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Christian Encounter High School: “God’s A+” by Mike Petrillo

Since 1977, Christian Encounter Ministries has provided a high school education for the students who reside here. Some of the distinctives of a Christian program are very obvious—being able to use the Bible as a resource book and praying every day with the students. Some of the other unique qualities of the school are just as profound. “This is an opportunity to watch God do the impossible! God takes those who are failures and meets them right in their fearful discouragement and shows them that they can learn, grow and succeed with His help.” (Tom Kern) “I love watching students who…failed at their previous high schools see their grades soar.” (Robbin Adams) “Teaching science is just plain fun—there is such a clear connection with God as we learn about how His creation works.” (Jonathan Palmer) Along the way, students might achieve honor roll status for the first time ever. Many Principal Tom Kern helps Travis, Mackenzie, and Ember get excited about history. will develop skills they once had no interest in, finding new enjoyment. Previously undiscovered talents often become apparent. The students and teachers form a partnership in which the student is treated as a whole person, not just for an hour or two in the classroom, but throughout the whole day. Many arrive at CEM believing that teachers hate them. They have reflected that attitude in every class they attended. What an amazing challenge to their world-view, when our teachers stop the lesson plan to make sure of each student’s comprehension. What an experience to have the teachers pray for their success on an exam or paper! What a relief to have private correction instead of public humiliation. What a thrill to see their names written on the Honor Roll, not on the blackboard Bad Behavior list. What a victory to call home to tell Mom and Dad to expect a good report card instead of hiding it in the freezer. What a moment when the universe opens up as a workbook of God’s creative love. What a pleasure to see oneself as made in the image of the Creator, not as a rejected and excluded kid. What an accomplishment to go from overweight and out of shape to being trim and coordinated. What a victory to start thinking logically and using critical thinking skills. What a privilege to start understanding the classics of literature, theology, and science. What great evidence of growth it is to go from no Breona and Rob find Geometry a bit less intim- hope for the future to believing that God has good plans for idating under Suzanne Hartley’s tutelage. us. Going to school at CEM is like watching God do the impossible, far beyond all we can ask or imagine. He sends students to us who have struggled in various areas. Many possess outstanding ability, but without positive results. Many have had substandard opportunities and need gifted teachers who will draw out their gifts and talents. Some have succeeded academically but have missed the big picture of God’s purposes. They need to have faith lived out before them. Some CEM students are afraid to try because of emotional trauma. They need extreme patience and kindness. Some CEM students have been immersed in a culture of violence or disrespect. They need strong authority where the truth is spoken in love. The teachers at CEM, along with the intern team, pour large doses of God’s wisdom into the students each day. The net effect will last for a lifetime. Each year with our students is like reading an encyclopedia of miracles. There is a new one on every page. And, as we know, God is the author of the book. God gets an A+. Robbin Adams (back, right) enjoys listening to an English class presentation along with Ember, Josh, Jeff, and Rob.


Christian Encounter Ministries PO Box 1022 Grass Valley, CA 95945 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Christian Encounter Ministries October 2010

Tending Lives…Training Leaders Since 1970 Christian Encounter Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational, residential program helping 16- to 25-year-olds by providing love, spiritual guidance, high school education, counseling, and 24-hour supervision. Contact us at: 530-268-0877

Christian Encounter…

So much more than your ordinary high school. Here’s what our students say: “I like it!” Mackenzie and Mia “It’s so much better than my old school…It was much bigger; the teachers didn’t even notice if I wasn’t there!” Ember “I’m really excited! I’ve had school hanging over my head for three years. Now, finally, I can get this burden off!” Robert