The Academy’s NY mission trip includes those seniors who apply for the trip and also fulfill a series of requirements to take part. These requirements include multiple service opportunities: handing out gospel tracts and ministering in church or other outreaches primarily in verbal ministry. I’ve participated on this trip for 13 years, and it has come to be my favorite week of the year as I have had the wonderful opportunity to see BJA seniors serve in church and outreach ministries—putting into practice the things that they have learned through the years at BJA, at home, and at church. There’s nothing quite like seeing students step up into significant ministry, living out what they have been taught.
Field Day is held the same week as the NY trip. Though we in New York would love to take part in Field Day, the overall needs of other students mean that our part is that of praying for the day. Students in New York talked about how much they had enjoyed field day in previous years, once again focused on the opportunities for service. While elementary students participate in a variety of activities throughout the day, middle school students learn to serve by participating in the Jog-a-Thon, raising funds for a school project. High school students experience further joys of service as they run the games or other activities in which the elementary students are involved or act as big brothers or sisters for those elementary students whose parents are unable to attend. It’s that very thing—the joy of service—that they were focused on in conversation, and that’s what the Academy hopes to provide and to teach: that serving the Lord in whatever ways He asks brings joy and fulfillment.