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.
–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
–Edgar Galvez, senior
Featured Photo by Ellen Musselman. The photo shows a glimpse into Wednesday night of FOCUS week.