Going to Peru was everything and more I wished to have on a mission trip. On my previous two mission trips I never felt like I really truly helped anyone, but going to Peru changed that. We did construction, deconstruction, Vacation Bible School (VBS), and dental work. On previous mission trips all we did was construction. The whole experience was amazing, but it was the dental and VBS that really opened my eyes to the compassion and kindness possible through the little things.
When I signed up for VBS I thought I was just signing up for arts and crafts. When I got to Peru though I was told I was doing drama. I hate being up front, whether I have to speak or not. Thankfully in drama I was merely an actor portraying the narrator’s story. I was pretty nervous my first day but it got so easy once I saw the kids. They were so excited and attentive to watch us act. They didn't care whether I messed up or not; they were ready to be entertained. Watching the kids’ faces light up as we acted out Bible stories was a blessing all in itself.
My favorite moment of VBS though was during arts and crafts, when we would all sit on the ground and help the kids color. I was helping a little girl and her brother Cade glue cotton balls onto a cut-out cloud. He didn't speak any English and I had already used up all the Spanish I knew. We stared at each other somewhat lost and I could tell he was becoming bored. I grabbed a fluffy cotton ball and tossed it at the little boy. We literally sat there the next 10-15 minutes just throwing cotton balls back and forth between each other. I was amazed we were able to laugh so much and connect over something so simple. We couldn't talk to each other but I was able to create a memory that will forever be in my heart.
Cadence Wright is a senior at Campion Academy.
Campion's cafeteria is featuring international food this week, with a special meal on Wednesday prepared by our ELL students. They selected their favorite recipes from home and are excited to share them with the school.
These students, along with their student ambassadors, are helping the kitchen staff make eggs, rice, 3 different kinds of salad, and over 440 vegetable dumplings!
Kathrin Klemm, a Campion Academy graduate of the class of 2011, graduated from Walla Walla University’s School of Engineering in June as one of seven females in a class of 44. Not only is Klemm encouraging other girls to pursue engineering, she’s taking her passion for engineering and combining it with her desire to serve others.
Klemm first decided to pursue civil engineering because she was interested in humanitarian work. “Campion’s emphasis on missions was a big thing for me. That helped me want to choose a career that I could use to make a tangible difference in the world,” she says. After her first mission trip to Belize with Joe Martin in 2009, Klemm has continued to prioritize service to others.
For the last two years, Klemm has been involved with Walla Walla’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), taking the technical lead last year in the international project. Working with the mountain community in Pampachiri, Peru (elevation 14,500’), Klemm and the rest of her engineering team designed and implemented a gravity-fed water system that ensures a clean water source for the entire community.
Because of her experience with EWB, Klemm has been invited to speak at Southern Adventist University’s TEAMS Forum (Transforming and Educating Ambassadors for Mission and Service). One of the goals of the forum is to encourage sustainability of the mission projects sponsored by the Adventist Church. “It’s something I’ve become really passionate about,” says Klemm. “I’m excited to start sharing this with the Adventist community. It’s such a conscious approach to mission work.”
Klemm credits Campion Academy with not only inspiring her mission-mindedness, but also giving her confidence in her field. “I was in Joe Martin’s Literature Evangelism program, which taught me how to talk to strangers. And, I took calculus from Harold Williams (now retired from Campion), and he encouraged us—never made us feel like women shouldn’t be a part of that class,” she explains. As a student grader for calculus, pre-calculus, and chemistry, Klemm says she became comfortable in the world of science.
Klemm also described Walla Walla as a haven and reported mostly supportive attitudes from her male cohorts, yet the greater engineering field can be much less supportive of women. Klemm remembers her first year in the engineering program was challenging, both because freshman year is a “weeding out” year and because students questioned her choice of field. “I met people who would say, ‘You don’t look like an engineer. You don’t act like an engineer.’ I think a lot of people, when confronted with that kind of attitude, would start second-guessing themselves.”
In 2015, Isis Wenger, an engineer at OneLogin, started a hashtag campaign #ILookLikeAnEngineer to address how people stereotype men and women. In the United States, less than 20% of engineering bachelor’s degrees are earned by women.
Before graduating, Klemm posted this appeal on her Facebook page: “Don't tell your friends, daughters, or sisters that they don't "seem" like engineers. Tell them that their perspective and skills are invaluable and that they can do amazing things for their world. We need them.”
Klemm will begin work in August as a naval architect with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard where she’ll be working on barges that carry retired nuclear reactors to their disposal site.
Jennifer Sigler teaches English at Campion Academy
Mr. Kast, seven students and I recently returned from 3 weeks in Zambia as part of Give Back to Humanity.
Our trip went way faster than I had hoped. The first few days were spent praying hard and trying to get our whole group together due to travel complications. God was leading us the whole time and once we all finally arrived in Lusaka safely we were then able to head out to our final destination in Mansa, Zambia.
We went to Campion's sister school, Fordina Pandeli Secondary School, where we got to stay with the students for a week, sleeping in the dorms, doing construction on their campus and ending each night with a week of prayer meeting. We now have many lifelong friends from across the globe. I can't wait for Jesus to come back and we'll be reunited.
The next week was spent in Livingstone where we got the full African experience--walking with lions and tigers, visiting water falls, going on safaris and getting little glimpses of heaven wherever we went.
To top off our mission trip we had a 20 hour layover in Dubai where we saw a whole new side of this world we live in. Going up the Burj Kalifa and walking around in the biggest mall in the world was insane, something I still can't wrap my mind around. We saw two completely different extremes going from Zambia to Dubai.
There was never a dull moment, always something to look forward to and always a new way for us to share Jesus' love.
Rayna Williams is a senior at Campion Academy
photos by Kent Kast, science teacher at Campion Academy
See more photos and trip updates on the Zambia Mission Trip Facebook page.
On Saturday night, May 21, 2016 at the annual awards program, Campion Academy recognized its 9 international students from 5 different countries (China, Japan, Nepal, South Korea, and Taiwan.) The international students were reminded, “At Campion Academy, we are a family. We want to make sure that you know that we consider you a part of our family, and we are so glad that you are with us!”
For the past 4 years, I have represented Campion Academy internationally by making 4 separate trips to South Korea and China with the intent of developing relationships with students, parents, and agents from those parts of the world. As a school we are developing an intentional international program to bring other students from around the world to our campus. We currently have 2 ELL (English Language Learner) staff members who are developing a strong program to support the international students, most of whom are coming to learn English.
In short there are 3 main reasons why we are actively developing this program:
1. An increased enrollment, which helps the financial aspect of the school.
2. An evangelistic effort to bring non Seventh-day Adventist students, and in many cases, non-Christian students, to our campus for 1 to 4 years, where they are daily exposed to Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and worship opportunities. A number of international students in the past have been baptized and go on to attend Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities. This is fulfilling one of the missions of our church and school to “go into all the world … “
3. An opportunity for our U.S. students to learn about other cultures and interact with other students from around the world.
On a Campion Academy sponsored trip during the summer of 2015, Campion ELL teacher, Patricia Torres and her husband, Mike, along with Chezney Barry (now current senior) and Gaby Joya (Campion graduate in May 2015) were able to go to China for nearly 3 weeks to experience the Chinese culture first-hand. While there, they were hosted by Shijiazhuang No. 24 High School, which has expressed interest in becoming a “sister-school” to Campion Academy. In addition to sightseeing opportunities, they lived, socialized, attended classes and made many friends with the local Chinese students. Mrs. Torres was also able to teach a number of specialty classes throughout their visit.
Chezney loved it and didn’t want to leave, but realized she needed to return to finish high school. However, Gaby Joya, who had just graduated from Campion a week before leaving for China, liked it so much that she decided to stay and continue her education there!
Gaby recently told me, “My experience in China has been life changing. It has opened my eyes how God has a specific plan for each and every one of us. I never would have thought I would ever go to China, let alone live and go to school here. My experience has been a great blessing, and a true testimony. I believe God has been planning this for a while. Every little detail was taken care of and I'm truly in awe. It has now been a year since I came, and my experience has been truly amazing. I have amazing Chinese parents whom I love and am truly grateful for. I get to help send students to Christian schools, and I get to learn and experience the Chinese culture. I believe God has a plan for everyone … we just need to say, yes.”
During my recent visit to China in March 2016, I was able to spend 2 days with Gaby and her Adventist host family and saw a spark in her eyes that was truly inspiring. Gaby has been studying Chinese for this past year and has been recently accepted into a leading business school in Shanghai. She plans to major in international business.
Plans are in the initial stages to send another group of Campion students to China in the summer of 2017 so that they too can be exposed to the same type of experiences that Chezney and Gaby enjoyed and are continuing to experience. Until then we will continue bringing other cultures to our campus to share with our students.
Dean Helm is the V.P of Finance at Campion Academy