Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Religion

September 29, 2011

Prayerful gathering

TEAM School, CHS students hold prayer events

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, three young men walked out of TEAM School to start a prayer circle as part of national See You at the Pole event, which took place at several schools in Cleburne ISD.

They were admittedly nervous, but nearly 40 people arrived to back them up.

One of the boys, Juan Nuñez, prepared to give a 10-minute lesson from Matthew 8:22-29, words he and his two friends, Jay Ramirez and Carlos Sajche, thought appropriate for the between-class break.

“It was a big blessing. I was surprised. I thought it would be a smaller group,” Nuñez said. “The message I brought is, sometimes we’re facing problems and we think that we’re alone. We’re not alone. God is always with us.”

“It was truly amazing. It was so awesome, like nothing I’ve ever seen on a school campus before,” counselor Heather Brister said. “It was so passionate and so moving. Many of us had tears in our eyes.”

Nuñez spoke entirely in Spanish, by choice, and had a friend translate for him.

TEAM Principal Georgann Storm said the three boys did everything on their own, including designing and printing flyers and posters for the event. They made three full-color posters asking students to attend and passed out individual flyers to students who wanted a copy.

The boys made sure the event was legal, and because it was held outside of instruction time, they were free to pray for 10 minutes before the next class.  

Ramirez was excited to take part in the event because he said he is a new Christian.

“I thought it would be cool to show people that I’ve changed,” he said. Ramirez said a friend showed up at the event and told him “it was the most church he felt in a long time.”

That made Ramirez smile.

“Now we’re trying to get a bible study get going. We’ll see if that works out,” he said.

Sajche said the passage, which is about Jesus calming a storm, was hand-chosen because everyone could relate to it.

“Everyone goes through something, either now, or soon. Everyone’s like in a storm and the only person who can take you out or calm it down is Jesus,” he said.

Nuñez agreed.

“I believe in second chances. And God gave me a second chance. That’s part of the reason we’re at TEAM School. We all need a second chance,” he said.

Storm said she was proud of the students.

“Having three young men stand up to do that impressed me immensely,” she said.

The 10 a.m. SYATP start time was different from other CISD schools, which held their prayer circles before school.

Cleburne High School seniors Preston Hughes and Charissa Elliott each had roles in planning their event. Hughes played acoustic guitar for background music, while students took turns praying.

Hughes’ brother, Gavin, a sophomore, stood next to Preston during the event. Elliott was one of the students who said a prayer for the high school.

Don Hunt, youth pastor of Cleburne Bible Church next door, said the event was very nice and the students did a good job organizing it.

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