From K4—5th grade our students learn to be mindful of the community around them. By partnering with various organizations, visiting local nursing homes, packaging Christmas gifts for underprivileged children, supporting our high school student ministries, and providing food donations to local pantries, elementary students get to put their faith into action. Through our Chapel program, elementary students learn about and support a missionary family serving in Egypt. They get a glimpse of personal sacrifice in foreign missions and discover how they can be involved in impacting the world around them. These acts of service help transform the hearts of our elementary students as well as those they are serving.
Our middle school students are challenged to show the love of God to those around them. Select students are chosen by their teachers to form a leadership team. They plan and carry out various outreaches throughout the year. Baking cookies for local senior citizens, making cards for soldiers, purchasing blankets for orphans in China, and raising money to provide Christian education and food for two children in the Dominican Republic are just a few of the projects. These activities provide opportunities for students to work together, building camaraderie around looking beyond their own interests to the interests of others. (Phil. 2:4) As our MS students are mentored and begin to recognize the specific gifts and talents God has given them, they are encouraged to look for ways to meet the needs of people in their neighborhoods and churches, establishing life-long patterns of service to others.
As a high school, Timothy Christian School is teaching our students to love God and to love others (Mark 12:30-31). It is one thing to talk about loving others in Bible class, but it is quite another to demonstrate Christ’s love to those around us. Throughout their high school career, we want our students to have many different opportunities to live out their Christian faith. In the actual “doing” there is an even greater opportunity for our students’ hearts to be changed and for our community, region of the country, and the world to be impacted for eternity.
Each week from October to May a group of six freshmen work with residents from Cedar Oaks nursing home just 1.5 miles from the school. Students develop their leadership skills by preparing and carrying out activities such as crafts, games, and music events. They spend time talking and interacting with residents in the regular care and Alzheimer units. Residents look forward to our students visit because of the genuine care they show. Joy and excitement are visible on residents’ faces when our band and choir perform special concerts for them. Many residents can be found tapping a finger or a toe with some even joining in to sing along with familiar tunes and old favorites from bygone years.
Teams of students work with an organization called New York City Relief, which is a mobile soup kitchen, serving poor areas in New York City. After preparing the soup and gathering the supplies, students spend a day on the streets distributing food and clothing, praying with people who come to the bus for help and sharing the gospel with those they encounter during the day. This eye-opening experience allows students a glimpse into the real needs of people right here in their own back yards. Students step out of their comfort zones to meet specific needs and talk individually to people with whom they would not normally interact.
At the beginning of the school year, now that students have just become upperclassmen, a retreat is planned. This retreat helps them think more seriously about their Christian faith and the eternal impact they are having on those around them. Service to others is shallow and eternally meaningless if it does not overflow from a heart that truly loves God. Students are presented with individual and group physical challenges. They must overcome obstacles, face fears, problem-solve collectively, rely on other’s strengths, recognize their own weaknesses, and discover the unique contributions each one makes to the group to achieve success. Group discussion and personal reflection time allow students to apply concepts they have learned on the retreat to school and personal situations at home.
Ministry culminates with a week long mission trip to the Dominican Republic for the seniors. At monthly training and prayer meetings, students prepare to meet the physical and spiritual needs of people from all walks of life in the DR. TCS seniors distribute goods to a Haitian sugarcane village and minister to the needs of sick kids in a children’s hospital. Puppets, skits, and songs are combined to produce a program to share God’s love with school children. Seniors learn
Spanish praise songs and give personal testimonies of God’s grace to minister to adults in the open air. Money is raised in the United States by the seniors above the cost of the trip to support Dominican pastors, missionaries, schools and a widow, all of whom Timothy Christian School has maintained a relationship with for many years. The whole school gets involved with the Dominican Republic trip by collecting school and medical supplies, personal hygiene items, clothes, shoes, and toys for the seniors to distribute while they are in the DR. Hundreds of people have been ministered to and blessed by what God has allowed TCS to do in the Dominican Republic for the last 19 years.
Other Opportunities to Serve
Besides these specific grade level ministries, many other opportunities for service abound at TCS. Student led prayer meetings, evangelism outreaches, Bible studies, and mission trips are conducted throughout the year as student leaders emerge with a desire to see these ministries carried out. Tutoring and mentoring of middle school students by high school students also occurs. Our active student ambassador program and student council provide experiences for students to meet the needs of the student body and larger TCS family, as well as promote the school to the surrounding community. We view each of these ministries and opportunities for growth in leadership as an integral part of developing our students to be confident, competent, caring, and compassionate men and women for Jesus Christ.