Our chapel times were somewhat different this week as the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) planned a series of speakers in connection with Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is a nation-wide campaign to raise awareness of the destruction that drug and alcohol abuse brings.
On Monday, our speaker was Darren Brown. Darren challenged us to be aware of when our body is wanting more of whatever makes us feel good. Wanting more and more of a high from drugs and alcohol will lead to addiction. He challenged us to work together, notice the lonely or those on the fringes, and invite them into a healthy community. He noted that when we bond together and take our pain to Jesus, our resistance to unhealthy choices is strengthened. We need to find our identity and value in our Creator.
Wednesday’s speaker was Curtis Fry. Curtis grew up in a devout Christian home and was a committed follower of Jesus throughout his high school and early adult years. On his 21st birthday, Curtis made a choice that led to his conviction on a murder charge. Alcohol was a major factor in his life taking this unexpected and tragic turn. Curtis challenged us to have an accountability buddy that can keep us aware of the choices that we make. You can hear Curtis’ presentation here: Curtis Fry Chapel Oct. 2017
Thursday’s speaker was Eric Weber, an officer with the drug task force in Johnson, Washington and Iowa counties. Eric has been involved in the lives of over 1,000 drug abuse cases, and each story began with experimenting with marijuana. His challenge to us was to be aware that teenagers’ brains are still in the process of developing and are more susceptible to addictions. Exploration of drugs and alcohol at this point in life is more likely to lead to a path of abuse.
On Friday, we were privileged to have Bryan Moyer Suderman with us. Bryan is a musician/Bible teacher who is in the area for meetings at Wellman Mennonite Church. He challenged us to rely on God’s creativity to imagine what it is like in God’s kingdom and then to begin to live in that way.