NICS Students Reach Out
December 01, 2009 | Featured
By CORE Magazine
Students from NICS schools participate in various mission trips both at home and around the world.
The mission of NICS is to establish a worldwide network of international Christian schools staffed by qualified Christian educators, instilling in each student a Biblical world-view in an environment of academic excellence and respect for people of all cultures and religions.
All throughout the New Testament, Jesus encounters the lame, poor, fatherless, and other disadvantaged individuals. It is obvious that He could not stand to walk by these people without stopping and acting. His response was to heal the sick and defend the cause of the poor and orphaned, and He calls us to do the same in becoming like Him.
Over the last several years, NICS students have been provided with various opportunities to serve others all over the world. Nicole Campanali is the 7th grade Bible teacher at International Academy of Suriname in Paramaribo and has spent the first semester of this year teaching her students about Christian character traits. During the course of the semester, the students have learned about joyfulness and the idea that although there may be individuals suffering, each student could bring joy to them. As the class began to embrace this, they struggled with why God did not care about those suffering, namely orphans. Nicole responded with these words, “God is already present...we just have to make him visible.” She then helped the students organize a project for a local orphanage that would teach the students what Christ-like servant leadership looked like. Her goal for her students is two-fold: to minister to those in need and to help the students grow as loving individuals who care for their neighbors.
Nicole’s account of the class’s service project is as follows:
[Many of my students] come from atheistic/non-religious, Islamic, Hindu, and non-practicing Catholic backgrounds. [These] students have such a willingness to help those who cannot give back in return…[T]hey have adapted the mission statement, ‘God is already present...we just have to make Him visible.’ I wish you could see how their demeanor changes when we speak about and make preparations to go to the orphanage. The students have taken such initiative with this project, initiative that I have never seen before with middle school students. The students have created various fund raising campaigns over the past two months, a food drive, a Christmas gift drive (similar to “Operation Christmas"), and have plans to do a clothing drive in January.
We will be going to the orphanage again on December 14th to celebrate Christmas. The students structure the afternoon’s activities for the orphans. Generally, they clean for the first hour (a task that is greatly needed), help wash clothes (by hand!), fold clothes, etc. When the children arrive from school, they do an activity with them such as an arts and crafts project or read to them.
Molly is one student from the class who has been impacted by the children in the orphanage. She says that through the orphans, God has taught her “…that even though they don’t have parents and a real family they are all the same as us and we don’t need to think of them as weird people or not normal people. [T]hey are just like you and me.” The impact of this local missions project in the lives of a 7th grade class has been groundbreaking. It has significantly blessed the class, Nicole, and the parents to serve those that are less fortunate.
Across the world, in Seoul, Korea, God has been working through the staff and students of Yongson International School as well. Many groups participate in mission trips each year and last year, a small group of students and staff members took a week-long trip to an orphanage in the suburbs of Manila in the Philippines. The group ran a Vacation Bible School with orphanage and neighborhood kids, practiced street evangelism, and passed out Bibles. Ross, a junior at YIS, was one of the students who attended. God worked in his life in Manila, and he recounts, “God used these trips to show me what it meant to actually do work that was significant. I guess this was one of the few opportunities in which ‘I’ wasn’t the center of the purpose. I studied to get my own grades, I worked to get my own future, and I socialized to make my life easier. However, these trips were different. I was able to experience what it was like to sacrifice yourself. And most importantly, I was able to realize that you receive more when you sacrifice...The moment you choose to give yourself to others, you become the happiest man on earth.” Ross has been changed by the opportunity to serve others and will be returning to Manila this school year with more students to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In South America, The International Christian School of Lima in Peru spent November 20th participating in projects around the city. One group of students helped to clean a house that is being used for a place that underprivileged students can come for safety, resources, and a refuge. The group also helped with yard work and flower beds as well as wrapping gifts and writing verses for food baskets to give to the students. Kelli, a 7th grader who participated in the project, recalled that the students had fun together and felt great about the reality that they did something to help kids their age. She says, “The kids who are on the streets, I’m sure, feel lost and not loved and like God hates them, so having this place to go to will make them feel better and like they aren’t alone like the feel they are. They will feel like they have somewhere to turn to and little by little they will truly feel peace because of God’s love, and we helped them with that.” ICS is providing a way for students to serve Christ and be changed by it, and Kelli is only one student who has been impacted by the call to serve others.
Many other NICS schools are participating in both local and international missions as well, and the students and staff are receiving joy from serving others. John Piper says, “Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God’s delight in being God.” The many testimonies of both teachers and students affirm the happiness that relationship with God brings and therefore, students are spreading the Gospel to others and finding joy in the mission. Please pray for our students and staff as they continue their involvement in missions both locally and internationally.