Despite the Belizean heat, chills ran down my spine and tears welled as the first chords to Good Good Father broke the silence and those precious souls began making their way through the crowd. There in the little town of Santa Elena they came forward to dedicate their hearts to God—until 30 stood together, arms wrapped around each other. What miracles God had accomplished in and through our students in just one week!
In March, Andy Wade, Highland Academy teacher and Mission Trip Coordinator, organized a project with La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital to complete the first phase of their new mission house so that volunteer doctors and groups can more readily serve. The mission trip team was comprised of 24 students and 6 adults.
“Santa Elena, Belize was my first mission trip when I was a student at Highland Academy,” reflects Wade. “Since then I’ve returned four times. It’s incredible to see how the investments we’ve made over time has made a difference!”
On that trip they built the first classrooms for the Adventist primary school. Today they have more than 1000 students between Eden SDA Primary School and Eden SDA High School. Over the years those building projects created so much more than a space to learn. It opened up the way for students to come to know Christ—and years down the road, for a Week of Spiritual Emphasis to take place!
Our students were excited for the opportunity to lead a series of meetings. It was decided that our messages would center around the Character and Goodness of God. For it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance and true relationship with Him (Romans 2:4). The students diligently prepared and practiced sermons, skits, dynamic illustrations and special musics.
“The genuine smiles and warm receptions of 550 high school students melted my heart,” shares Natalie Hamilton, senior and speaker for Week of Spiritual Emphasis. “Although I worried that the cultural differences would impede the messages, their acceptant responses proved that sharing Christ transcends all boundaries.”
As the students presented day after day the Holy Spirit came alongside their efforts and there on a beautiful Friday morning, in the little town of Santa Elena, we gathered by the river to witness 6 baptisms into the kingdom of God!
There is no greater joy than leading someone to know Christ!
Written by: Kaleigh Benge, Highland Academy Chaplain, Bible Teacher and Co-mission Trip Sponsor