My Experience with Encounter
By Divina Buhia, Grade 1 Teacher at CWAA
To trust someone, you must really get to know them. TRUST: That is the theme of the year in the First Grade of Encounter. This year my First Grade Class and I have been invited to get to know God by having daily Encounters of His presence and by experiencing the Bible and what it has to offer so that we can learn to really trust Him.
When receiving training from Lanelle Cobbin last spring in Lacombe, she challenged us to immerse ourselves in Jesus before teaching Him to our children. She suggested finding solitude to read and understand the gift that the Bible is to us. She challenged us because she knows that to share God with our students, we as teachers must first have a close walk with Him and know Him too. Little did I know then that as I spent the time preparing for each Bible unit that I would gain deeper insight to the stories that I have heard over and over again as a child growing up.
A goal of Encounter is to “start with the end in mind”—this for us is Salvation. I was amazed at the end of our first unit that Salvation, a very big and sometimes complicated topic was presented to First Grade students in such a simple way. That even if we make mistakes that God loves us so much and He will forgive us. When we choose to follow Him, we will be saved.
As the year has unfolded it has been such joy to watch the excitement on the students’ faces as they wait to see what activity we would do next.
At the beginning of the year, one of my students would stare blankly at me when I asked, “What song would you like to sing?” or when I would name any of the Bible characters. He was not really exposed to the Bible stories and he did not yet know Jesus or any of the characters that would be introduced to him this year. This would be his first Encounter with Jesus and what a transformation it has been. At worship he asks to sing “Jesus Loves Me” and another favorite song in our class “Jesus You’re My Superhero”.
People often say that they hear the voice of God speaking to them. I can’t say that that has ever happened to me. For one of our units, the children are to listen to the voice of God in a recording. When I listened to the voice of God with my students, I was moved by the message that He had for us. He calls us his “Precious Child”, He makes us a promise to come back one day but first He asks us to help tell others about Him, He says that He loves us so much and that He misses us and, my favorite part, He says “I love you so much and I can’t wait to hug you”. Right at that special moment, several students giggled and all of them had a huge smile on their face. To finally hear God’s voice, was a beautiful encounter.
The Bible is the textbook for Encounter. This year, the students have used the Bible more than any other year that I have taught Grade 1. The students are getting used to flipping the pages to find stories and even mark and highlight their Bibles. One unit gives the students an activity to make trust towers. It was fun to watch them build towers out of cups. After building a few towers, the students were given cards with Bible promises printed on them to use along with their cups and asked to build taller towers. With God’s word as support, their excitement grew as their tower went higher and higher and higher. It reminded me of the familiar Sabbath school song “Read your bible, pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow.”
When we started to learn about the life of Abraham, we went on a “Journey to Canaan”. Our academy is located on a hill and as we went on our journey I was surprised how our school grounds complemented each town that Abraham spent some time of his life. Rolling hills where he and Lot took turns selecting land. And rocky grounds well suited to build altars of praise. If you can just imagine taking a group of First Graders outside for a series of stories through moving stations, there was a lot of packing up, travelling and resettling and I was unsure of if they were even absorbing the stories. The next day I was skeptic to the amount of detail the students would remember but as I asked the questions, the students were able to recall each town by name (Biblical towns are not easy to pronounce—remember that). I was amazed!
When we studied about the life of Joseph, we slowly weaved our way through the stories of his life. Each story represented by a new colour in his coat. Each colour representing a feeling that he had—both happy and sad. Each story with a lesson to trust God no matter what because everything we go through is part of His great plan.
It continues to amaze me how through stories, songs, reading the bible, doing crafts, dressing up into characters and journaling that the students get to spend time really getting to know that God is there for them. The students not only hear these Bible stories at home, at church and at school but with Encounter they are allowed to take a step into the character’s lives and to encounter Christ as they did. They are getting to know God as the characters did long ago. As my students learn to know God as the trustworthy Gift-Giver of Salvation, it is my hope that they share this gift with others.
CWAA DEDICATION & CELEBRATION SERVICE: All parents are invited to come out and join us to celebrate the baptisms of CWAA students and the unveiling of CWAA’s new “Gallery of Jesus” art in our lobby, Friday, April 20, 2017, 7:00 pm. Due to a generous and unexpected donation, CWAA has acquired 10 breath-taking paintings of Jesus, which will convey Jesus’ intervention on planet earth, from Creation week to His Second coming. The “Gallery of Jesus” artists include Pastor Gardner Bermudez, Nathan Greene, and Greg Olson. Nathan Greene will be present at CWAA on April 20 to introduce his paintings and share in our celebration! Come out & join us in praising God for His abiding presence at our school and His leading in the lives of our students! Please feel free to share the attached brochure with your family and friends!
RE-REGISTRATION UPDATE: Thank you to the many parents who have submitted Re-Registration packages! We are pleased to report that as of Friday, April 13, we have achieved 76% pre-enrolment to date (156 students). This is a record number for CWAA! Praise God for His continued guidance and direction!
SECONDARY PARENT-TEACHER INTERVIEWS ON APRIL 26:
- April 20 Secondary End of Term 3
- April 24 Secondary Progress Reports will be sent home
- April 26 Parent -Teacher Interviews held from 4 pm – 8 pm
Grades 7 – 12 Parents, on Thursday, April 26th Parent-Teacher Interviews will be held. Our on-line sign-up is available to book all Interviews. You have access to this by using the button below, or using the button found on the homepage of our website cwaa.net. We look forward to seeing you here!
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GRADE 9 COOKIE CART SALES: The Grade 9 class is continuing to sell baked goods as a fundraiser for their Year End Celebration. Item prices are between $.50 and $1.00. Thank you for your support!
- Elementary – Thursday Lunch time
- Secondary – Tuesday and Thursday Lunch time
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES:
Apr 16 School Board Meeting 7 pm
Apr 19 Grade 11 Royal Tyrell Museum, Drumheller
Apr 19 Praying Parents, School Lobby 8:30 am
Apr 20 End of Term 3 Secondary
Apr 20 Prayer, Praise and Baptism Service / Lobby Dedication 7 pm
Apr 24 Secondary Progress Reports sent home
Apr 26 Secondary PTI’s, 4-8 pm
Apr 30 Burman Acronaires Show at CWAA, 9:30-10:20 am
Apr 30 Grade 10 Cochrane Ranch House 12:30 pm
May 1 Kindergarten Graduation Pictures
May 3 Grades 7-9 Theatre Calgary – Secret Garden 9:45 am
May 3 Jr/Sr Kindergarten Butterfield Acres 9:45 am
May 3-6 FCA Flag Football Tournament, Fraser Valley Adventist Academy
May 4 Grade 2 & 3 Wentworth Manor, 9:30-11:30 am
May 11 Grade 10-12 Boys ‘World of Choices’ Career Expo at SAIT, 8:30 am
May 14 School Board Meeting 7 pm
May 16 Kindergarten Year End Celebration
May 17-21 Concert Choir & Band Tour to British Columbia departing at 2:30 pm
May 18 Teacher Organizational Day (No School K-12)
May 21 Victoria Day(No School)
May 24 Grade 1-3 Heritage Park Field Trip, 9 am
May 26 Concert Choir to Calgary Central SDA Church
May 28-31 Outdoor School, Grade 5/6
May 31 Grade 1 Field Trip to Calgary Zoo, 9:45 am
June 2 Grade 12 Graduation Consecration Service, 6 pm
June 3 Grade 12 Graduation Commencement Service, 12 noon
Jesus declares a blessing on the merciful.
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NLT)
But God doesn’t leave us in the dark about what it means to be merciful. Our ultimate example of mercy is in the life and ministry of Jesus.
“Therefore, it was necessary for Him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17 NLT)
Jesus died to pay our penalty for sin, so that we can have life! In the light of His great mercy, what are some ways that we can show mercy to those around us?
Chinook Winds Adventist Academy