February 22, 2013

Friendship Day

Blog Archives:

Immanuel Christian Elementary School chose to celebrate Valentine's Day a little differently this year.  They chose to support the ministry of EduDeo - specifically raising funds for desks at Bethel Christian School in a memorable way. Read the following report they sent us of the day to find out more!

February 14th is a day commonly referred to as Valentines Day. However, at Immanuel Christian Elementary school (ICES) it is known as Friendship day.  This is a day to celebrate our school community as well as reach out to the body of believers outside our walls and even our country. 

Friendship day started out with students having a chance to exchange Valentines Day cards and notes of affirmation.  After this, the entire school staff and student body gathered in the gym  to sing praises to God as well as reflect on the love that He gives us.   This is a love so deep and wide that it knows no bounds. 

The students were broken into cross-grade teams and situated in the gym according to their team.  The idea behind this was to facilitate community-building both inside and outside the school. The entire group was introduced to statistics taken from “If the world was a village”.  Students were given chances to reflect the fact that we as Canadians are blessed, but that so many in our world don’t have what we have.  For example if we need new sports equipment we simply go out and buy it.  Due to economic challenges, this isn’t possible for much of the world’s population.  One of the ways students explored this was by having to make both a soccer ball and a hockey ball out of cardboard, yarn, newspaper and a few pieces of tape.  The hockey balls were later tested as students engaged in hockey games while using the ‘newspaper ball’. 

To conclude the assembly, students were asked to think about “individualism”.  Individualism is something that is prominent in Canadian culture.  It certainly has its place, but individualism can rob us of the joy of connecting with and developing meaningful relationships with others.  Furthermore, God asks us to reach out and share what we have with those who have less (I John 3:17, Matthew 25: 34-35). 

After the assembly was over students went off in their cross grade groups to make cards for students in Bethel Christian School.  These cards were decorated by students and expressed Christian sentiments, both in Spanish and English.  Once again older students showed excellent leadership in helping younger learners with the project. 

The cards are part of a larger school-wide initiative to build community and friendships with Bethel Christian School in Nicaragua.  On a snowy day in January, Phil Beck from EduDeo Ministries came to Lethbridge in order to speak to Immanuel Christian Elementary School students.  He introduced ICES learners to the fact that there are Christian schools in other countries who serve the same God we do, despite differences in their language and culture.  He also pointed out to students that we are connected as a community of believers. 

Since that time, ICES has been focused on developing community in our own school as well as raising money for desks at Bethel Christian School.  Students who display acts of community–building, are rewarded; however the reward is not for the student.  Each reward represents $2 that ICES is committed to sending to Bethel Christian School to help them purchase needed resources, specifically desks.  Students have also brought in money from their allowances, or earnings from jobs they’ve done around the house to help with this cause.  At this point we have raised over $1000! 

ICES students have clearly taken ownership of this initiative and school staff is excited about where this will lead.  The fundraising effort will wrap up sometime in March at which time funds and over 200 cards will be sent to EduDeo to support Christian school students in Nicaragua in the hopes of forging deeper relationships between believers a continent away.  Dios te vendiga!

If your school would like to invite Phil, our Canadian Partnerships Coordinator, to speak at your school, contact him today!


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