High school students at College Heights Christian School in Joplin, Missouri took a few days away from classes this month to serve others at home and abroad, during the school’s annual Missions Week.
The week of travel and service has been a tradition at CHCS for 19 years, allowing students and teachers to spend the period before spring break engaged in a variety of volunteer and ministry opportunities.
Each of the more than 150 high school students participates in a service project.
“Missions Week is a wonderful time of connection for our students,” said Lisa White, the school’s marketing director. “It complements our mission of developing servant leaders with a biblical worldview.”
Some students had the opportunity to travel internationally, working with the school’s partners in Mexico and Trinidad.
They spent the week with local organizations there, leading Vacation Bible School events, painting, serving at a rehabilitation clinic for adults, and learning about the culture.
Another group was in Arlington, Texas assisting a local ministry with work projects and hosting backyard Bible clubs.
Students who chose to serve locally worked with nonprofit organizations in Joplin to take on projects such as painting, deep cleaning, yard work and sorting donated goods.
“I love being able to serve locally because it reminds me that I don’t have to go far away to find ways to serve God,” said CHCS junior Bella Maningas. “I can serve right here where I live.”
CHCS teachers who serve with their students say it is meaningful to see the students get out of their comfort zones, work hard and share Jesus with others.
“This team has worked so hard and done anything asked of them,” said Jean Miller, who teaches high school science. “I’m praising God for them.”
“Our hope is that all students will be inspired and energized through their experiences during Missions Week,” said White. “And that those experiences, along with other learning opportunities, will commit them to a lifestyle of serving others.”