For more than 20 years, Legacy Christian Academy has been a leader in equipping students with the biblical knowledge, Godly principles, and spiritual guidelines necessary to become leaders for the Kingdom.
Two years ago, however, Legacy realized that students could begin to make their impact long before they graduated. Across all ages of students, the consensus was that they had a heart to serve, and wanted to be involved in the world around them. Thus, a vision was born to develop not only hearers of the Word, but also doers of good deeds.
In an effort to achieve this goal, leaders such as Middle School Principal Glenn Dibley and Assistant Upper School Principal Lynn Dupree began praying and brainstorming to find practical ways to engage students to take their knowledge beyond the classroom. Their ideas evolved into incredible ways to fulfill the communal desire of Legacy students to serve.
THROUGH PRAYER AND TEAMWORK, Mr. Dupree discovered 25Project, which is an organization that helps transform mission trips from ideas into reality. 25Project worked closely with Legacy faculty and administrators to plan experiences for Upper School students.
The first trip was announced in June 2018, and 29 students jumped at the idea to serve in the Dominican Republic. After that success and their clear passion to share the gospel, Legacy decided to forge ahead with more trips. The response was gratifying: Fifty-eight students — twice the number who had made the initial trip — signed up for the next one, in summer 2019. To accommodate all of these eager students, Legacy added another mission. To prepare, they received training on how to share the gospel, and arrived in the Dominican Republic with open hearts. “Every student showed boldness and a passion to share what Jesus had done for them,” said Mr. Dupree.
Mitchell Smith ’20 summed up what the experience meant to him: “Besides accepting Christ,” he said, “it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
This year, a record number of students expressed interest in the trip, but the restrictions necessitated by the coronavirus meant we had to cancel service abroad.
IN 2019, FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOL, Legacy launched “March Madness.” During the week before spring break, a group of seventh- and eighth-graders served in Houston. Along with parents and faculty, they delivered food to the homeless, helped to restore a home that had been destroyed during Hurricane Harvey, and worked at the Houston Food Bank. The experience, said Mr. Dibley, was “a confirmation that the students had not only the capability to serve, but also a strong desire, which was demonstrated time and time again as they stepped out beyond their comfort zone.”
March Madness has now morphed into a more comprehensive program. This spring, seventh-graders headed back to Houston, with more volunteers, parents, and teachers, with the plan to accomplish many of the same goals. Also this spring, the eighth-graders traveled to Puerto Rico, where they partnered with churches and ministries to serve. For those who weren’t able to participate in either of these missions, local service opportunities were available.
Catherine Thomas, who teaches history in the Middle School and served in Houston last year, accompanied students again this spring. “It was wonderful to see more and more of them interact with and have compassion for those who are in different circumstances,” she said, “and I was proud to be able to witness their growth.”
By: Daisy Dibley (‘18) is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona studying professional writing with hopes to be a journalist and author.