Everything listed under: Covenant community

  • Rhetoric Reflection: Selflessness

    “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
    Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

    Carson and brother, Colton

    Something happened to me recently that really touched me, and I thought I would just share it with you. My dad loves road trips and camping; almost every night he will come home and research where to go and what to see. So, two weeks before school started, my family and I were planned to go on a road trip. Our plan was to drive out west to California and see all the great national parks such as Yosemite and the Redwood Forest. My dad had been planning this trip for at least a year. He even stayed up to 1 o’clock in morning to reserve camping spots. However, in June, we learned that my brother would have his championship swim meet the weekend we wanted to leave. This would leave us with not enough time for our vacation. My brother had been training all year and this meant a lot to him. So, what did my dad do? He cancelled the trip he had been looking forward to for many, many, years so my brother could swim two races. He put his dream on hold for someone else’s dream to come true. This is what we call being selfless. When someone possesses selflessness, it means they put others before themselves and realize, “Hey, I have to do what is right, even though it may be unpleasant."

    Carson and his dad, Rudi

    Upper School recently finished reading the book Up from Slavery about Booker T. Washington, who was a freed slave that rose to success through hard work and determination. Mr. Washington exemplified selflessness better than most. Listen to this! By the time he was a well-known figure, he was offered five million dollars to go around the country giving speeches about his life, but he turned it down! Why would he turn down five million dollars? Because he wanted to continue to be the principal of his school. He knew that his talents were better used as the leader of a school where the main goal was to help educate African Americans. To quote Mr. Washington, “I always prefer to do things rather than talk about doing them.” So, Mr. Washington was selfless enough to work for a cause he knew was important, rather than going around the country merely talking about what people should do.

    To tell you the truth, that hit me hard. Dr. Smith and I agree—we don’t think most of us would be able to do what Booker T. Washington did. It is a great reminder that we all need to put others before ourselves, especially with our school being rebuilt [after Hurricane Harvey] in the face of so many trials. The selfless actions of many volunteers is precisely why I’m able to stand on campus, in this room and deliver this speech to you today. Philippians 2:4 (ESV) perfectly sums up the attitude my dad, Booker T. Washington, and all the volunteers share. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

    So, Covenant, I leave you with this: think not of yourself, but of others. Think not of what is, but what could be. Think not of how great you, are but how greatly you can improve. Think not of how people have wronged you, but how you could fix those wrongs. Think not of glorifying yourself, but of glorifying God.

    Carson in ChapelAs part of their training in Rhetoric, our students in grades ten and up are required to develop and present a brief presentation to the school body during Chapel with guidance from their instructors and school curriculum. Each student presentation must be understandable and relevant to all age groups. Sowing seeds of rhetoric training by requiring them speak to all age levels has yielded a harvest for all to enjoy.

    This week’s presentation was given by Carson, one of our eleventh grade students (pictured).

  • Rainbows

    After the flood in Genesis 8, God sent a rainbow to remind Noah and his family of His love. He would bring beauty from the destruction of the flood. After being flooded by Hurricane Harvey, God has sent Covenant Academy many rainbows as well. Below are before and after pictures of our Kindergarten classroom as an example of one of God's rainbows. All of the rooms (except the modulars) will have this same flooring, trim and wall color. Hard to believe after all that water and dust, isn't it?

    There were several volunteers at the school today but the task was daunting and difficult. Just when they were feeling overwhelmed, a team of firefighters from California and other volunteers from Ohio joined with them to move our furniture into Patriot Hall for cleaning. Everything was moved in time for them to see Dr. Smith's "Remember the Alamo" at our alternate location. This kind of blessing has happened over and over again and it is such a gift to re-tell the countless ways that God is providing blessing amidst this challenge.

    Did you know that a school in Canada had a car wash to benefit our school? Did you know that an equipment company stopped by to loan us the use of a front end loader (to fill our dumpster) at no charge? Today I shared with the students that in the midst of all this, we also received a very generous donation of $100,000 to help us as we recover. The donor survived Hurricane Katrina and knows the challenges that we are facing and wanted to bless us. Isn't that incredible? I'm humbled by God's provision and grateful to see His hands and feet at work.

    God told Noah, "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." (Genesis 9:16, NIV)

  • Reconstruction Begins!

    I'm happy to say that reconstruction will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7! The construction crew will hang sheet rock in the most critical classrooms first so that we can get back to our campus as soon as possible. They will be working long days and even weekends to make this happen and I'm so very grateful! When we are able to get back on our campus they will work at night so that we can continue to make progress. Thank you again for your help and patience throughout this situation. We would not be able to start tomorrow were it not for your help! Harvey hit us hard but by God's grace we are stronger than this struggle and we'll get through this together.

    Our alternate location starting September 11 will be on the Northwest Forest Campus on Telge Road (between school and Jarvis). Cy-Hope has graciously offered the use of The Alamo and Hope Lodge for us to meet until we can get back to our own campus. You read that right, we will be having school in The Alamo! It's a full-scale replica of the original church where the famous battle took place and it provides a unique opportunity for us to be together as a community as we heal and move forward. I heard it said that our students will have a whole new understanding of the phrase, "Remember the Alamo!" Don't worry, we'll be sure to teach them the original meaning as well.

    Like all of you, Harvey has been a devastating blow for me and my family. Like you, my plans and priorities for the beginning of the school year were suddenly and swiftly wiped out by this disaster. I am reminding myself each and every moment that in Christ I am not defined by this disaster. I am defined by my identity in Christ and in Him I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). This flood is a moment in our lives and though it's not the moment I asked for, it's the one I was given. And so, like every thing else that God gives me, I must steward it well. That's what I will be focusing on: stewarding this moment, this crisis, this learning opportunity that God has given us in such a way that He says to us, "Well done good and faithful servants." God knows the plans He has for us, they are for hope and a future and they are often harder than we think we can bear, but He gives us more grace when we humble ourselves (James 4:6)

    I want reassure you that as I make decisions about our alternate campus time, I will be seeking to be faithful in my stewardship of this moment in our lives as well as remaining faithful to our academic goals and standards.