Almost 70 high school students from China have made an impact on Cedar Springs over the last few weeks, and will also take a little bit of Red Flannel town with them.
Tim and Shelley Bauer, directors of Network 153, a local nonprofit organization, teamed up with Pine Ridge Bible Camp for the third summer in a row, in order to work together with Lu He Cultural Training Center in Beijing to bring the students here.
The Chinese students are here for a three-week English Immersion program. They spend two weeks in local host families, and one week at camp. While here, they participated in twelve hours of ESL classes under the theme of “All men are created equal,” as well as visiting some of our local attractions. Not only were there guest appearances from famous Americans in their ESL classes such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, a pilgrim, and Paul Revere, but they also learned of our struggles as a nation with racism and prejudice. An African American, and a Native American Indian speaker also shared their cultural difficulties within our land. Whether Chinese or American, it was very moving for all who heard them share their hearts.
The students also did a thorough cleaning of the Kent Theater in Cedar Springs, as part of a community service project.
The students’ final week is spent having fun at Pine Ridge Bible Camp August 1-6. When they leave, they hope to take some copies of the Cedar Springs Post back with them to Beijing.
The Bauers and Pine Ridge Camp are grateful for this exciting relationship with those from the other side of the world. They hope to visit Lu He next year in Beijing for their 150th anniversary. The school was founded in 1867 by American Christian missionaries, and many of the buildings on campus have American names after those who first began their school. It is a growing relationship that the Bauers pray blesses both countries.