In today’s world, most high school students are experiencing a large portion of life through the screen of their cell phone. How can we help these young adults see and understand the world around them without the filter of technology? Our mission at TRCS is to “prepare students from infancy through 12th grade to impact the world for Christ.” We want a spirit of love and service become pervasive throughout all of our programs. At the upper campus, we believe that in order for students to impact the world, they need to learn to serve it.
Each year, TRCS students in 7th – 12th grade will have the opportunity to serve locally, nationally or internationally during “Service Week,” which is the week prior to spring break. In the 2016-17 school year, more than 30 students went to New Orleans, Louisiana and Shell, Ecuador to serve in local programs with Younglife, working to alleviate poverty and minister to the needy. The remainder worked in the local area in partnership with Love Inc. and the Longview Parks Department.
“It helps you learn to put others before yourself,” said Aniya, an 8th grade student who worked with the local missions team.
In New Orleans, students stayed in the Canal Mosaic Church, touring the Ninth Ward and learning about the destruction from Hurricane Katrina and the ramifications for the culture of New Orleans. (For perspective, most of these students were only a year old when that happened!) From working in a local food bank to serving an after-school program for diverse low-income students, this group of 8th, 9th & 10th graders had to get out of their comfort zones and experience a culture that, while still American, was very different from their own.
The Ecuador team did an incredible amount of work: from putting a new ceiling up at a jungle church, to repainting and resealing cabins at a remote youth camp. These students experienced family life in another culture through home-stay programs, experiencing first-hand the difference in comforts. They played and worshipped alongside Ecuadorian teenagers from the Puyo Younglife group.
“I guess you always hear about how other cultures believe in Jesus just like you do, but you don’t really think about it until you see it in action. It’s pretty cool,” said Kelsey, a 12th grade student who went to Ecuador.
How do you build world-changers? Show them the world, and let them see firsthand how they can make it better.
Interested in having your child experience high school at TRCS? Next year’s teams are planning missions work locally, as well as in Nepal, Uganda, Ecuador, Washington D.C., and Molokai, Hawaii. To learn more about the program, click here.