January 24, 2020
Winterim Trips 2020
We believe that students learn the most through first-hand experience. During Winterim, students have opportunities to travel the world on a variety of educational and missions trips. In 2020, students visited 10 different countries and traveled over 1 million miles. We are excited to share their stories with you.
Students on the Greece trip walked in the footsteps of Paul, visited historic sites like the Panathenaic stadium, the Acropolis, and the temple of Apollo at Corinth, and learned to cook traditional Greek foods.
Mr. Hockett shared, “Perhaps the most meaningful place we visited was a small hill two minutes from the Parthenon. It is known as Mars Hill. Acts 17 speaks about Paul’s encounter with the Greeks on the top of Mars Hill. At the time, Mars Hill was regarded as a place for trial and decision. Perhaps Paul was brought up there to defend his own life. This is what he said, ‘The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.’ As we stood in the shadow of the Parthenon and the Athenian temple, those words jumped off the page — The Lord of Heaven doesn’t live in a temple made by human hands — and he is not far from any of us.”
In Scotland, Wheaton Academy students partnered with an evangelistic ministry and studied the spiritual history of the country. Students invited their Scottish peers to ministry events, led worship, and shared their faith journeys.
In Guatemala, students poured concrete floors for families’ homes and put on a musical VBS program at a local school in partnership with the Independent Missionary Network.
Mr. Willemssen shared, “Our students did an excellent job – lots of stepping out of comfort zones with language and interactions; lots of smiles on the Guatemalan students’ faces, too. The Gospel was clearly presented through our songs and skits and Bible story.”
On the Girls Costa Rica trip, students studied marine science while also learning to surf. Students grew in their courage, self-confidence, and trust in the Lord as they dissected sharks, studied currents, and experienced the richness of Spanish culture.
During their tour of the “Emerald Isle,” students learned about the history of the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants and the Unionists and Nationalists. They experienced historical and architectural wonders like castles, cathedrals, guild halls, and even an organ with over 1,000 pipes, while soaking in the beauty of the majestic Cliffs of Moher and the hexagonal rock formations at the Giant’s Causeway.
KidsAlive: Peru and the Dominican Republic
Students in Peru and the Dominican Republic partnered with KidsAlive to put on VBS programs for local kids.
“The VBS has been filled with laughter and it is amazing how far a little wave or smile can go for the kids,” reflected Andrea ’21.
On the top of Pike’s Peak, students got to experience the power and greatness of our Creator. Students enjoyed skiing, hiking, and snowboarding on the mountains. They also learned about budgeting and how to live well with one another.
Trip leader Mr. Felinki shared, “I would say that the biggest takeaway is that we are small and God is powerful.”
The Dominican Republic
Wheaton Academy Athletics partnered with GO Ministries in the Dominican Republic to help with sports programs and join local students in community service projects.
In Fiji, students worked on a farm and learned about Fijian culture.
Mr. Skeba reflected, “In Fiji, I saw our students learning to adapt to different cultures—to begin to shed their own presuppositions and preconceived notions about life and people. As they lose those things, God has a chance to move in their lives.”
Now as second semester starts, students are returning to the classroom with new perspectives. Winterim, as an innovative learning opportunity, is never limited to two weeks in January. It continues to transform students lives into the semester and beyond.