Most of us can probably remember fun-filled days of field trips in our elementary school years. Bouncing over railroad tracks while singing off key on a school bus, waving to passers by to see who will wave back, the sack lunch that tasted extra delicious because it was eaten outside the school lunchroom. We were fascinated by museum exhibits, were smitten by the new babies at the zoo, observed the process for making candy canes, or were caught up in the local theater’s rendition of The Wizard of Oz. The anticipation of adventure would keep us awake the night before, dreaming of all the fun we were about to have with our friends and classmates.
At Cornerstone Christian Academy, we believe by blending adventure with education, a student’s world will open up in unexpected ways. Senses are engaged while their social skills are developed. The things learned in the classroom will become real and tangible, imprinting a memory and making impressions through activities that may even influence a life’s calling.
GO Week is a high school-wide, missions focused intensive week intended to create opportunities to put into practice what we’ve been learning since the very beginning of our elementary years at CCA: that God created a big, beautiful world for diverse cultures of people to not only enjoy, but in which to see His glory reflected. Through the adventure of a trip to a new city or country, students are engaged in opportunities to learn about new cultures, people groups, customs, and foods. The world around them becomes vibrant with color and texture, sounds and scents. More importantly, the truth and power of God’s Word comes alive as they have opportunity to build upon the spiritual foundation that’s been laid down since they began their education at CCA.
Another reason we take our students out of school for a week of adventurous educational experiences is for fellowship. Fellowship really feels like an old-fashioned word, but we are hard pressed to find a word that can adequately substitute in its place. Fellowship is the sense of friendly association we feel and experience as we gather around a shared interest or goal. When we collaborate with our classmates during spirit week, creating costumes for theme days, dressing in one color, wearing our Bulldog gear and showing up for the big game, we are experiencing fellowship with one another. It’s a feeling of unity because we all love our school and the Bulldogs!
Similarly (but also even better!) is the instant fellowship we often feel when we meet and connect with people from the cities and countries we visit during GO Week. We find that though our traditions and languages may differ, our hearts are connected with the children, adults, strangers and missionaries in ways that feel unexplainable apart from the bond we have through Jesus. We may meet a particular need for missionary families, who long for a good word from home (Proverbs 25:25), but we also find that needs of our own hearts are met through the radiant smiles and open homes of those who welcome us into their worlds (Galatians 3:26-28).
Finally, we love to see our students take advantage of GO Week trips to put into practice all that they’ve been learning since they were in their beginning days at CCA. Teachers spend many years laying a solid and biblical foundation for life, the world, and a student’s place in it. They have been equipping them for service in small and faithful ways since they were little through local service opportunities; Operation Christmas Child, nursing homes, and food banks, to name a few. Once the student reaches high school, we delight in providing bigger opportunities to step out and stretch their talents, imaginations, creativity, and physical skills in service to others. This service may take the form of construction projects, or VBS, it may be a landscaping or cleaning project, they may be asked to sing or perform a drama. The many shapes service take can tap into the strengths and gifts each of our students are bringing to the table. It’s a beautiful picture of the body of Christ in action through Cornerstone Christian Academy.
GO Week is an adventurous, educational opportunity to expand in understanding of our own selves, broaden our experiences of the world around us, develop and stretch our talents or abilities, build relationships with old and new friends, all while living out the parting commands of Jesus to go into all the world, teaching and making disciples of every nation.