Adults may find it difficult to believe that 17 years have passed since 9/11 — the single deadliest attack on American soil in our nation’s history. Most members of Hillcrest’s senior class were born that year; as a result, many of our students do not understand the impact that day — on which nearly 3,000 people lost their lives when terrorists hijacked 4 commercial airplanes — had on Americans, even those who were not directly affected by losing a loved one.
In a news article entitled “7 Ways to Remember 9/11,” reporter Cillian Zeal states, “Life in this country has changed immeasurably in those 17 years. We’re now more conscious of what it takes to keep our country secure from similar incidents. We’ve seen amazing patriotism blossom from unbelievable tragedy. And every year, we find new ways of remembering 9/11 — both the incredible destruction caused and those who were left behind.”
In an effort to ensure that our students never forget the sacrifices made on that day and every day since, 11th-and-12th-grade history teacher Ms. Gail Flemmons spoke with our 5th-and-6th-grade students today about 9/11. She shared events of that day, stories of those who willingly worked to save others, and some of the more iconic pictures of the Twin Towers and other affected areas. Ms. Flemmons also made time at the end of her presentation for students to ask questions, and she says that they had plenty of them.
Every HCS teacher (of our older students who are able to understand and not to be unnecessarily scared) has been encouraged to discuss 9/11 as part of their lessons today and to encourage our students not only to remember, but to celebrate first responders and to serve others as a way to honor those who needlessly died that day. This is our duty as Christians, as Psalm 82:3-4 states, “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Lower School has recently begun a Student of the Month program, and last Wednesday was the first time these special students were honored. Each teacher nominates a student who regularly sets a Christ-like example, and they are then treated to a breakfast after chapel. The students are shown in the picture above, from left to right: Front row—Rivers Bankston, Kylie Mosley, Dailah Collins, Tate Hammond, and Ella Smith. Back row—Amante Edmond, Cole James, Kayla Epperson, Jay Shuff, Mary Grace Tomlinson, Deeya Sharma, Molly Godbold, Madison Cooley, and Diarra Hicks.
Congratulations, and keep sharing Jesus in the way you live each day!
Please pray for our Ms. Stovall who traveled across the world on Thursday to spend her Spring Break serving the Khmer people of Cambodia, working with children through the Hard Places ministry. She states, “This country is inundated with abuse, prostitution, and spiritual darkness.” Ms. Stovall has also asked us to pray for the Cambodian children and parents, as well as for the group of missionaries who seek to shine the Light of God’s true love during this brief trip.
During this morning’s Upper School chapel, students were told that they were about to take a test, and that it would be the most important test of their lives. Scott Carter, Southeast Regional Director of USA Youth Outreach and a close friend of science teacher Mr. Russell, asked students the following three questions:
Do you know about Jesus, or do you know Him?
Are you convinced, or are you converted?
Are you religious, or do you have a relationship?
He spoke passionately about the differences in belief and ritual versus closeness and real change; in the end, he told us, the real question is whether Jesus exists in our heads or lives permanently in our hearts. And then, he issued an altar call unlike any other, in which all eyes would remain open and students would boldly walk before the entire school. What happened next was astonishing and beautiful: A large crowd of students hurried toward the gym floor to claim true salvation and revival in their lives. They prayed and were reminded that today’s decisions should not be temporary, and that with Jesus living inside them, they have the power to change the world, beginning right where they are. Then, the tears and hugs began. Going back to class after such a powerful experience was difficult, to say the least.
Some of you may remember that in early November, we published a post here entitled “A Reminder,” which asked “the entire Hillcrest family to remember our school in your prayers: Remember to thank the Lord for the work he is doing on our campus and beyond, and ask him to bless our students, faculty, and staff so that we may continue to ‘Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven’ – Matthew 5:16.” Today was the answer to those prayers. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for our school and for these students who unashamedly proclaimed their faith. Please continue to pray for continued growth, for the courage to resist the enemy, and for boldness to share the truth about our Lord.