One Nation, Under God

I grew up in an era where every morning, in grade school, we would recite the Pledge of Allegiance; however I do not recall ever participating in a school-wide prayer during or after the school day. In America, there is supposed to be a separation between church and state, so prayer in school is a “no-no”.

This week I had the opportunity to visit schools throughout the region – one private and 4 public, in 4 different townships.  The purpose of these visits was to share the word of God and pray with the students.  Although the private and public schools were quite different, the message delivered was the same.

Private School Visit

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Around 11:30am we made our way to Southdowns College.  Their mission is to create independent leaders for a global society.  Offering music, drama, French engineering graphics and design classes, this school is sure to provide all learners with a well-rounded educational trajectory.  Equipped with memory verses for each student, a bible to share the word and a DVD pre-loaded with praise and worship songs and “karaoke” words so they could follow along, we arrived about 10 minutes before class dismissal.  The campus grounds were beautiful with lush landscaping and appeared to be well-kept.  I’m not sure about you, but I do NOT remember my high school looking like this. I may have gotten really inspired had I had this to look forward to everyday as a teenager. But I digress….

When the bell rang, the “halls” erupted with sounds of fast movement.  Not quite sure what to expect, I fell in line and began greeting the students with a high-five as they walked in.  Each student excited, smiling and full of energy, packed into the classroom for the Student Christian Association meeting.  There were multiple races present from all grade levels.

photo 1 copyOnce the room began to fill-up, praise and worship began. Praise and worship consisted of 2 songs, both incorporating dance movements I was not previously aware we would be doing {picture that…LOL}. There were ninety plus students all on fire for Jesus. It was quite an amazing sight.  The message to the students was about being content with what you have and trusting in God to provide where there is a need.  The students seemed to be very receptive.  We prayed one last time and handed memory verses to each student as they left the meeting.  I do not think I have ever seen that many young children attend a Christian meeting in the middle of the school day by choice ~ and this takes place in multiple schools, twice a week.

Public School Visits

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While driving through the townships, I saw small and medium size houses and each public school was tucked away in the middle of the townships; again, protected by a gate and a security guard.  Some schools had paved parking lots, others just dirt, gravel or grass.  The purpose of these visits was to pass out blankets to the students in grades R-3 (k-2 for the Americans) & pray with each child that received a blanket.

The blankets were provided by The Bright Smile Bright Future Foundation’s, Adopt a Scholar Project.  For 600.00r a year, which converts to about $60.00 (some people spend more than that in 3-days on food), you can provide a child with a blanket every winter, school supplies, warm meals and more ~ for more information visit 3c Ministries and click the Adopt a Scholar tab.

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To say the students were excited would be an understatement. The smiles on their faces were priceless.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the temperatures during the winter can drop to below freezing in the mornings and evenings and most of these children live in informal settlements, also known as squatter camps.  Some of these areas have no running water or electricity.  Seeing how grateful these students were to receive something we take for granted daily was a truly humbling experience. I would not trade that for anything.

Alra Park, Nigel Adopt-a-Scholar Project

When it was all said and done I spoke with the Pastor who organized the Blanket Drive and told her that in America, prayer in public schools was forbidden.  Her response to me was, “it’s forbidden here too. But the principals can’t deny that it makes a difference in the students. So they are the ones who allow it”…interesting

Until next time…

Nak 

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