By Airi Nomura – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Adventist church recognized and celebrated the many cultures that make up the church during their annual International Sabbath, March 5.
The special event, anticipated by many, provided the opportunity to highlight different cultures through dress, song, prayer, and sharing.
The service began with a procession of country flags, which were placed on the platform, followed by greetings from students and church members in 13 languages.
Reflecting on the event, Campion freshman Samuel said, “This Sabbath was an incredibly special experience. From hearing all the different languages and looking at the flags, it truly was endearing to see the church do something like this. I personally held the American flag, which meant I had to be the first one who walked on stage. Diverse ethnic groups uniting for one service was an awe-inspiring experience.”
The praise team led worship songs in various languages, and several individuals prayed and read Scripture in their native language. During the congregational prayer, each member was invited to take a small flag and pray over that country. A special prayer was held for the conflict in Ukraine.
“Diversity is one of the most beautiful aspects of humanity. It was as if a little bit of the world had come to one place. Singing songs in Swedish, French, Portuguese, and many other languages was not the easiest thing, but I was overjoyed at the opportunity,” said Tiffany, Campion junior. “My favorite part was getting to wear my African Kitenge and seeing my schoolmates dress in their distinct traditional clothing. I look forward to seeing another day like this next year,” she added.
Leandro Bizama, Campion’s worship pastor, led the praise team and organized the different aspects of the service. “It was simply very fun to experience. I felt nervous to sing in all other languages at first, but I loved every minute, and I felt the church singing together in a special way. It was a great opportunity for everyone to feel comfortable with their differences and to reflect on how God sees all of humanity,” said Bizama.
–Airi Nomura is a senior at Campion Academy; photos supplied