Tag Archives: Spring Term 2015

Star Wars – Thursday, 4/2/15

It’s a blast to watch Star Wars with budding theologians and fun people. Thanks to your students, I’m seeing Star Wars in a way I’ve never seen before. As we watch the movies with Proverbs 28:26 in mind (“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” NASB), your students see points and make connections to the Bible I had not.

For instance, Isaiah Walker pointed out that the time between the two trilogies is much like the time between the Old and New Testaments. Though it seemed the Holy Spirit (or in the films, the Force) was quiet, he was indeed at work for the good of his people. Mr. Walker also pointed out that just as the first Skywalker (Anakin) goofed up his mandate and caused great evil for the rest of the galaxy, so the first Adam fell and brought the curse on his all. Likewise, the second Skywalker (Luke) made things right, and so also does the second Adam, Jesus, make all things right. Devin Sanders pointed out that when a barroom brawler starts a fight with Luke for no good reasons, it parallels 2 Timothy 3:12 and John 15:18. All who desire to live a godly life will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), just like Luke did. And just like Jesus promised that the world would hate us because we belong to him, so the bad guys dislike Luke just because he’s a good guy.

The parallels didn’t cease with situations, though. Mr. Sanders also pointed out that when Ben Kenobi tells Luke not to trust his eyes because they can deceive him, so we also should put our ultimate trust not in our senses, but in the Word of God. Josh Papevies pointed that when Yoda says that the Dark Side is the quick and easy path, it reminded him of Jesus’ warning that the gate to life is narrow and small, while the path to destruction is wide and many find it (Matthew 6:13-14)

We should give a special shout-out to David Scheidt and Robert Mathis for creating a terrific Kahoot Empire Strikes Back trivia game for us to play online. Congratulations to Rishi “Skypandya” for winning the game!

Zack Shaffer

Zack Shaffer

Need for Speed – Thursday, 4/2/15

If this blog post sounds a little dull, it’s because we’re all exhausted!  Today was our service project day, and we successfully helped 10 of our NCCS ladies with their cars.  We started our day off bright and early with two dozen doughnuts (the only proper way to start a work day).  We then turned our attention to auto service and worked hard from 8:00am to 3:00pm, changing oil, checking fluids, washing, and vacuuming.  Every member of our team chipped in with servant hearts and did a great job.  We even had members of our team (Grant and Kathleen) willing to get oil in their hair for the sake of our cause!  Admittedly, some cars were washed better than others (sorry Ms Thaxton), but every car was given loving attention under the watchful eye of Coach Speck.  We are proud to report we had no injuries, no damages, and only a teeny tiny little bitty spot of oil on the pavement.  We hope that our work today has been a little blessing to those we served, and we hope that the skills we have learned this week will be used by God for many years to come!

Josh Speck

6th Grade Sojourn Adventure – Wednesday, 4/1/15

The morning started early with a 6:45 AM arrival at NCCS. After getting a bit of a late start, the sixth graders arrived at Sojourn Adventures around 9:00. We had the opportunity to participate in low ropes throughout the morning. The low ropes activities encouraged team cooperation and perseverance through failure.

Around noon, we took a break to have our Subway lunches and to hydrate. Sojourn had a Gaga Ball pit located conveniently by the pavilion where we ate, so many students competed in intense games of Gaga Ball when they were finished eating. Ironically, many of the students deemed this their favorite part of the day!

After lunch we faced the high ropes elements, including the zipline, the “lil” swing (that’s not so little), and climbing apparatuses. Each of these were daunting feats, but the students impressed us all by challenging themselves to go beyond their comfort zones.

We had a really enjoyable day, and all came back exhausted in the best way!


Today we spent the day with the 5th graders. The first half of the day was spent serving NCCS in various ways. Some of the tasks were spreading pine straw, picking up trash around campus, raking mulch, sorting books, organizing the art room, cleaning teachers’ classrooms, and more. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to our school!

After lunch, students were given different fun options and were allowed to choose two. They could watch a movie, play sports, play board games, play educational games on chromebooks, or do an art project.

It was a great way to end the week before heading off to Spring Break!

Emily Wright

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Local Missions – Thursday, 4/2/15

SIFAT, Lineville, Alabama

The Local Missions Spring Term ended with a completely different theme from the previous days. “Local Missions went around the world!” according to Purity Gitau. We loaded into the buses for a two and a half hour drive to SIFAT.  Servants in Faith and Technology is a mission organization that teaches “appropriate technology” to bring to developing cultures. They instruct missionaries on how to use the things around them to provide for their three basic needs: water, food, and shelter.  They incorporate solar ovens, special cook stoves, rainwater collection devices, and water purification systems into what is available to the people in the developing nations that they work in.  SIFAT has built a village home for every culture they teach in: Guatemala, Bolivia, India, Uganda, Nigeria, Philippines, and the City Slums. It was amazing to be able to stand in a little wooden hut and realize that there are people who have built their entire lives with practically nothing. It definitely made me thankful for all of the resources available to me. One of my personal favorite stops on the world tour was the city slums. The houses backed right into each other and next to each other, leaving hardly any space to breathe between the narrow walkways. Trash littered the “streets” and in the homes. Our tour guide then gave us the horrible account of the life there. Houses are built randomly wherever newcomers feel they can fit them. Fires are lit in the houses, flooding the streets with smoke and making it hard to breathe or see. When water or food trucks come through the town to deliver, only men are able to fight their ways to the crowd and secure the little bits they can. Hundreds die from malnutrition and diseases because they have no access to a doctor. Life is hard there, but thankfully there are ministries like SIFAT that are sending out missionaries who understand the confusing life and help people to find the best ways to survive. Our lunch experience further opened our eyes to the poverty around the world. Upon arriving at the line, we were asked to draw a plastic chip from a bag. If you were one of the 14 that drew a white chip, you were asked to wait at the other side of the outdoor pavilion. If you drew a blue chip, you were given a single tortilla and asked to move to another area. Four people drew a red chip and were allowed to move through the lunch line and get as much as they wanted at the buffet – fish, rice, beans, sautéed peppers, salad, tortilla chips & salsa, and fruit. Frustration grew among us as we watched the others devour a wonderful meal and we sat in silence. It wasn’t amusing in any way. Our small scale frustration, though, showed the worldwide breakdown of food distribution. 50% of the world doesn’t receive a meal, 35% receive one meal a day, and 15% have too much to eat. Our experiences this week have given me a new outlook on life. For everything I have, I need to be grateful because there is someone else out there going to bed hungry. Maybe I can’t solve world hunger, but I can take small steps by being thankful for what I receive and only taking what I can consume. I didn’t think Local Missions would make such a big impact on me this week, but I’m overjoyed that I was able to participate. I made as big of a difference here as someone on an international trip. No matter where I am, I know that it only takes one act of kindness to make the biggest difference in the world.

Hannah Hicks, 9th Grade

Bolivia BridgeAbigail BridgeGracie BridgeLucy BridgeRedshirts Lunch Nigeria Phillipines RedGroupPhillipines Slums Slums2

Go Green – 4/2/15

This morning started off pretty much awesome! We loaded the bus and headed to Serenbe Farms. It’s about an hour and a half away in Palmetto, Georgia and was really a beautiful drive. The roads need some definite attention (which we found out later), but it was a pleasant drive nonetheless. Mrs. D gave out her gifts to the kids! Re-usable water pouches!!

Serenbe farms is a part of a sustainable community, meaning that the farm works closely with the residents in providing produce, local meats, and other products as needed. Many residents participate in a CSA or a co-op in which vegetables are grown and distributed out to those members who volunteer and work the land. No harmful chemicals are used on the farm and all fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides are organic-based and not harmful to the land. They make their own compost, irrigate from a local lake, and find ways to recycle pretty much everything they have!

One of the most surprising/exciting things the students found was the toilet facility… The word “outhouse” does not even begin to describe it. Shiheem was awesome and took a pic for us. We took an AMAZING tour of the farm – lead by the lead farmer, Ashley, who was seriously passionate about sustainable organic farming and living. We got a chance to learn about bees and their impact on the farm, as well as other beneficial insects! After our tour, we had a chance to serve the farm by pulling weeds, and cleaning up the greenhouse area. Students did a great job with this and even got a few lessons on some herbs and ground cover that are essential to the soil! Not to mention AJ…No fear holding the worm…

Next we had a DELICIOUS lunch at the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop. The restaurant is located in the Serenbe town area. The area is so quaint and adorable! Lane, the manager at the restaurant had all of our orders ready to go when we arrived! It was amazing! AND we found out that they won the 2012 Cupcake Wars on Food Network! Callan ordered a red velvet cupcake – and velvet definitely describes it! YUM! Once we finished lunch, we (well most of us) cleaned up our areas, recycled our bottles/paper/plastics and took at little tour of a few of the shops! Mrs. D and Coach Stein bought a couple of shirts, and almost everyone visited the candy shop!

The trip back from the community was eventful to say the least. But let me just say, God’s presence was apparent through the whole thing! As we were driving, a VERY nice man flagged us down to tell us that our tire was low (he used his iPad to tell us (which made Mrs. D a little nervous)). We promptly got off the interstate and pulled into a truck stop. As we investigated further, we realized that the tire needed to be replaced. God stepped in and led us to a tire shop NEXT DOOR and to the owners who were such Godly people!! This could have easily taken forever, but 30 minutes later, we were on the road with a new tire! And keeping with our GREEN theme, we got a recycled tire!!!

For our students, THANK YOU for going on this 4-day journey with us! It was so wonderful getting to know you and experiencing this awesome Spring Term short course with you!

Happy Spring Break – and BE SAFE and Take care of the planet!

Take away from today – God is always in control!

#compostisgreen #ilovecovercrop

#chrishaslotion #dothebeedance

#annaisasunflower #dontkillitjackie

#burpees #gadotfail

Guatemala – Thursday, 4/2/15

We had a powerful night of worship last night singing together, studying Philippians 3, and talking about where we have seen hope on this trip. Awesome stories all around as our kids and leaders shared different moments from the week so far. We talked about the details for the big party today and then everyone headed to bed.

Diana, Amber, and Breck had breakfast duty today and they were ready to roll with hairnets in place by 6am. Breakfast was really good today…chicken salad sandwiches and cantaloupe. Not a combination that many of us have considered for breakfast before…but it was great! All of the bread here is really good…baked here at camp. The kids arrived around 8am and we fed them while the party rental company inflated the jumpies and set up bumper cars and go karts. Our kids were just as excited as the Guatemalan kids! We spent the rest of the morning playing hard and spending as much time as possible with these precious kids.

Lunch today was pollo de crema, rice, tortillas, and limeade. Another excellent meal! We had a few minutes of downtime and then the parents arrived! There were over 100 parents who came out to see what their kids have been up to at Hope for Guatemala. What an awesome turnout in a country where a lot of kids tend to sort of be on their own during the day while mom works and many dads aren’t around. Jose was really pleased with how many parents came today.

Everyone gathered in the eating area for an overview of the afternoon activities and then we sent them out to have fun! The setup was similar to NCCS Fall Festival with games, food, and lots of fun activities. They even had horses, basketball, soccer, and all the playground games. This place was full of laughter and lots of families making special memories for over two hours. When the party was over, Jose gathered all the families to give away prizes and to wrap up the afternoon. That was also the point when we have out the Spanish Luge Conversation guides that shares the gospel using Three Circles. We practiced this in Upper School chapel last week and it was a blast to see the groups using these gospel tracts in English and Spanish all over the world! How incredible to think of all the gospel seeds that have been planted this week!

After the party, we spent an hour cleaning everything up and putting camp back together. Right now our students are playing soccer while we wait for pizza to be delivered for dinner. Guatemala Pizza Hut is awesome and we have a hungry bunch!

We will have our final team time later tonight and a chance for everyone to share one last time for the week. The crew is going to pack up tonight and begin cleaning the rooms.

Tomorrow morning we will have breakfast with the kids and then make our way to the airport. I feel quite certain that we will need to make sure no Guatemalan kids are packed in our luggage! There will be tears tomorrow for sure. But…what a joyous reunion it will be when we all see each other again in Guatemala…or in heaven one day!

Thank you everyone for your prayers for this week. We will return home tomorrow very tired from pouring out everything we have into these precious kids. Many of us are sunburned and I’ve heard a few Chick-fil-A requests. The main thing we take away from this week is that we spent our life this week on something that will last for all of eternity. We head home forever changed and grateful for this experience. Gracias a El!

Megan Strange

Student Perspective: Isadora Salles
The bet part of today was when the kids were getting off the bus. A sweet girl I have made friends with brought me a pink flower when she got off the bus. These kids have been so sweet and I have really enjoyed them.

Student Perspective: Macy Murray
The best time I’ve had here has been connecting with the kids…especially a girl named Anna. She is a little older and we’ve been practicing English and Spanish. When she introduced me to her mom today, she was so proud. It made me realize how much I’ve really enjoyed time with these kids in Guatemala.

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Forensics – Thursday, 4/2/15

Wow, what an impactful week ending with an influential and inspirational day!  Today was the culmination of our Forensics Spring Term.  We started this journey by looking at how law enforcement gathered clues, builds a case and catches criminals.  We learned about the various levels of law enforcement from the local to the federal level.  We learned and practiced some of the skills involved in the job of law enforcement from the gathering of evidence, the interviewing of witnesses and criminals, and firearms training of law enforcement.  Today we ended with learning what happens to those on the other side of the law.

After someone is arrested, booked, tried, convicted and incarcerated, what happens next?  These are people after all.  They must pay for their crimes, but they also must be rehabilitated before they are released back into society.

We were blessed to hear from Kit Cummings, the director of The Power of Peace Project. The Power of Peace Project is a ministry that is dedicated to the redirecting of at risk youth, reducing the overall incidence of youth crime in America, rehabilitating young inmates, lowering academic dropout rates, and inspiring young people through the message of peace.  Mr. Cummings’ program has been used in schools, communities, and prisons all over the United States and the world including South Africa, Honduras, Mexico, and Ukraine and is now headed for India.  Mr. Cummings shared with us his experience, insight, motivation, and passion for prison ministry.  He showed us that even those who have committed awful crimes are in fact lost people who are desperately in need of peace and Jesus in their lives.  Kit shared a story with us where he spoke with a death row inmate who asked him “Can your God forgive me for what I have done?”…Wow!  What a chance for that person to confess to their sins (agree with God), repent (turn from their past behaviour and go another way), and ask for God’s mercy, grace and salvation!  After all Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Thank you, Mr. Cummings, for sharing with us!

After lunch we traveled to the Marietta Regional Youth Detention Center.  Here our young men had the opportunity to learn about what goes on inside a Youth Detention Center and to give Bibles to the center to distribute to the young people incarcerated there.  This was an awesome chance for us to show those who have made terrible decisions in their life, that they can in fact change their heart through the truth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:36, 40 “…I was in prison and you came to me; Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Our young men left notes and Bible passages to encourage these young people and to show them the message of redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Thank you to all of those who helped make this week possible and as we head into Easter, it would be good for all of us to remember that through God’s incredible love for all of us He sent His Son to be sacrificed for our sins so that we would have eternal life.

God Bless,

Coach Morris

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