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Shannon Smith is an international student from Bermuda. This weekend BMA sponsored a trip for all of international students to visit New York City.
The trip to New York City was a very exciting trip for me. Having never been there before, I couldn’t wait to finally see the “city that never sleeps” for myself.
We went on a bus tour on one of those buses with the open tops, which was very cool. I liked that a lot. Then we went on a ferry where I got to see the Statue of Liberty for the first time!
Afterwards we experienced the different cultures in New York and went to have lunch in Korea Town. Can’t say that I like Korean food though…
So I can surely say that the trip was well worth it. Just wish I had tried New York pizza for the first time as well…maybe next time.
[image src=”http://www.bma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/12_SmithShannon.jpg” alt=”Shannon Smith” align=”left” image_frame=”true” wrapper=”true” wrapper_class=”image-bordered” size=”small”]
–Shannon Smith, Senior
Featured Photo by Karen Schneider, a sponsor on the trip.
A Staff’s Perspective
This year for FOCUS week we wanted to try something a little different. Guided by the inspiration of the new staff on the chaplaincy team we chose to give each day a different style.
We began by having the services in the boys dorm chapel. Our primary theme was “Called to Know.” This is the overall theme for the spiritual emphasis at BMA this year.
On Monday we began with a program specifically designed to be focused on worshiping our God. For the entire time we were together we sang and read scripture that helped us to FOCUS on who God is.
Tuesday we were blessed by the testimony of two of our new staff members, Rachelle Walkowiak and Mike Archibeque. They FOCUSed on how they came or are still coming to “know” God.
Throughout the week we placed a question box in the hallway for students to ask questions. Wednesday we had a panel of distinguished guests: Dixie Perez, Latoya Wright, Pastor Kris Eckenroth, Alex Bolanos and John Musselman. They addressed the questions submitted by the students. It truly was a fun and interesting night.
Thursday we were again blessed by the testimony of two of our new staff. We heard and were blessed by Jennifer Cook and Alex Larracuente’s testimonies.
Friday as we wrapped up the week, we held our Vespers service in the Hamburg church fireside room. A huge thank you goes out to them for allowing us to use this room. We began our worship service with music and testimonies and ended it with a foot washing and communion service.
Overall the week was a blessing and allowed the students the opportunity to spend time together FOCUSing on Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.
[image src=”http://www.bma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/staff_PerezEver.jpg” alt=”Ever Perez” align=”left” image_frame=”true” wrapper=”true” wrapper_class=”image-bordered” size=”small”]
–Pastor Ever Perez, BMA Chaplain & Pastor
A Student’s Perspective
I assist in the Chaplaincy department, so I got to help out with preparing for FOCUS week. We put a lot of hard work into it. Many people were praying so that the Holy Spirit would manifest Himself among the students during this week, which I know He did.
It was different. It wasn’t the usual FOCUS week with only preaching and some sleeping students–it was live and very intimate, which the students really liked. We did it in a different location than we had in previous years, with a different setting, and different programs every day.
The first day was all about worship. We had different praise teams, different special musics, and students got the opportunity to truly worship and share the talents that God gave them, and show Him how much they love Him.
Tuesday, we presented the new dean Mikey Archibeque and the new staff member Rachelle Walkowiak. We got to learn how they came into a relationship with God, and what the believe about being Seventh-day Adventist.
Wednesday we had a panel where students submitted questions to be answered by some of our BMA staff. I personally believe that through these questions and answers, we got to learn a lot more in depth about the Bible, and how to keep and maintain a Christian life.
Thursday Dean Alex Larracuente, and new English teacher, Jennifer Cook shared their testimonies about how they came to know God personally.
Friday was so special. We moved to a new location, new setting, shared testimonies and communion with each other. The Spirit for SURE was there. Student shared how God had answered their prayers during FOCUS week, and how God had changed their life in so many different ways. After a great worship and special music, you could see how the students were truly touched. Then, to conclude our program, we participated in communion by first washing our feet (representing the cleansing of our sins), then we ate bread and drank grape juice (representing Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins). Friday night was definitely the most special. We had special prayers from students, and many testimonies, and the Holy Spirit was definitely felt there that night.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
[image src=”http://www.bma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/12_GalvezEdgar.jpg” alt=”Edgar Galvez” align=”left” image_frame=”true” wrapper=”true” wrapper_class=”image-bordered” size=”small”]
–Edgar Galvez, senior
Featured Photo by Ellen Musselman. The photo shows a glimpse into Wednesday night of FOCUS week.
SportsFest, is a one-and-a-half day event where 5-8th graders from the Pennsylvania Conference elementary schools join our campus to do a sports clinic. We just finished hosting the event this past weekend.
Lots of children from all over the state flooded our gym and the soccer/football field.
The children participate in two sports of their choice over eight sessions with many of the current BMA students assisting as needed. They also experienced worships and fun activities featuring “Doctor Bella,” and the timeless movie, Facing the Giants.
We interviewed one of the BMA student volunteers, Caleb Barney, on how his experience was helping out with SportsFest.
Q: What sport did you teach?
Caleb Barney: Volleyball.
Q: What was it like teaching?
Caleb: Teaching the sport was stressful sometimes, but all around it was a good experience. I like teaching kids, especially teaching them, what is in my opinion, the best sport ever, volleyball!
Q: What did you take away from this experience?
Caleb: I took away that teaching is learning. Not only did I teach the kids, but I learned what it was like to potentially be a teacher, which is a career I’m currently potentially interested in pursuing.
Q: Would you do this again?
Caleb: I definitely would! It was fun to participate with the visiting students and teach them more about a sport that I love.
Q: As a kid, would you have wanted to attend Sports Fest?
Caleb: Oh yeah! It would’ve been a great foundation to the sports I play now. I definitely would recommend it to other middleschoolers in the coming years.
[image src=”http://www.bma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/12_BarneyCaleb.jpg” alt=”Caleb Barney” align=”left” image_frame=”true” wrapper=”true” wrapper_class=”image-bordered” size=”small”]
–Caleb Barney, Senior
Featured Photo by Sharyl Cubero, senior. The photo is of all of the SportsFest participants.
To me, art is very important. It can inspire you, uplift you and open your eyes to the beauty in everything.
When I first heard that there would be an art class available, I was really excited and hoped that I would be able to join. I love art and having a class would be really fun and a great opportunity to improve.
I was really happy to hear I was on the list, and so far I have really been enjoying this class.
One of the most stressful things about school is the strict, orderly setting that you’re in. In art class, however, the whole feel is much more relaxed and chill. I really like that because it allows me to unwind my stress from the week and just be creative. I appreciate that it is one of the few classes I have that doesn’t make me feel overwhelmed with tests and due dates.
I am so grateful that we have an art program this year, and although we’ve only done one project, I am looking forward to the rest of the year and future things to come.
[image src=”http://www.bma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/11_MottChristina150px.jpg” alt=”Christina Mott” align=”left” image_frame=”true” wrapper=”true” wrapper_class=”image-bordered” size=”small”]
–Christina Mott, Junior
Featured Photo by Sharyl Cubero, senior. The photo is of Christina’s first art project.
Here we were faced between nature and ourselves. We had to mentally prepare for what was about to happen. The day had finally come.
Senior Outdoor Leadership Discovery Retreat, (S.O.L.D for short) had FINALLY arrived. We managed to hold back the tears as our phones slowly died and were left without any service. Mr. Baumgartner was there to meet us and had already laid out the campsite. We couldn’t believe this was actually happening.
It was a long four days dedicated to bonding. At times we were filled with anger and frustration, but ended with trust and teamwork.
When it all came down to an end, our class voted for new officers who would be able to lead and make the tough decisions as the year progressed. Names of people who stood out as leaders during the retreat were nominated. After a series of anonymous votes were cast, names were mentioned, and eruptions of applause could be heard throughout. Our class had spoken. Brand new leaders had risen to the scene.
This experience was unlike any other. We started out separate, in our own cliques and preconceived thoughts of each other, and ended with new bonds with people we never thought we could relate to. On our last day we didn’t want to leave and begged to stay for another week.
When we got back on campus responsibilities were resumed and quickly we got back into the routine of getting back into finishing Psychology and A&P, but this time something was different and our attitudes had changed. We were now leaders.
[image src=”http://www.bma.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/12_CuberoSharyl-150×150.jpg” alt=”Sharyl Cubero” align=”left” image_frame=”true” wrapper=”true” wrapper_class=”image-bordered” size=”small”]
–Sharyl Cubero, Senior
Featured Photo by Ellen Musselman
The familiar trees passed by in a blur. I was getting closer. The light became brighter and the streets got clearer. I had made it! It was finally registration day. Not only was I starting my sophomore year, but I was also a member of Student Association.
The hallways once dim and void of life during summer, were bustling with joyous students and apprehensive smiles. Students and parents entered from station to station, getting prepared for the school year.
I may have been a returning student, but it was a new year; a year that would be filled with more responsibility and added maturity.
But the best part had yet to come. SA handshake was down the road… literally. All students and staff headed down to the football field to meet and greet each other. Hugs were exchanged between new and old friends. Afterward we headed to the pavilion where we were met with a chilling treat of ice cream. It was a great way to start out the school year.
The next day, classes would begin, and it would officially be the start of the school year.