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Dr. Friesen's recap of 2016 I-Term

My heart is full in this moment as I reflect on all that has been accomplished during this week of I-Term. I am highly confident that when asked the question “what is the most unique and significant thing we do at Cascade Christian High School,” students would say, “I-Term.” It is an extremely profound way in which we live out our three Rs of Respect, Responsibility, and Relationship. I have witnessed it first-hand as I visited the ten local teams in action throughout the week. I have seen evidence of it as I read through the blogs and viewed pictures of each of the teams out of the area.

What is amazing to me is the manner in which lives are touched by every act our teams carry out, whether those actions have to do with cleaning and organizing storage areas that have become cluttered, cleaning and beautifying overgrown flower beds and grounds in general, painting and repairing structures, giving food and clothing to the homeless, or visiting and praying with individuals who are hurting and in need.

When a retired war veteran living at the Soldiers Home in Orting walks by a flower bed that has looked neglected for a long period of time and pauses to appreciate how beautiful it looks now, or when an elderly individual living at Lynden Grove Senior Center in Puyallup has a student play games and/or exercise with them, it causes them to feel valued and respected.

When a mother in the South Puget Sound area or Las Vegas, NV living in poverty opens her door to be handed a bag of groceries and asked if she can be prayed for, it gives her comfort and hope.

When the heads of non-profit organizations from Snohomish and Tonasket, WA to New Orleans, Hawaii, Indonesia, Germany or South Africa see students accomplish in 4-10 days what it would take them months to do on their own, they are overcome with gratitude, and struggle to find adequate words to express how much they appreciate the help.

The above examples just scrape the surface of the many interactions our students have had with others through I-Term. I am also reminded of the significant interactions our Building Bridges and Zoo Crew teams had with elementary students from our own Puyallup campus as well as with high school and elementary students from public schools in the Puyallup and Tacoma areas.

I am more than impressed with what our CCS at-large team has done to clean and beautify our building and campus, and couldn’t help but be impressed and encouraged by the way our Small World team helped a group of international students enjoy and become familiar with the Puget Sound area. The team that likely had the best opportunity to experience and appreciate the vastness and beauty of God’s creation, while serving at a national campground, was the Zion National Parks team.

While most of our teams served for this designated week of I-Term we have several teams that have functioned all year long, providing support to organizations and doing activities on evenings and weekends. The teams that functioned in that manner included Hope for the Homeless, Friends of the Elderly, and Conversations with God.

The stories and feedback that come back to us are filled with accounts of how respectful, responsible, kind, and hard-working our students and staff are in what they do through I-Term. Not only is my heart full in this moment, but I am also extremely proud of the way our teams have represented God and Cascade Christian. I can’t wait to celebrate with them all the good that has been done when we get back from Spring Break.

Ken Friesen, Ed.D.

High School Principal