If our students graduated after grade eight believing that every other school-aged child in the world lives exactly as they do in their school-home-church universe, we would be missing an opportunity. Similarly, if the only mention of money and fundraising in their elementary years at LCES were efforts to direct funds back toward themselves and/or their school, something would be missing.
With the LCES goal of facilitating a grateful response to God by using mind and body to serve others, we challenge our students to be a faithful presence in a broken, but dearly loved world. As an expression of thanks and in response the instruction to be a blessing to “all nations” (Genesis 12:2), students participate in a Student Service Project each year. Each class invests time and effort in some kind of initiative that generates funds that support the chosen project. Examples of this include selling smoothies, a fun fair, ice cream refreshments at the Shakespeare play in May, and much more.
We’ve chosen to continue with the organization we chose last year, Compassion Canada, who links us to “..the developing world to end poverty in the life of a child, in Jesus’ name.”
(www.compassion.ca) Two specific projects we have chosen for 2016-17 are in the country of Indonesia. One goal is to equip a classroom with the books necessary for learning because they lack these basic tools to study God’s world. The other project is to create a play structure for students to use, allowing them the joy of play (a child’s community) and the refuge of safer place to play than the playground of the city streets.
It has been our experience that these service projects offer unique opportunities for learning. Students are challenged to meet the brokenness of this world in ways that are not otherwise familiar to them. They can see themselves as part of returning this world to the way it was intended to be by God’s design and for his glory. Economic, cultural and geographic differences that become clear in unique ways and empathy for others and recognizing the call to be of Christian service (see LCES Graduate Profile) are valued outcomes.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to witness belief shape action in the lives of our students. May God be praised and may his kingdom come. SJ