Seeing young people inspired to live with conviction and service to others is one of the end goals of education at Cornerstone Christian Academy. This begins as early as preschool through prayer time and local community service as teachers work to raise awareness in students about the needs of people around them. Our students grow through prayer, outreach projects, and the regular student/faculty interactions that encourage them to “in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:4)
Cornerstone Christian Academy has been intentional about creating opportunities outside the classroom for students to connect, grow and deepen their faith. There are few things that can accomplish this the same way as traveling to an impoverished country with opportunities for physical service, sharing the gospel and loving others who are different than yourself. This year, January 7-15th, 19 high school students and 8 chaperones traveled to San Ramon, Costa Rica. This was our 7th year partner with Pura Vida Missions in San Ramon, providing students an opportunity to extend themselves in service to others. The week was spent building a bathroom for a family in need, as well as serving about 150 children in 6 different neighborhood sites through our vacation bible school type program. Our students prepared crafts, songs, bible lessons, Spanish phrases and snacks and then spent the mornings and afternoons building relationships with the Costa Rican kids. Quiet CCA students learned to engage across language barriers by painting fingernails and making beaded bracelets, and the rowdier students gave endless shoulder and piggy-back rides. They jumped rope, kicked soccer balls, blew bubbles and played tag… all in an effort to provide a safe, positive play place for these children and to open the door for the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
Our students typically embark on this trip expressing that the reason they’re going is simply to serve the kids in Costa Rica. And yet, time after time, it is the CCA students who come back changed. They get to spend a week with the opportunity to focus on the needs of others and are are encouraged to go deeper in their walk with God in the times provided for daily devotions. Students see suffering, neglect and poverty and are impacted by how different this may be from their own lives. Yet they also see how God’s love is universal and that He is able to express this love to people all over the world. This trip is open to all Cornerstone Christian Academy High school students. All students are encouraged to attend at least once, but many go back year after year to be a part of what God is doing in Costa Rica.