Monday, June 3, 2013

Caribbean Mountain Academy Teaches Teens to Value Others

Last week, Crosswinds CEO Mark Terrell blogged about how to teach your children the "preciousness of others." He begins with a personal story about visiting a concentration camp in Germany, and explains how he realized that an entire society had lost sight of the ability to value other human beings. Although this is an extreme example, it shows how careful we must all be to never forget the immense value of each and every human life. Even if we're not purposely hurting others, it's easy to become so wrapped up in our own schedules and problems that we forget to serve and care for others around us.

Mark and his son Hunter visit with Maria, a 
local Dominican woman, during a missions trip 
to Caribbean Mountain Academy
Mark goes on in his blog to explain that this concept of valuing others played a major role in the program development of Caribbean Mountain Academy. Mark writes that when his own children had the opportunity "to spend time serving, rather than being served, in a third world country [...] each one of them returned back with a new appreciation of what they have and the opportunities they have before them."

At Caribbean Mountain Academy, this concept gets put into action as students serve those in the local Dominican community around them. Through projects such as building houses, planning a VBS for local children, or renovating an old basketball court, students slowly begin to change their perspective and the way they think of others. They begin appreciate the satisfaction that comes from serving others—rather than serving themselves—and also the value of each person, no matter what country or culture they are from.

Mark writes that  "We wanted [Caribbean Mountain Academy] to be a place where young people would have the opportunity to learn to appreciate what they have, but more importantly have an opportunity to learn to appreciate the preciousness of others." And by the grace of God, this is exactly what it has become!

But even if your teen is not struggling with serious issues, teaching them the "preciousness of others" is still an important lesson. Taking time to serve others as a family—whether it's in another country or down the street—will help your children learn to look outside of their own world and value the preciousness of each human life.

By Crosswinds Caribbean Mountain Academy

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