Category Archives: Faith

What is Bible Camp?


By: Kaily Iwasa

Snow sparkles on the ground as 80 students approach the little chapel on the hill. They enter the tiny space and shake the snow off their boots. It is cold, but no one feels chilled, for the warmth of friendship surrounds them. Packed in among their friends, the students start to sing. Praises fill the air, inviting God to fill the place, spreading peace and joy to all who hear.

Going to the little chapel in the woods, nestled in the midst of Hartwick Pines near Camp Au Sable, has been a beautiful tradition for Bible Camp attendees. It looks like an ordinary building from the outside, but inside it has a whole new feeling. So many prayers, songs, and testimonies have been heard in that place. Those who go there return new, changed people, having been touched by the atmosphere of the chapel.

The chapel in the woods is just one of the many amazing events students experience at Bible Camp. Every year in January, students from Andrews Academy attend Winter Bible Camp at Camp Au Sable in Grayling, Michigan. Students participate in carefully-planned events and meetings, like singing in the chapel Sabbath afternoon, that foster spiritual discipline and renewal.


Getting out into the nature of Camp Au Sable is one way students are able to grow closer to God during Bible Camp.

Typically, Friday afternoon the girls and boys split up and prepare for the special Communion service Friday evening. The girls bond in the kitchen, making delicious soups and communion bread, while the boys prepare a place for the Communion, decorate and get everything ready.

Every year Bible Camp is planned around a different theme. This year the theme was God’s Grace. Students had the opportunity to attend spiritual meetings where they sang, watched a dramatic skit, and learned more about how truly amazing God is. Many made a stand for Christ, committing their lives to His work.

Senior Victoria Carmona said, “Bible Camp was really, really fun. To me, it meant spending time with friends and getting closer to God.”


Tsion, Jessica N., Jessica G., and Kay enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the sparkling snow.


Noah, Justin, and John performed in a moving skit that helped students to see God’s grace in a different light.

People return home from Bible Camp happy and spiritually refreshed, having made new friends and taken a stand in their spiritual journey. But what is Bible Camp really about? Is it just about making new friends? Or cultivating a deeper relationship with Jesus? Maybe it is a little of both.

Freshman Ruchama Hilaire shared Vicky’s feelings about Bible Camp. She said, “Bible Camp was an experience to make new friends and also grow in Jesus.”

So to answer the question “What is Bible Camp?” Bible Camp is a chance to get away from everyday life. It provides an opportunity for new students to get to know others, and for experienced students to make new friends. Most importantly, it is a chance to get to know the Creator better.


Brianna, Dawson, Chris and Liz having fun after one of the meetings.


Bible Camp created many friendships and helped people to get out of their comfort zones.

Thailand Mission Trip in Need of Funds


By: Jessica N.

On March 9th, Andrews Academy Silhouettes and String Orchestra will be boarding a plane to Thailand. After a 22-hour flight and a 3-hour layover in Dubai they will land in Bangkok.

“The goal of the trip is to be missionaries spreading God’s love through music,” says music teacher Hector Flores. For 10 days they will be performing at different venues such as churches, schools, and hospitals. Jeannie Leiterman, principal of Andrews Academy, will be joining the group on their trip.


Silhouettes, AA’s select choir, performs at the Paw Paw SDA church, January 16.

While in Thailand the group will spend time exploring the beautiful countryside and famous landmarks as well as enjoying the warm weather. Flores plans on taking the group on a boat ride around Phuket Island.

Flores’ connection with Thailand started when a previous music teacher at Andrews Academy, Mr. Karlton Keller, called asking for old recordings from the school. The two soon made plans to have the music groups make a trip to Thailand during spring break.

A trip like this is not easy to put together and requires much time and planning, as well as significant funding. Each student must raise 1,500 dollars. And although 53 students will be making the trip, those funds are barely enough to cover all expenses.

Offerings from local community churches during performances have provided additional funding, but more is still needed as the departure date approaches.

Students who cannot raise enough money are feeling the pressure of not making the trip to Thailand. Flores has provided prewritten letters for the students to send to family members and friends. Many students have been proactive, sending as many letters as possible, while others have been slack in their fundraising. In the past Flores would never leave students behind because of financial problems, but he says this year may be different due to the lack of effort from many of the students.

Although money is a big issue, Director Flores says the biggest challenge is dealing with the long distance planning that he is not able to supervise. He is asking for prayers that everything will go smoothly.

Anyone wishing to contribute to tour expenses is encouraged to contact Mr. Flores through Andrews Academy’s front office.


Music Groups to travel to Guatemala


This spring break, March 13-23, Silhouettes and Strings members will go on a mission trip to Guatemala. The trip is ten days long and the mission is to teach others about Jesus through music.

Students who plan to attend the trip are responsible for raising $1,000. Director Hector Flores expects everyone in the two music groups to attend, so the group will be doing fundraising to offset the costs. Currently, students are soliciting financial support through letters to family and friends.

Flores says, “This is the first mission trip for the two music groups at AA.” He also says, “I wanted to plan this trip not only for the people they’re going to perform for, but also for the students at AA.”

Hector Flores seems to be pretty excited about this trip for all the different experiences they will have through their music. As for the students their looking forward most to meeting people, gaining a better relationship with Jesus, and of course sharing the gospel with others. For Raquel Cecil and Ben Shelley this won’t be their first mission trip, but for Jordanne Howell-Walton and many others this will be a first.

Jordanne says, “I want to share the gospel to Guatemala, but I also want Guatemala to show me the gospel.”

Ben Shelley said, “I want others to gain a blessing as well as myself.”

The main goal for the AA students attending this mission trip is to change their own life as well as the lives of others. This trip will show the beauty of the hearts of many students at Andrews Academy.

Caffeine: A Metaphor


A new trend has been recently pervading our community, one which people typically don’t give much thought to. But for others it might even be a personal circumstance. What is it, you ask? Caffeine.


As the 8:00 bell rings, students at Andrews Academy rush to their respectable classes, most with same sort of backpack and AA logoed shirts on their backs. But if one were to take a second look, they might see quite a number of hands holding a fresh, steamy McDonald’s Coffee.

“I love it!” Jacqueline Weiss says after being asked what her views are on coffee/caffeine. Answers similar to that of Jacqui’s were similar as teens here at Andrews Academy expressed their views. 12th grader Jordanne Howell-Walton says, “I know that caffeine is very unhealthy, and I do care about the effects, but I’m just so used to it! It’s hard to stop…In all reality caffeine is a drug, but because it’s so common people look to it as a quick fix, something to just get them through the day.” Other responses such as, “Caffeine is a problem for some people,” or “As long as it’s just one cup a day, it’s not a big deal. It doesn’t matter” were common in the interviews.

Moderation in all things. That’s what seems to be the motto engulfing this generation. But does moderation really work? Better yet, does moderation of sin work? Sinning deliberately each day won’t matter, so long as it’s in moderation, right?

“For me, caffeine is like candy. It’s not good for you, but you eat it any ways and it seems good at the moment.” Says Jacqui. This statement is comparable to the text in Romans 7:15, ”I don’t understand what I do. For what I do I do not want to do. But what I hate I do.” In this verse Paul is being very honest. Are the sins that we commit hated and do we care enough to think about it?
Too often the days spent are so little focused on the things of above, which is why no one notices when a day of “Quick Fix Sin” goes by.
An addiction to sin is inevitable. What will you do to change?

My Shrinking Relationship with God


Zoning out of Bible study I think back to my childhood, when my family and I would have worship every morning and evening. One particular memory that caught my attention was a song that we would often sing, “Read your Bible, Pray every day,” a simple song of just two phrases. I remember stooping for the motions and “growing” every time I “read the bible” in the song.

Read your Bible, pray every day. How important is that? Growing up as a Pastor’s kid, I knew clearly the difference between right and wrong and what to do in order to have a strong relationship with Jesus, which is exactly what I did for the most part. Then high school happened. With every week that went by I was falling back in my commitment with God. At first it wasn’t really visible, but then I started noticing things about myself. Simple things: the way I received critical counsel, or just the manner in which I talked to my friends and parents. I would feel bad later but wouldn’t do anything about it. I suppose I was too lazy to commit. For a time, I blamed God for a lot of things that were going on in my life, and that definitely didn’t help my situation. Stress would often cause depression, and at times would envelope my life. Sometimes sleep was the only way that I could cope, or by snapping at everyone around me. Spiritual highs would come and go, but nothing seemed to stick. I needed help from someone, though I didn’t want my parents’ help. Perhaps it was my sinful nature that took over, but I didn’t seem to want any help from anyone who truly cared about me.

During my Junior Year, a student-led Bible Study group at my school was begun near the beginning of the first semester. At first I thoroughly enjoyed it, seeing my peers come and express their views on the Bible and openly discuss certain controversial topics. But unfortunately, that’s all we seemed to discuss – our views and how we interpreted the Bible. It’s true that we all as Christians must come to our own conclusions about the Bible, but we must also remember that it is to be our standard. When we begin to believe that the Bible should conform to our views, rather than conforming our sinful views and biased hearts to the truth that we discover by reading God’s Word, then something is seriously wrong. Perhaps it is because we as young people are not reading the Bible or spending time in prayer as frequently as we should, which results in the drawing of our own conclusions about God.

As I realized the significance of that two-phrase song, one that was sung so many times years ago, I finally began to understand (thank God) that the Bible is key in a good Christian walk with Jesus. By reading God’s Word and constantly talking with Him, we begin to understand the joys of being connected to Christ – something that I now truly love and cherish!

Week of Prayer: “Labels”

Pastor Hall warns against the damaging effects of labels.

Wednesday morning, students sat in the the chapel to listen to Pastor Hall speak again.

Even though he was late, God willed that week of prayer would go on for today. With Mr. Overstreet starting out, covering for Pastor Hall, all the students waited anxiously.

Hall soon arrived and delivered a message of how we need to avoid labeling people. Opening up about his personal life and telling a story from the Bible, Hall shared some of the labels that had been applied to him when he was younger.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 relates how Jabez doesn’t want to live up to his name, which translated means “pain.” He asks the Lord to bless him, and promises that he would be a blessing to others.

We may not realize it, but when we gossip or spread a rumor about someone, others may start thinking about that person negatively. We need to see how that may hurt that person, and instead of talking behind their backs, we should talk to them. We need to see who they really are, and ignore the gossips. You might make a friend for life or, even better, save a life.

The chapel ended and students were dismissed to their classes, which were shortened for the morning.

Tonight we have a week of prayer evening meeting at 7:00 in the AA Chapel. Hope you go!

Week of Prayer: “Jesus Wept”

Week of Prayer with Pastor Hall continued this evening in the AA chapel. Although the chapel wasn’t full, many students showed up with their parents.

Charela Evans and Melisa Ruhupatty gave a special music to start the program. It seemed almost immediately that laughter went through the audience as soon as Pastor Hall stood up and opened his mouth, first giving greetings to us from his wife and son, then moving into his topic for this evening.

Basing his talk on John 11, Pastor Hall explored Lazarus’ story and compared it to our walk with Jesus. “Where is our best friend we need Him the most?” he asked.

As the sermon continued, the tone became more serious as Pastor Hall related his personal story to: how he found out last year that he was supposed to die of an incurable heart disease. Before surgery Pastor Hall said  goodbye to his wife and son, not knowing if he would ever see them again.  Unable to control his emotions any longer, he cried in fear of losing the ones he loved.

As Hall wept, so in John 11:35 it says that “Jesus wept.” Jesus cried because his heart had also been broken.

Pastor Hall concluded by saying that we need to stop keeping the stone there, the pain that binds us.  Instead, we need to roll it back, give it to Him, and our Lazarus’ will come forth.

Why didn’t Jesus come when He was most needed? Hall asked. Because He saved his Greatest miracle for his best friend, and He will do the same for you!

Week of Prayer: “Don’t Hang Up Your Harp”

Pastor David Solomon Hall begins Week of Prayer on Tuesday.

After delivering 11 sermons in nine days in Australia, Pastor David Solomon Hall arrived at Andrews Academy this morning to present the annual Fall Week of Prayer. Although this week was supposed to be his vacation time, he said that he could think of “no better way to spend it than with you,” the students of AA.

And Hall should know: He taught religion at AA for several years before taking a job as youth director for the Nevada-Utah Conference a few years ago.

His talk for today, entitled “Don’t Hang Up Your Harp,” focused on Psalm 137:1-4:
1By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord
while in a foreign land?


Hall related personal experiences from his life that were filled with sorrow, pain, and despair – times when he, like the Jews, had little reason to be joyful.

After being being diagnosed with an incurable heart disease, undergoing a successful operation to fix his heart, and then enduring subsequent complications, Hall was informed that his nephew had died “under dubious circumstances.”

His family and friends turned to him for hope and comfort. “What do you say when there’s no rhyme or reason to life?” Hall asked the student body. “What do you say when YOU have the questions about life itself and people look to you?”

“It was one of those days when life made no sense,” Hall said. He then asked the students, “Have you ever had one of those days when you feel so all alone?”

“If you’ve ever felt all alone, then you’ll know how those in scripture felt.” And like the Jews who were taunted by their captors, so the devil taunts us when everything falls apart.

“Bad stuff bubbles up and there’s nobody to talk to and you don’t know what to do,” Hall said. “That’s when the devil appears and asks ‘Where was your God when this happened or that thing happened?’ The devil torments us.”

That torment, Hall urged, is not a reason to “hang up our harps,” but a reason to “sing” because through all of those challenges the “Lord has planted you and is growing you; you’re going to come back better and bigger and stronger,” he said. “How can I NOT sing the Lord’s song?!”

Hall described a time during his illness when he was at his lowest, confined to bed, unable to move, and convinced that he’d had enough of life. At that moment, he says, God replied, “I am right beside you.”

In one of many moments of levity – and in his characteristic fashion – Hall revealed his affinity for Susan Lucci and the soap opera “All My Children.” After several years as an Emmy nominee, Lucci had every reason to abandon the hope that she would win. When Lucci finally did win, the host announced “The streak is over, Susan Lucci!”

“If you say, ‘Jesus, I’m going to try you again,'” Hall said, “you will hear Jesus himself pull out the card and say your name. Give Jesus one more try.”

VIDEO – You asked. Pastor Hall Responds.

Hungry for Warmth: Satellite Inspires

Satellite this year focuses on what we are spiritually hungry for.  The Satellite program on February 3, began with a brief talk by sophomore Jessica Yoong about where the phrase “cold shoulder” originated.  She explained that in medieval times when one was invited to someone’s home, they expected the guest to stay at least the whole day, and often over a period of weeks.  If the guest overstayed their welcome, the host would serve  a cold shoulder (the shoulder of the meat).  It was called a cold shoulder, because it was served cooked, but cold.

Song service was introduced with Psalms 106:2, ” Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD
or fully declare his praise?  ”   The theme song of the series is “Hungry (Falling on my Knees)”.

A skit followed song service with a very powerful message.  The skit began with Bayley Young in an elevator.  He seemed to be a very lonely man.  He first tried to befriend  Charela Evans and Kaitlin McArthur, who portrayed two stuck up people, who are too busy for anyone else, and focused on their phones.  They exited the elevator and Julia Westfall entered.  She said hello, but as soon as Bayley tried to be friendly, she freaked out and tried to get off the elevator as quickly as possible.  Jess Yoong, James Joo, and John Henri Rorabeck came on the elevator talking about a Bible study that they were having on Thursday, but still they didn’t include Bayley in the conversation.  Jess asked at the conclusion, “Do you think he wanted to come along.”  The others quickly replied, “No, he would have said something if he wanted to come.”   The point of the skit was that as Christians, people don’t always reach out to strangers, who may want to know God.  They limit themselves to those who already know God.

Pastor Carlos Pasillas invited Kim, a university student, to share a poem about love for God.  Pastor Carlos’s message was about Samson and how Christians can relate to him.   He concluded that God is still in the work of changing people and not to let your life end as Samson’s did.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: diet | Thanks to lasik, online colleges and seo