Every day Hillcrest students are trained in the classroom and eventually leave campus. Some walk home, others walk to local businesses. The Local Missions class walk on to a playground at a local Christian day-school.
Piling into a van and driving across town, the Local Missions class at Hillcrest Academy visits Morning Son Christian School as part of a local outreach. Students in the Local Missions class participate in a daily recess mentor program designed to teach how to build mentor relationships with younger students.
In addition to their field-experience, students in the Local Missions class read numerous mission focused books. Guiding students in the debrief process, the books combine with a teaching and debriefing classroom time where their daily interactions are shared as moments to boldly proclaim the Gospel.
Recently students have been wrestling with the question, "how do I live as if people matter?" Thought processes in the class are that people matter, concepts of God making man-kind in His image, mankind bearing the image of Christ and Christ coming to die for each person are beliefs that the Christian students hold firmly. However, when asked how they live out those concepts the Local Missions class was seen piecing together touch-and-go stories. As part of a recent assignment, students quantified concrete examples from their own life of how they consciously sought to treat people as if they mattered, based on the Gospel demonstrated by Jesus Christ.
The lessons gained through the Local Missions class and various chapel presentations in February and March, were communicated in a 30 minute chapel presentation at Morning Son Christian School. Hillcrest students boldly represented Christ as they communicated the significant lifestyle of living as if all people matter.
The Hillcrest students used real-life stories, reminiscing their gradeschool experiences and the successes they attained because somone treated them with respect and offered friendship. Biblical examples were given as well, calling to mind God's attributing significance to David despite David not having a popular job, being the most talented or qualified or even being recognized by the general public. Students also used powerful illustrations to make their point, pulling in a penny and a twenty-dollar bill to point out how much people ascribe value to certain tasks or possessions. Students went on to point out how God ascribes value to people based on Whose image they bear. Students centered the idea of treating people as if they matter on the Biblical foundation of God ascribing value not based on an outward appearance.
The Hillcrest students were surprised at how well the students at Morning Son listened to them. As the students debriefed it was pointed out that their daily investment at Morning Son has earned them the right to speak into the lives of the young Christians. The Hillcrest students realize the importance of their outreach and how it is changing the world through the compelling power of the Gospel actively changing their hearts.