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CHA to Panama

Mission Trip ~ Julia White

        My name is Julia White, and I went on a mission trip to the country of Panama in June of 2023. I have attended CHA for 10 years and am currently in my freshman year of high school. During the secondary chapel on February 23, 2024, I was given the opportunity to share about my mission trip experience. I am thankful that our school is passionate about teaching students what our duties are as “sent” believers and that I was given the opportunity to share with peers about the blessing of traveling overseas to share the gospel. 
             In the winter of 2022, the Franklin Heights Student Ministry presented a mission trip opportunity to Panama. After praying about and discussing this opportunity with my family, I answered God’s call and joined eleven other students and adults on a mission trip to Panama City and the Chirqui province of Panama on June 2-9, 2023. Franklin Heights partnered with the International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries in Panama who took care of transportation, food, and any other needs to ensure a safe trip. 
           While in Panama, we visited two parts of the country. First, we traveled into the mountains of the Chriqui province where the indigenous people reside. These indigenous peoples who live outside the city of David, provide 71% of vegetation and produce in Panama. They are farmers who are very receptive to the gospel. The church we partnered with has made a great impact on the camps of these people. Our team hiked through some of these camps and played music, played games with children, brought food and candy to the children, and shared the gospel through each of these activities. Secondly, while in the cities of David and Panama City, our team visited some of the universities and local churches to talk with ESL students. These conversations led to debates on Scripture, building of relationships, and the perfect opportunity to include the gospel. 
             A way God changed me on this mission trip was that He filled my heart with a Christ-like compassion. When seeing impoverished individuals cling to the hope of Christ as their hope, your heart is filled with a compassion that only comes from the Lord. The passion to share with those people the hope found in Christ will remain in your heart long after the trip. Additionally, your eyes will be opened to how much God loves His people, and how they are also intricately designed by Him; each culture is uniquely fashioned to worship Him in different ways. 
           In conclusion, I am thankful for a school that engrains Scripture and the truths of Scripture into students’ minds so that they are equipped with Biblical responses when sharing the gospel. We are called in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20 to make disciples of all nations, whether that means traveling overseas, or right where you live now. I hope to return to Panama within the next three years and see the impact and the work that God has done since my first visit. 

-Julia W. (9th Grade)


Chapel ~ Mission Work

     Today, Friday, February 23rd, at chapel, we had two CHA students talk about their experience in the missionary field. We were glad to welcome Julia White from 9th grade and Abby Altice from 8th! They had so much to say about their trips and were able to give us some key parts of their experience.

Julia spoke about her trip to Panama and what they did for God there. They played with the kids, attended to the children's medical needs, and even had time to take a hike and see the indigenous tribes of Panama. They preached the gospel and shared Bible stories with the kids at the church.

Abby, however, went to Jamaica! She told us all about how she had made so many relationships with the Jamaican inhabitants. She shared some stories of pouring concrete for the Jamaican school’s new classroom floor. Abby said that three people passed out from dehydration because it got so hot there, over 110 degrees every day! She also shared that if their team hadn't helped with the concrete, it would’ve taken two months to finish; meanwhile, with their help, it only took a week.

They both encouraged people to go on mission trips. They explained how it brought them closer to God and their team. Julia stated that it helped her have more compassion for people who aren’t as lucky as us. We seldom appreciate how lucky we all are compared to the Jamaican and Panamanian people. They all work so hard every day and don’t have much hope for a brighter future. But we can bring that hope to them, help them understand it’ll all be over soon when they die and are born again with Jesus’ sacrifice. Don’t be afraid to go on a mission trip, you can make such a big difference in people’s lives, yours included!

           -Ruthie W. (8th grade)


Jamaica ~ Mission Trip

    Hi, I’m Abby Altice, and I am in the 8th grade. I have attended CHA for 3 years now. I had the opportunity to share about my experience on my mission trip to Jamaica in Chapel on February 23, 2024. I was very excited and honored by the opportunity to share with my classmates what God had led me to do overseas. 
I started going on mission trips to Jamaica in 2019. I returned in 2020 and again in 2023. During my trips back to Jamaica I have developed many relationships. I have a second family in Jamaica. David and Monique are like my aunts and uncles. David has been there since the first time I went. Monique has been there since my second trip. I have great relationships with them both, but I am closer to David. I still text him if I have something exciting. I also have a second mom and dad in Jamaica. Brent and Cathy are trip leaders as well, and they are American and only live in Jamaica for 6 months out of the year. Because of the relationships I have built, I have been able to return more easily. 
When we are in Jamaica, we are able to help the community in many different ways. Every year I have been, we complete different projects with concrete and building a part of a structure. The most recent time I went, we built the floor of what later became a classroom for the toddler kids. In Jamaica, the concrete process is much different. They mix everything by hand. Use buckets to carry rocks, water, and sand. Then, you mix all of it together with bags of cement by shoveling it. It is much more time-consuming in Jamaica than here in the States. During our time working on the project, which was about three days, we completed what the Jamaican workers would have needed about three months to complete. 
We also are able to go into the community to pass out food and other basic supplies. We spend time in towns giving people things they may need and praying with them. We have the opportunity to go to infirmaries, which are like a bigger version of a nursing home. I was able to build relationships there as well. I built a strong relationship with a man named Raywald. He unfortunately passed away the next year, but while I was there, I was able to have a relationship with him. He enjoyed being able to have someone to talk to. Considering he, like many of the patients, did not have anyone to come and visit him. 
I am very thankful for the opportunity I have to return back to my second home, Jamaica. I love all the relationships I have and appreciate everyone who has helped me, my brother, and our two sisters on our journey of spreading God’s word. I look forward to June 15 when I return. 

Abby A (8th grade)


Seventh Grade

Health & PE ~ Field Trip

Mrs. Krehbiel’s 7th grade Health and PE class took a field trip on Friday, February 23rd, to Galen Nursing College and Defy Roanoke. At Galen Nursing College, our students learned about becoming a nurse and how the heart works. They were also able to listen to heartbeats on the college’s mannequin patients. After touring the college, they made their way to DEFY Roanoke, where they had tons of fun exploring all the different activities, from trampolines to zip lines. Here is what a few of the students had to say.

My class and I had a great 7th grade field trip to Galen Nursing College and Defy Gravity. At the college, we learned about how the heart works, and we got to listen to how our hearts beat on mannequins. I loved how hands-on they were at Galen and how they helped make sure each person could hear how the heart beats. After visiting the college, my class and I went to Defy Gravity to jump and play. We had a great time jumping and playing a big class game of dodgeball. It was a great experience and I wish we could do it again.
                                                                                                                                                                                        -Reese M (7th grade)

Today, we went on a field trip to Galen Nursing College and to Defy Gravity. At Galen, we learned about becoming a nurse and how to listen to a heartbeat. The people there were really nice and encouraging to us! After going to Galen, we went to Defy Gravity to jump at a trampoline park. We had so much fun spending time together and playing games together.

                                                                                                                                                                                      -Kinsley W. (7th Grade)

I liked the field trip it was really fun with the trampoline park and the nurse thing. The nurse taught us about the heart, which was pretty cool. I like how they had mannequins to practice on a real person. The trampoline park was fun, and it had really fun stuff to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                       -Chloe S (7th grade)


Eighth Grade

KC Farms ~ Field Trip

 My 8th grade class had the amazing opportunity to visit KC Farms, run by the Scott family, and learn how their farm revolved around sustainable farming practices. 
As soon as we got there, we were welcomed by Jessie Scott and her son Chase-David Scott We broke out in groups of 8 plus an adult, and my group went into their main farming building, which held their lambs and sheep. After we visited their main building, we went over to the USDA certified facility where they process pork, beef, and lamb. Not only did we have the opportunity for Chase Scott to explain to us how they processed these things, but we were able to see the animals they had processed being hung in their very chilly freezer. We also were able to see all their ground beef being ground (which they grind twice before they package it). They have lots of regulations that need to be followed in order to be anywhere near the meat they sell. 
After seeing how they sell their meat and the process of doing so, my group went back to their farming building and got to see the lambs and sheep being fed. KC Farms grows all of their food to make sure their animals are getting the right amount of nutrients and having a healthy, sustainable farm. It was so cool to see how the baby lambs had walked all over their food and the older sheep because of their size. Jessie Scott explained to us how some of their younger sheep and lambs have a different designated area where they eat to make sure they are getting the right amounts at the right times.

My class had been taking a deep dive in our Agriculture class about sustainable farming and got the chance to see it come to life at KC Farms. So, we all would like to say thank you to KC Farms for the amazing and detailed experience. 

                                                                                                             -Shawnna Y (8th grade)

While my agriculture class was at KC farms, we learned so much about how they use their sheep, cows, and pigs to sustain the community. My group went into the barn first, where they kept all of their sheep. We all got to hold and pet a bottle-fed lamb, we also learned that they have to bottle-feed lambs when their mom either has twins or triplets or the mom dies or is unable to care for it. Then, we all got to see their USDA facility where they store and process their meat from their animals. They even grow their own feed for the animals, which they store in their silos. We learned about how the beef from their cows is what they mainly focus on at their farm. After we learned a few things about their sheep and cows, they took us to see their pig, sunshine. She was their only pig at the moment, but she should give birth in 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days! 

We then took a closer look at their silos, and they told us they keep a whole lot of corn in their silos. We took a trip to the top of the hill in their cow pasture, and they showed us the water they gave to them so they did not have to walk all the way to the stream. 
We all had so much fun and learned so much! We are all so thankful for them and the many things we have learned!

 -Ruthie W. (8th grade)

My class and I recently have had the amazing opportunity to visit KC Farms. KC Farms is run by the Scott family in Ferrum.  During this trip, we learned all about sustainable farming in Franklin County. 

Our trip started with us going into their barn. When we entered the barn, we were able to hold one of their baby lambs. While we held the lamb Jessie was telling us all about what their lambs and sheep were used for. They use their sheep for mostly meat and milk. They have over 100 sheep on KC farms that are all beneficial to the well being of KC farms. 

Jessie took us to see Sunshine, the pig. Sunshine is pregnant, and she said they were hoping for 12 piglets. After we saw the ginormous pig, we were shown where the cows roam. Jessie showed us a field and said that this was where she hoped her kids were to build a house one day. KC Farms has 250 acres, but they own over 600 in Franklin County. The Red Angus cows switch pastures at different times of the day, rotating. Jessie said they like to keep the fields well kept so that when the Red Angus cows are ready to be processed, their last day will look the same as their first on the farm. KC Farms also offers a guest house that you can stay in on their farm. I really enjoyed KC Farms, and I want to say “thank you” to Jessie and her family for allowing us to tour and teaching us all about what she and her family does. I really enjoyed it, and anyone who gets a chance to go should!

-Avery G (8th Grade)

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