Students at Heritage Christian Academy (HCA) get much more than an education in science, math, history, English, or even Bible. They get perspective. The kind of perspective one gets from getting outside of his or her self and engaging in some form of ministry. Whether by volunteering in a local ministry or by participating in an overseas mission trip, this perspective is life changing.
For Sophie Jones, a rising senior at HCA, it’s about her perspective of others. She shares, “Mission trips have completely transformed the way I view all people, especially strangers I meet on a daily basis. It doesn’t come naturally for us to take into consideration the home life of people we meet. We don’t see the hurt they are walking through and so we ignore those who have no ability to give anything back to us. Mission trips have changed my perspective by helping me to see people the way God sees them. He sees their hurt and so should we. We need to meet people where they are and missions has helped me see that.”
For rising freshman Fischer Barber, that perspective was about himself. “The trip to Romania definitely gave me a reality check,” he says, “because I found myself both judging other people because they were different and wanting to stay in my comfort zone. But it turns out they were all the same! And they felt the same way. All they needed was someone to step up and take the initiative to interact.”
It’s this perspective that HCA Headmaster Lynn Gurganus believes to be the core of the school’s mission. “We want to be a place that defines our Christianity by our service” he says. “We want our students to realize that when Christ calls for his followers to serve, he’s calling us.” It’s a perspective that Heritage Christian actively seeks to foster in all its students, with a goal of having every Upper School student (Grades 7-12) participate in a ministry experience. During this past spring’s Spiritual Emphasis week, the majority of the Upper School spent time assisting the Grace Klein Community and Oak Mountain Missions. Both are local ministries that seek to assist those in need by providing food and clothing. For many students, it was their first experience in serving others in a ministry. If HCA is successful in its mission of service, it won’t be their last.
-Heritage Christian Academy
2290 Old Tyler Road, Hoover, AL 35226