Archive for September, 2015
by Sarah Matlock, Secondary Science Teacher & Student Council Advisor
Camp Timberline is an annual retreat in which our high school heads up into to the mountains for two days of fellowship, community, good food, and fun. This unique opportunity allows students and faculty to put the pressures of school on hold and focus on building a solid foundation in the Heritage family. The Camp T tradition serves as a pivotal moment for setting the theme for the rest of our school year. This year was definitely no exception! Last week established an incredible promise of unity amongst the students, as well as brought an inspirational direction for our theme, Anazao.
It is always tricky to have 9th – 12th graders sharing space, especially when it comes to food tables, free times, and sleeping quarters. Divisions naturally happen quite rapidly in this environment. However, from the get-go, our students demonstrated an awesome amount of unity. In fact, it was often difficult to tell where the freshman began and where the seniors ended (barring physical statures, of course). These moments were best captured in the free times, when all were welcome for throwing a football, or to late night card games in the cabin, students spent their alone time together. However, this school-wide unity would not be possible without the clear love and affection the classes have for each other.
The skit night was clear evidence of our individual classes coming together for a purpose. Our freshmen took a big risk imitating the teachers in their skit, a risk that paid off with roaring laughter from the crowd (at poor Profe’s expense). The sophomores demonstrated a deep devotion for each other when Katie licked the peanut butter (you had to be there). Our juniors spent substantial time researching our current presidential candidates in their hilarious mock interviews, and our seniors showed their adoration for the freshman in their trivia game show (and let’s just say Robin rocked the Australian accent and the freshman class can Whip and Nae Nae like no other). I pray this light-hearted camaraderie amongst the classes will carry over into the rest of the school year and hopefully even into the rest of their lives.
As awesome as those moments were, the heart of the retreat was definitely centered on Joe Packard’s devotion. He took the theme Anazao, which is Greek for “Revive”, to a very applicable and meaningful level. His message captivated the hearts and minds of students through the simple analogy of medical resuscitation. He explained to the students, when the heart is in trouble (NOT DEAD) it requires a defibrillator to stop the chaos of lost signals, thus restarting the heart. This jumpstart enables the signals to align and the heart to beat steady once again, supplying life-giving blood to the rest of the body. Through the Spirit we are also NOT DEAD! However, often we stop working together as the body of Christ. When this happens, we need to DEFRIBRILLATE the body (church). When Packard asked “where does this start?” the students all gave the immediate Bible school answers, “Jesus”, “the Bible”, etc. At this point, Packard lifted a large mirror toward the crowd and said, “This starts with YOU.” In short, this beautiful illustration showed that instead of focusing on oneself for revival, we need to pour ourselves into each other, thus allowing the sustaining life to flow through the church.
This powerful message hit home for many students. But with this new light came the shedding of darkness. In this moment many students were shaken by the gloom that has plagued their lives recently. Overcome with emotion, they rejoiced in a new sense of direction and purpose. However, this moment was a reminder to me that many of our students are still lost and desperately searching for peace in this chaotic world. My prayer and request is that each parent reading this blog will immediately stop the noise in their home and talk with their kids. Sit them down and ask persistently and lovingly how they are doing. Do not accept the typical answer. Push for more. Pray for more. Much like adults, this generation of youth has become great at hiding inner-pain. Let us bring that pain into the light, because remember DARKNESS FLEES FROM THE LIGHT! All in all, Camp Timberline was an incredible two days that reinforced the love and unity our school is able to share through Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for this opportunity for my own children and for our current youth. Praise be to God that even in the darkest hour our students can call on the name of Jesus.
by Lisa Easton, HCA History Teacher
Birthed out of a desire to love and support Northern Colorado Christian educators as missionaries in their schools, Compass NoCo was formed to connect educators to each other and to resources to assist them in impacting their schools for Christ. Inspired by CEAI (Christian Educators Association International), we are hosting a Teacher Prayer Breakfast at SouthGate Church on Saturday September 26 from 9-11 am. Picture Northern Colorado educators coming together for a gathering of worship, blessing, and encouragement.
Keynote speaker will be David Schmus, AP History/Government public school veteran who holds an M.A. in Biblical Studies and Theology from Biola University, who is currently full-time with CEAI. Partnering with us is Moms in Prayer, a ministry which spawns weekly prayer groups of moms that intercede for our schools, and Fort Collins Church Network (FCCN). Registration is via our website: nocochristianeducators.org. Deadline to register is September 23. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call Joyce at 970.480.7245, or talk to Lisa Easton by calling HCA at 970.494.1022.
by Elizabeth Wright, HCA ESL Teacher
Joseph and Benjamin are hard at work on a new construction project. It’s the biggest contract their company has ever had, and they are proud to be working on an impressive, top-of-the-line skyscraper.
“When we’re finished,” touts Joseph, “Our company will be the most famous in the area. We’ll never have to move far away for another job!”
“What?” says Benjamin, “Wo ting bu dong. Ni shuo shenme?”
“You está diciendo palabras locos!” replies a worried Joseph.
Shortly afterwards, they abandon their skyscraper.
Fast forward several thousand years. Joseph’s and Benjamin’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren gather in Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel. It’s early in the morning, and street vendors are just opening their fruit stands and meat carts to welcome the influx of tourists here for the festival. Suddenly, a local man stands on a nearby rooftop and begins preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Ting de dong!” exclaims Benji.
“Yo comprendo!” shouts Joe.
“He’s right! Jesus truly is the way to God!” others chime.
Pentecost is a glorious anti-Babel. Where Babel shows the devastating discipline of a God who deserves obedience, Pentecost reveals Divine wisdom that leaps language barriers in a single bound. Occasionally even now, God gives this supernatural understanding. But most often, he trains us through the slow, arduous process of climbing the language barrier with nothing but a rope and the guidance of those who’ve climbed before.
I am absolutely blessed to help our Asian students scale this wall, arming them with the Gospel in the process. I pray that God will use them mightily to bring His word to the very ends of the earth.