A highlight of life at Sunrise is having a front row seat to witness how our students have endeavoured to put their faith into action. Their faith expression has occurred through a variety of avenues that have historically been a part of the Sunrise Paradise school week as well as several examples of students taking the initiative and seeking ways in which they can serve others themselves.

One of these traditional and intentional ways that Sunrise has helped students put their faith into action is through student-led assemblies every Friday morning that parents are welcome to come and enjoy. It is great to see a different year level each week lead our whole school assembly, displaying their newly acquired knowledge and gifts as they lead worship, share stories and testimonies and the school in prayer. Our assemblies are a core part of Sunrise as we make worshipping our great God central to all that we do.

This year there have been several examples of students putting their faith in action as they have taken the initiative and approached me with ideas.

We introduced a sustainability program as part of our school community earlier this year. Not long after, an eager group of Grade 4 girls approached me asking if they could start a ‘Rubbish Collection Group’ (RCG). Of course, we said yes and purchased vests, gloves, rubbish claws and buckets. We explained to the school at the next assembly what the RCG wanted to accomplish, working together to provide a clean environment for our whole school. I explained that I hoped that this group would be ‘out of work’ very shortly as the RCG was acting as an example to all of us. This meant that whenever they saw these girls picking up rubbish, it would remind others to put their rubbish in the bin. What a wonderful servant-hearted attitude on display in these future leaders. Let me correct myself; they aren’t future leaders; they are leaders today. This initiative has been so successful, that when we went to take a photo for the spotlight magazine, we had to stage it, getting some rubbish out of the bin because the school yard was so clean!

More recently, another student asked if we could start a chess club. They hoped to create a space at lunchtimes where they could learn and play the game of chess with their fellow students. After purchasing some chess sets, we kicked off the Sunrise Paradise Chess Club in the library, and what a great turn out it was as over 20 students turned up. As I have observed this club, not only has it provided a space for students to learn a new strategy game, but it has also produced a wonderful fellowship as children from different age levels have developed relationships around their newfound interest.

The next suggestion brought me to tears when 2 girls asked me if they could start a student prayer meeting! Like the two suggestions before it, my response was a definite and immediate yes! The following week we had over a dozen students in the library during their lunchtime with Mrs Page, our Chaplain, to pray for their fellow students and their school.

We give glory to God as we see Him at work in our children. It is their faith in Christ that is leading them to action which serves others, provides spaces for community and leads them to prayer.