By Carol Bolden
Four teams made up of two students each head to HMS Richards School from Campion Academy each week to give Bible studies to seventh and eighth graders. These seventh and eighth graders, in turn, give Bible studies to the fourth through sixth 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 the even Bible verses on that topic that are clearest to them—which they can use in their studies with the younger students. They create 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 concludes.
All 43 of Martin’s junior Bible class students will have the opportunity to give Bible studies. In turn, all 14 of the seventh and eighth graders at HMS will have the opportunity to receive studies and then to give them to the 22 fourth through sixth graders at HMS.
Ashley Halvorson, a 14-year-old eighth 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 and to see God work through us.”
Christine Eagan-Foster, a 12-year-old sixth grader at HMS, received Bible studies from two girls in seventh and eighth grades, 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 Richards School. “We want every seventh and eighth 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 is coming closer to God because of this class and it is noticed all over campus.”
Carol Bolden is RMC administrative assistant for communication.