This past Wednesday we had the chance to talk about perseverance and what it means to persevere in our faith. Jesus gives us many examples of perseverance in his life with the biggest being his death on a cross. That he took the shame, was beaten, mocked, humiliated and hung on a cross, all for us, so we don't have to suffer. We watched a video that showed how well known people, like Albert Einstein and The Beatles and how they faced hardship in their lives but were able to overcome those things and do great things. Students were encouraged that even when they face hard times, that God is with us, that He will help us to overcome. We looked at Romans 5: 3-5 which reinforces this and ultimately gives us hope. It says, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into or hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." So when times are hard, we should hold fast to the Lord, turn to Him, because it is in Him that we have hope.
The 5/6 grade class had the privilege to hear from Noah Kamper and two of his sons. The Kamper's are missionaries in Costa Rica and are in the states visiting and living in the mission house. They shared their experience of living in and doing God's work in Costa Rica.
The 7/8 grade class pondered the question, Can you be a Christian without going to church? We had great discussion about community and what the church provides in terms of community and how it should be diverse and inclusive. This lead to conversation of how students can be bold in their faith to interact with someone who is different from them and how we are doing as a youth group and as a church with being inclusive. Students also created pictures and scenes using different shapes and slowly joined together to create one picture. This allowed students to think about the importance of community, the ideas and perspectives that others bring as well as support that comes from a group of people.
My name is Josiah from Grand Rapids Michigan and I follow Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Also middle schoolers are cool.