
"It's a small school, but we're close," Luke said.
Lexy said she has been part of a small group of friends since Grade 5 "and we help each other grow spiritually."
Noah said he is grateful for teachers "who are pushing God on me all the time, and that's not a bad thing."
Jessica Wilson, principal of Halifax Christian Academy, said the visit from Smithville Christian High School's choir last April inspired her students at her school, with their ministry of music "both inside and outside the school."
"Your visit changed our hearts," Wilson said. "The love of Christ in your hearts came out through your singing."
Halifax Christian Academy vice-principal Will Radford said he is grateful that students and leaders at both schools share the same vision.
He said he and the other chaperones got lost on the way home to their hotel Tuesday night -- despite the fact they had been given a detailed map, carefully drawn by Mr. Harris.
The next morning, when they retraced their route back to school they realized what had gone wrong. The sign they missed was there, "but someone must have hit it -- it was on the wrong angle."
Radford said the map was fine, but the signs were messed up.
"A lot of the world is like that," he said. "The signposts are there but they are bent or messed up or turned the wrong way."
But Christian schools exist to help students follow the right signs, he said. Radford read Proverbs 3:5,6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight."
"That's what Christian schools are all about, we want to help young people read the signs," he said. "And we're glad you share the same vision we do."
The Halifax Christian band then presented four pieces: "Thursday," "The Tempest," "Silly Samba" and "Tap Out."
Listen to Tap Out:
(To hear more from the Halifax Christian Academy Band, come to the concert Friday night at school: 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, everyone is welcome. The concert will also feature the Smithville Christian High School Choir.)
West Lincoln Mayor Doug Joyner brought greetings on behalf of the Township of West Lincoln and the Regional Municipality of Niagara.
Joyner said he thoroughly enjoyed a recent visit he made to Halifax for a meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and said he hoped the visiting guests would both enjoy their time here and want to come back again.
A student praise team also led in worship with "I Will Follow," "Victor's Crown" and "Brokenness Aside."
Watch the video:
The exchange between Halifax Christian Academy and Smithville Christian High School is made possible by SEVEC, the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges Canada. SEVEC is a not for profit organization that facilitates educational exchanges within Canada, building bridges between young Canadians and providing them with the opportunity to learn about their country by seeing and experiencing its history, geography, and cultural diversity. The travel costs for each participant are covered by SEVEC through the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage.