Wednesday, 16 April 2014

South Africa 2014

Smithville Christian High School students who travelled to South Africa over March Break said they were overwhelmed by the love they received from the students at Theocentric Christian School.

At this week's chapel, members of the South Africa team led in worship and shared stories and photos of their experiences.

They began with singing "My Redeemer Lives" and then Shannon B. shared how much she enjoyed the unstructured life of "South Africa time." She said Smithville Christian alumnus, Devon Van Hoffen, who is currently working in South Africa, told her before she left to "expect to see God everywhere."
Shannon said it's true. She saw God throughout her experiences on the two-week trip and  "I see God here in you."

Then she quoted Isaiah 40:31, and said an eagle's wings allow it to soar above the storms of life. She quoted a pastor in South Africa who said God uses our messes to become messages, and our tests to become testimonies.

Hear Shannon, and listen as the South Africa Team leads in singing "He Reigns."

Kristen A. talked about how the team members grew closer through their experiences together.

The team led in singing "Just As I Am/Jesus Take All of Me."

Adam V. said he also saw God everywhere, and that the students felt "God had his hand on us." The team led in singing "Our God is Greater."

Hear Adam, and listen as the South Africa Team leads in singing "Our God is Greater."

Nico D. said two of the team's theme songs were "Break Dividing Walls," which spoke to them of racial integration, and "Victor's Crown," which spoke to them of the power of being Christ-followers.

The team members shared a series of photo collages, and described some of the highlights of their experiences. They also showed video highlights of their daily work at Theocentric Christian School.

Watch the South Africa Team's daily video highlights.

We continue to pray for the students and staff at Theocentric Christian School, and they are continuing to pray for us! What a joy it is to experience the unity of the Kingdom of God. Our God is, indeed, great!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tuned In

Spiritual life director Gord Park was driving to school one day last week and it was like Battle of the Bands in his car.
His wife had left the radio tuned to Christian radio station WDCX, he told students at this week's chapel,  and a praise song came pouring over the airwaves. But at the same time, he could hear strains of Queen's "Killer Queen," a rock anthem from the 1970s, competing for his attention.
Then, as his car crested the Niagara Escarpment, the signal became clear and it was all Jesus.
"Our lives are like that," Park told students. "What the radio is tuned in to, that's what the radio is receiving."
We can choose what we want to be tuned in to, he said.
And even if our radio is tuned in to Jesus "that doesn't stop other things from coming at us at the same time," Park said.

Park told two Holy Week stories from the Gospel of Luke: the story of the blind man who tells Jesus he wants to see and the story of Zacchaeus who climbed a tree to see Jesus.
Both men intentionally positioned themselves to receive Jesus, Park said. The blind man said he wanted to be healed and Zacchaeus made sure he could see. The lives of both were radically transformed.
"We all have the opportunity to receive what Jesus has for us but we have to position ourselves to receive," the students were told.
How do we do that?
"As students at this school, through the support and guidance of your parents, you have been put into a position to see Jesus every day," Park said. "When Jesus passes by Zacchaeus, he sees a heart ready to receive him.
"Put yourself in the tree."
The blind man called out to Jesus, and just like him, "Jesus will ask you daily, 'What do you want?' "Park said. We can ask Jesus for sight, not just physical sight but spiritual sight.
"Jesus' heart's desire is to meet you daily," Park told the students.
"I want to challenge you to be like Zacchaeus.
"Go climb a tree. It's a way of saying your heart is in the right place."
Park closed in prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit to help each one understand what it means to be in a position to see Jesus clearly, and to recognize the significance of calling out to God.
A student praise team led in worship and Scripture reading, sharing from Ezekiel 36 and from Psalm 121.

Ezekiel 36: 25-27
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Worship included Everlasting, Just As I Am/Jesus Take All of Me, Same Love, Here I Am to Worship, and The Stand.