SLA Reaches Out to Community with “AAA Days”

SLA senior Amneris Santiago and Junior Nakeyah Williams assist in art projects with residents at River Terrace Nursing Home.

SLA senior Amneris Santiago and Junior Nakeyah Williams assist in art projects with residents at River Terrace Nursing Home.

This school year, South Lancaster Academy implemented a new idea called “AAA days”. AAA, which stands for “alternate academic activity”, occurs one Friday a month, where the undertakes various community service projects in locations in surrounding communities. Each of the students here at SLA are assigned to a different place where they will work for 2-3 hours a month. These places include local nursing homes, such as River Terrace, and Corcoran Assisted Living. Some of the other places include the Community Café in Clinton, the College Church, the Atlantic Union College, and the Thayer Memorial Public Library. There is also a group of students that stay at the school and do mission writing or assist the teachers at Browning Elementary for the day. As Christians, witnessing is a very important part of our responsibility to spread God’s word, and community service is great way to do that, especially because actions speak louder than words. SLA’s goal with AAA Days was to create a method for students to minister to their community and have a way to participate in service projects. The Pioneer asked some students how they felt about the experiences thus far by participating in AAA days.

“I think that Triple A days are a lot of fun, but they are also meaningful because they allow us to help others. It makes the students become closer and it helps us to know that we are serving God. It also represents our school well, and allows us to give a good impression of our faith to others by helping them.” said Sam Kline, a freshman.

Another student, junior Kathy Andreu said, “It’s a great opportunity and it’s amazing to see the way we can make an impact on other people’s lives. It’s cool to see all the different places and part of our community. I think it’s really important that our school sets a good example for others.”

Brandon Beneche, a senior, said, “It’s a really nice addition to our school schedule for this year. I hope that we are able to show God’s character through our actions. So far, it has been a really good experience and it gives people an idea of how to serve God on a daily basis.”

SLA senior Natalia Perez organizes books at the Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster.

SLA senior Natalia Perez organizes books at the Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster.

Pastor Jonathan Nino, SLA’s chaplain and the AAA Days Coordinator, stated, “AAA days are very important because we’re putting our faith in action. We want people to know that it’s not only about learning about God, but sharing Him. We’re following God’s example of who we should be. The Bible tells not only to serve God but to serve others. When we help other people, we become people-oriented rather than self-oriented. People have been receptive to this idea. The people at each of the locations we have gone to have welcomed us with open arms. It’s been a very positive and uplifting experience.”

Pastor Nino then referenced a Bible verse, Galatians 5:13, which states, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

He went on to state: “This verse really goes along with what our school is trying to do by having these community service days. Showing kindness towards others is not only important, but it’s a responsibility we have been given by God. We are called to do God’s work, which is something our school is committed to.”

Here at SLA, we are blessed to have a place where we can learn more about the Bible and build our faith, so it’s really important that we set a good example to those around us. Our theme for this school year is “Passion”, and having passion for the Lord is a key element in developing stronger faith and living a Christian lifestyle. Witnessing to others through the way we live and the things we that we do is a way to express that. It is often said that when you help others, you are really helping yourself. Many people find that when they do God’s work and serve others, they become closer to Jesus. The students at SLA have had a great time learning about putting their faith into action and showing kindness to others, and SLA has been excited about creating an opportunity for students to minister their faith in the communities around them.

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Posted on January 13, 2014, in Spiritual Life, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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