School visits aka wall of awesomeness
My team was responsible for the primary and secondary school visits. This consisted of trucking out 30 minutes up to an hour and a half to a remote village, meeting their head master or head teacher, then assembling the students in their classroom or under a tree for our presentation. We had groups of 200 to 800 students at the six schools we visited. Often they would have a song to perform for us, and then we would begin our speaking and photos.Jack Wheeler spoke about communication in America: mobiles, computers, facebook, texting, mass media. These are all useful tools but can be used for harm also. Example: rumors, indirect conflict, global terror. He challenged us to see what the bible has to say about how to communicate and have effective relationships with the world.
Judy Joyce spoke about marriage in the states. She shared personal testimony of her two marriages and suggested that money and cars do not buy happy marriages. A marriage makes a strong family and a strong family makes a strong country. She gave some biblical tips on how to put God first in your marriage, not just “us and then also God.”
Peggy Graeser spoke about hospitality in America and took the kids on an imaginary trip across the ocean to America so they could pretend to be there. She took them through a typical week and also some conflicts with Americans who would laugh at them for their cultural differences. She made a good point of setting aside differences and caring for brothers and sisters around the world.
Hank Graeser spoke about freedom and government and the American constitution. Freedom in democracy allows for many liberties for society but it can obviously be abused. He asked students to consider what kinds of freedoms lead to death instead of life as well as considering what kind of freedom God has for us.
Julie Watson spoke about American families, the busyness of school and sports and everyday life, how families have fun and work on conflicts, and why they are so important for God’s plan.
Katie Watson spoke about teenage life in America and about how many high school students have joined a movement to do community service and other selfless deeds for their society. However, she points out a problem of motive in that many of her friends do these good things to have them on their college applications and resumes and are not always motivated by the deeds themselves.
Kathi Picton told a story about being caught stealing as a small child and also coveting her friends things when she was a secondary student. She knew her sinfulness but was never willing to admit it to her friends or to God, and therefore, even though she attended church, she had not done business with God to become a true christian. She challenged the students to become Christians.
I spoke about music and movies in culture – mostly diagnosing the different parts of songs you will hear on the radio, in tones, sounds, rhythms, and lyrics. Music can not be christian – it doesn’t have a soul. But it can be a vessel for the lyrics, which can lead you steps closer to heaven or farther away when you absorb them. It’s not what enters a man that makes him unclean, it’s what comes out. So I challenged students to listen to the radio with discernment and talk to themselves about the songs and movies they digest.
Then we would end the assembly by giving the school a jump rope and asking the teachers and headmasters to demonstrate in front of all the kids. The place would go bananas.