Hillcrest Brings Classroom Lessons From Castle Into the Dominican Republic


In their second day of ministry Hillcrest students hit the books with local college students. The team broke into five groups, speaking to over 100 students in a few hours about the need for God in the world.

The Hillcrest students were guest speakers in an English immersion program in a local college in the Dominican Republic. Speaking to students their own age, the students visited 10 sections where between 10 to 15 Dominican college students were primed for a lively discussion in English.

Students covered topics ranging from Easter to the impact media has in society. After their time of presenting, the Hillcrest students saw the tables turn in a few classes. A bright-eyed 19-year-old young lady asked if the Hillcrest students had any questions about the Dominican Republic. A few students stood thinking while Principal Isaac stepped up and volleyed a question to the student.

Principal Isaac asked what issues were critical to the people living in the Dominican. The students answer startled the Hillcrest group. She said illegal immigration. The student started detailing her perspective on the process for those emigrating to the Dominican Republic, saying there aren't rules that ensure immigrants transition into the Dominican culture, holding the values of the natural born citizens in the Dominican. She noted there is an insanely high rate of divorce and a host of problems impacting their country because of teen pregnancy.

The students stepped in, addressing the topic of the divorce rate alongside Principal Isaac. In the Understanding the Times class, taught by Principal Isaac, the students recently completed a section using Greg Koukl's book Tactics. Some of the students on the trip have also engaged in Koukl's work through the Evangelism Club at Hillcrest. Koukl details a concept called "taking the roof off", where purposeful questions are asked to drive people to think deeply. The questions are designed to challenge assumptions within an idea or view. 

In using the Tactics training, students were able to drive the Dominican students to question several worldviews that the students were holding. The questions led the Dominican students to see the self-centered perspectives they were holding, and challenged the students to to understand how they might be living a self-centered life.

Principal Isaac and the Hillcrest students began talking with group about God's design and plan for the family. They used the Bible as an instructional resource to unveil a better way to view sexuality and childrearing. The Dominican students received a comprehensive perspective of the family from the Bible, showing the structure and design for husbands, wives, and children as they function in an organism for human flourishing. 

Through the teaching the Dominican students saw how many of the problems they cited would be eliminated if the impact of selfishness is reduced and humanity would align their view of family order around the design of God.

Following the classroom teaching sessions there was a sense that the Dominican students learned some compelling proofs for the Christian perspective. To a person, the Hillcrest students noted that their Dominican counterparts were engaged and enthusiastic about the topics, teachings, and friendships brought by the Hillcrest team.

This was one of a handful of public schools the group is hoping to visit in the coming days. Hillcrest students are learning valuable tools to engage in a public setting, using the logic and order God has established in the world, to call students to see the need for God in the world.

Wayne StenderComment