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Since our marriage over thirty years ago, my husband and I have lived in six different homes in the Lower Mainland. Our first home was a small one-bedroom apartment in Langley City; however, it was not long before our first child was on the way. To accommodate our growing family, we soon moved into a two-bedroom townhome on the Surrey-Langley border. Then as even more children arrived and our needs changed, we found ourselves in yet another neighbourhood. And the story continued! Each move saw us planted in new neighbourhoods with new neighbours.
At our campus, we have been exploring the question, “Who is my neighbour?” Our first thought was: “those who live in the homes around our homes”. Jesus’s answer to that question though is quite different and much, much broader. Jesus tells us in the parable of The Good Samaritan that location, status and even knowing someone does not define the word “neighbour”.
“Educating for wholeness” is our mission and we seek to accomplish this “by engaging God’s world in the servant way of Jesus.” This year all our classes have explored ways they could authentically and practically engage God’s world by serving their neighbours as they learned math, science, socials, language arts and other subjects. Some classes saw students “working” as they raised their own money to contribute to local food banks, Fraser Valley Gleaners and Food for the Hungry Canada. Stories were read, letters were written, community members were consulted, and money was counted as students planned their projects. Our Grade 2 class embroidered tea towels to gift to our community workers showing their appreciation for their service to our community. Our Grade 7 class used their math knowledge and their design skills to build seating for learning and working in an outside classroom space. In all of our endeavours students asked the question “who is my neighbour?”
This year all our classes have explored ways they could authentically and practically engage God’s world by serving their neighbours as they learned math, science, socials, language arts and other subjects.
Most students heartily reply “everyone” when asked who they think their neighbour is. But this week some students responded more specifically with:
Just as a move sees us in a new home, in a new area with new people, we will continue to look for how we can engage our world and be a neighbour. At Surrey Christian School, we understand that definition to be broad, deep and encompassing. May we, in some way and in some form, live into Jesus’s definition and be His hands and feet!
By Patti Thomas, Cloverdale Campus principal