The students of Adventist Education in Western Paraná now have Ground Zero, a network of communities of students and their friends in which the new generations are the protagonists. The "restart places," as they are called, aim to motivate school teenagers to participate in celebrations and organize urban missions. Thus, these activities take place every 15 days. In addition, students can invite family members to attend meetings, and together, they develop social skills and spiritual gifts.
The project was implemented in August 2021, and currently, six of the schools in Western Paraná already have their own Ground Zero. For this reason, everyone gathers in the cities of Cascavel, Foz do Iguaçu, Umuarama, Guaíra, Toledo, and Campo Mourão.
At the end of this month, the communities end their semester schedules. However, according to them, the result for organizers and participants is the certainty that they have grown socially, emotionally, and spiritually. In addition, activities will resume after the school holidays.
Development for Ground Zero Participants
The leader of Adventist Education in Western Paraná, Pastor Paulo Orling, explains that Ground Zero teaches the new generations to carry out humanitarian activities that go beyond the culture in which they live. In addition, they encourage community life. “Each meeting is an opportunity to develop gifts such as leadership, solidarity, administration, people management, and worship,” said Orling.
In addition to learning new skills and exchanging knowledge, those who participate also put into practice what they have already learned. Thus, in the communities, students and their guests can sing, speak in public, act, work with the audio production, and help with the media and publicizing the events.
In this sense, the leader of Ground Zero, Pastor Leonardo Ferreira, shares what he feels about these places: “Ground Zero is my community; it is my place of worship. So, that's where I have the opportunity to put my gifts and talents into practice,” describes Ferreira.
Change in Students' Daily Lives
The meetings are not daily, but the Ground Zero project leaves the collective environments and becomes part of the students' daily lives. “Ground Zero ended up completely changing my life. That's why the things I used to do on weekdays, I don't do anymore; ended up changing my routine; ended up making me closer to God,” shares Matheus Roberto Laguardia, who is part of Ground Zero in Foz do Iguaçu.
For William Douglas, a third-year high school student at Colégio Adventista de Cascavel, participating in Ground Zero had a direct impact on his routine with colleagues and God. “The community brought more interaction and proximity between students and school staff. And all this with the purpose of all of us being closer to God,” he adds.
The idea of making classrooms places for meeting and personal growth is a proposal of the Adventist Church for all of South America. Therefore, the goal is to involve the new generations in religious and social activities. In this way, the headquarters for Southern Brazil proposed the goal of creating communities in schools, which is already implemented in the three states in the region.