Four teams made up of two students each head to HMS Richards School from Campion Academy each week to give Bible studies to 7th and 8th graders. These 7th and 8th graders, in turn, give Bible studies to the 4th through 6th graders.
The Campion students are members of Joe Martin’s junior Bible class where they have been studying the 28 Fundamental Beliefs since the beginning of the school year.
After studying one of the beliefs, Martin has his students choose seven Bible verses on that topic that are clearest to them and which they can use in their studies with the younger students. They are creating their own Bible studies.
“Although for many of these juniors giving Bible studies is out of their comfort zone, this group is thoroughly enjoying sharing their faith and praying with the kids, many of whom have never prayed before with strangers, says Martin. They are “enhancing their walk with God by sharing their faith,” he finishes.
All 43 of Martin’s junior Bible class students will have the opportunity to give Bible studies. In turn, all 14 of the 7th and 8th graders at HMS will have the opportunity to receive studies and then to give them to the 22 4th through 6th graders at HMS.
Ashley Halvorson, a 14-year-old 8th grader at HMS, has enjoyed receiving Bible studies from Campion students. “They did a really good job giving them to us,” she states. They had a lot of Bible verses for us to look up” [on] the Second Coming and what happens when you die,” she shares. “I think it’s fun to tell other people about our beliefs,” Ashley says “and to see God work through us.”
Christine Eagan-Foster, a 12-year-old 6th grader at HMS, received Bible studies from two girls in 7th and 8th grade, one on baptism. “It’s really fun that we can get taught about these teachings and interact about them. We even learn more than we learned at home. It’s nice to get a kid’s perspective on it,” she shares.
“By the time the HMS students have experienced this [give and take of beliefs] for a couple of years, they will be ready for baptism,” states Davin Hammond, principal of HMS. “We want every 7th and 8th grader to recognize that they can give Bible studies,” he adds.
Junior Bible students Cassie Carr and Natalie Boonstra, both raised in pastoral homes, believe the things they are learning in the class strengthen what their parents have taught them.
“The Bible class with Pastor Joe has helped me to know God on a more personal level,” shares Natalie. “Bible class has helped me develop in my Christian walk and to prove my faith.”
“We mark our Bibles with several verses to support each topic and cross reference them,” says Cassie. This gives us the tools to share with whomever we come into contact with. The junior class,” she says, “is coming closer to God because of this class and it is noticed all over campus.”
Martin has long had a burden to disciple young people and has worked with the student literature program for more than 25 years. A new federal law, however, that limits the age students can work to 16 and prevents them from working before 3 p.m. has made it more difficult to carry on this program with some students.
“The devil tried to close the door of evangelism” through this law states Martin, “but God opened a bigger door to evangelize our youth. Now we are placing the Scriptures in front of many of our youth who would never have opened them had the literature evangelism door not been closed. I’m having more influence with more kids in class than with LEs,” Martin enthuses.
Carol Bolden is RMC administrative assistant for communication
This story first appeared in Mountain Views, a publication of Rocky Mountain Conference of SDAs.