Wednesday, 25 January 2012

God bless our exams

Waiting to enter the gymnasium for the Wednesday exam.

Waiting for the 9 a.m. start.

Praying before the exam begins.

The exam begins.

What a blessing to learn in a Christian school.

Orifha leaves South Africa Today!

Here's another account of the send-off for the students who are arriving soon from South Africa. Thanks to Mr. Marc Stroobosscher, Smithville Christian's former principal, for sharing this wonderful story.

Farewell to Orifha and Shaun

On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, about 550 learners, their teachers , and some invited guests gathered together under cloudy skies at Theocentric Christian College to say farewell to two of their own who are on their way to Canada.
Events such as this never start exactly on time, but that does not mean that those who are there sit around and do nothing while waiting. Someone, usually one of the female learners, begins a song and within four or five words, all join in, a full-bodied choir of soprano, alto, bass, and tenor. No one needs a song book for the words or notes.
There were words of encouragement and advice from teachers and parent representatives. These are direct quotes from some of the speeches:
• You should know that you are ambassadors of your school, which means that whatever you are doing in Canada will be representing the school. Focus on good things so that your school can be proud of you. Any action you take should be preceded by a question: Is Theocentric going to be proud of this?
• You will be staying with families. Look after yourselves properly, your clothes, your bedding, neatness in rooms, and help with small jobs in the family. Remember to be happy with the people at all times when interacting with them. Listen to what ever they tell you because they know better. Do not take risks. Do only what you are advised to do.
• Spend most of your time studying because the main purpose of your going to Canada is to study. Collect as much information as you can. Spend 80% of your time doing studies. The other 20% you can distribute to do other things.
• Come back better and more than what you are now and always pray to God. He will help you.
• When I heard the interview that Orifha had on Radio SABC I thought I was dreaming. Is it really true that someone from Theo is going to Canada? Go and represent our school. Do not embarrass us or bring shame to us. God is with you even though we cannot be there to guide you.

Marc and Dora Stroobosscher lightened things up a bit by doing a short skit about CANADA EH! and presented them with Tshirts with that slogan. A group of friends sang a farewell song. Pastor Sipho of the Faith Apostolic Church close to Theo focussed on Jeremiah1:84.I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you to as my spokesman to the world. ‘O sovereign Lord.” I said. “I can’t speak for you because I am too young.” “Don’t say that” the Lord replied. “You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. His theme: Do Not Undermine Yourself! You can do whatever you want to because God has created you for a purpose. It is not you are doing it but He who lives in you.
He then invited all of us to raise our hands in blessing towards Orifha and Shaun and prayed over them. At the same time, the clouds that had thankfully hung on to their moisture up to this point in the program, also joined in with their own showers of blessing. It was an incredibly beautiful, holy moment!
Maggie Maluleke, a Theo teacher with an astonishing voice, then closed the assembly by leading us in a farewell song; Farewell brother, Farewell sister. Go with God, Until we meet.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

New students from South Africa

This week the first student coming from South Africa is due to arrive. Orifha will be leaving her home and travelling for two days in order to spend a year at Smithville Christian High School.

Here is an excerpt from a letter written by Mr. Marc Stroobosscher, Smithville Christian's former principal, who is in South Africa right now, volunteering at Theocentric Christian School.

"Wednesday, there was an assembly for the two students who are flying to Canada. Over five hundred students gathered in the drizzling rain and sang to them and blessed them by praying and holding hands over them.

"Orifha and Shaun, the two who are going to arrive at Smithville Christian, are full of optimism and are not at all afraid of the long flight, the change of airplanes in Schiphol or of becoming homesick. Both are exemplary young people but still so young. Although they have no idea what they will experience, this is an opportunity that will change their lives. Neither one comes from a “World Vision poor” background. Even so, the culture from which they come is impoverished in may other respects.

"A number of speeches were presented. Dora’s opinion was that there would be enough serious talks, so we did a little skit on being Canadian, eh! and then gave each of them a CANADA EH ! T-shirt. Although it rained all day spirits were not dampened. It was a fun day."

We are looking forward to Orifha's arrival and are praying for her safe travels. We are also praying that Shaun's visa will be issued and he will be able to come soon.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Grade 9 Bible Projects

Here's a selection of projects made by Grade 9 Bible students to illustrate the faith of Old Testament heros.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Chapels that sizzle

The final chapel of this semester featured a fantastic time of worship with the Praise Team leading us in singing "I am Not Ashamed," "Holding Nothing Back," and "My Redeemer Lives."

The Student Council Executive then presented a mini drama:

Veronica: "Once upon a time, there was a school full of kind and cheerful students. All of the students love to play hockey."

Morgan: "Every lunch hour the boys would split up into teams and play a friendly game of intramurals, with the girls faithfully cheering them on from the sidelines. That was just the way the system worked."

Veronica: "Then one day, a brave girl said, 'Hey! We can do anything they can do! Why sit here on the sidelines when we could be star players?!' And all the other girls agreed."

Morgan: "They picked up their hockey sticks and revolted. And with a hop in their steps and a click of their pens, they put their names on the sign-up sheet."

Veronica: "At first the boys said, 'Girls? No way! They can't play hockey.' "

Morgan: "And you know what the girls said? 'Yes! We can!' And every single one of those girls went on to win the championship, and later, the Stanley Cup."

Veronica: "And so, ladies, the moral of the story is you can't follow the system."

School wide hockey tournament, February 8. Sign-up sheet is in the office.

Then the lights were dimmed and we sat back and relaxed, enjoying a music video concert prepared by Mr. Neale Robb, featuring:

Tonight - Toby Mac
Miracles - Newsboys
Awake and Alive - Skillet
Everything I Need - Kutless
Impossible - Manafest
The Way - Jeremy Camp
Love is a Beautiful Thing - Group 1 Crew
Ain't Got Love - Greg Sczebel
Give It Away - Paul Brandt
For Those Who Wait - Fireflight
I Will Go - Starfield

Mr. Harris presented the new policy on Personal Electronic Devices at school, including our school's desire to avoid:
- students locked into their own little worlds
- activities that compromise who we are
- having non-educational uses creep into classroom learning time
- emphasis on who has the coolest stuff.
The major issue is one of respect, said Mr. Harris.

Mr. Harris also presented the new Research and Development schedule which will start on Fridays in Semester 2. Classes will start at 9:30 a.m. Choir will rehearse from 8:40 to 9:40 a.m. Class periods will be 70 minutes long, and there will be a 28-minute lunch period. School will end at the same time: 3:02 p.m.

Mr. Robb prayed a prayer of blessing on the students as they prepare for next week's exams: that God would give them the discipline to study well, that he would give them peace, and that he would give them the assurance that God's grace is sufficient for them.

God bless all of our students!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

If you want tomorrow to work out, it has everything to do with how you live today.

It was the first chapel of 2012 and students at Smithville Christian High School were invited to look back at the past and look forward to the future.

Spiritual life director Mr. Gord Park said if we want to be able to look back at our lives and say “that went well,” and if we want to be able to look forward and be able to say “it’s going to go well,” we need the advice found in Ephesians 5: 15-17.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. . . . Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Mr. Park said God has given us the gift of time and we are called to make the most of every opportunity. He said sin and Satan try to make us waste time, by worrying about the things we’ve done wrong in the past or by worrying about the consequences that are to come.

But he said we have “eternity in our hearts” and we should not let the “time bandits” of sin and Satan rob us of the peace God is able to give. He said there are other good things in our lives that can also turn into time bandits if we let them have too much influence: commitments, possessions, work or information.

Mr. Park also said we can look forward to a great future if we live according to God’s will. He said James 4 offers instructions on how to follow God. We need to avoid following sensual desires, putting ourselves first, praying with the wrong motive, failing to confess known sin, choosing the wrong friends, refusing to be humble and rejecting the grace of God.

“What are you going to do with your time so one year from now you can say ‘I made the most of the time I had?’” Mr. Park asked the students.

If we work on our relationship with God, it will also benefit our other relationships – with our families, with our friends, and with people we haven’t met yet.

“Don’t spend one second worrying about the past,” Mr. Park said, “and know that your future is in his hands. Right now God has a plan for you and his Holy Spirit is leading you – right now.

“If you want tomorrow to work out, it has everything to do with how you live today.”

Members of Student Council announced details of the upcoming ski trip and the Praise Team led us in wonderful worship.