Gem State Runs to the Cross

October 12, 2015 | Kimberley Mitchell

The halls of Gem State Adventist Academy in Caldwell, Idaho rang with the excited voices of students, parents and staff welcoming in a new school year on Aug. 23. From the registration process and meeting the new staff to sharing a meal, it’s obvious that relationships remain the clear focus of Gem State’s mission. The student association chose “Running to the Cross” as this year’s school theme, emphasizing that our most important relationship is the one we build with Jesus.

After a day of orientation and classes, the entire school journeyed up to the ever-beautiful Camp Ida-Haven for further focus on building relationships with each other and with the Creator of the universe. During this three-day retreat, Geoff Starr, Gem State Academy Church pastor, challenged the group to “own it,” making their run to the cross a personalized path that begins every day with prayer. He used the models of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to illustrate the importance of first knowing what we believe and then staying true to those values.

The Gem State team wants each of its staff and 76 students to start each day with a positive foothold propping the race door open. They claim God’s promises in Prov. 3:25–27: “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you (Jesus Christ). Make straight the path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” As they left their retreat time of volleyball on the beach, worship beside the lake and zip lining through the trees, they all anticipate a full year of academic excellence and experiencing Jesus in all aspects of their lives.