Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight for Spring 2017

Shelby and Sammie Thornton

Shelby: My name is Shelby Thornton and I’m 15 years old. I’m a freshman at Voyager Academy High School. I was on the Voyager varsity cheer team this year, and I am now playing Voyager soccer. I love art, music and writing.

Sam: My name is Sam Thornton, I’m 14, and I’m in the ninth grade at Voyager Academy. I play tennis and soccer, and am a part of my school’s show choir group, “Bull City Lights.” I love hanging out with friends, family, and my dog.

What is your life verse and why?

Shelby: My life verse would have to be Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. This verse really speaks to me because a lot of the time we try to control our own lives and do what we want, but really God is the one who has a plan for us and has had that plan before we were even born. He has set us apart to glorify him with our lives, so that’s what we should do.

Sam: My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse is posted in my room, and it has been my favorite life verse for a while now. It helps me with my anxiety and reminds me that God has control of my life and my future, not me.

What is your favorite part about Elevate Student Ministry?

Shelby: My favorite part about Elevate Student Ministry is being able to connect with other students. Regardless of hobbies/interests, age, etc. I feel like as a whole we are able to connect with one another and not feel judged, which makes being with the student ministry so much more enjoyable. Having a strong connection and bond with one another also helps us to hold each other accountable and grow in our relationships with Christ together.

Sam: My favorite part about Elevate Student Ministry is when all the age groups come together on Sunday nights for small group to just hang out and have fellowship together. I feel like I get a lot out of that time just being around other Christians and checking up on people.

How do you serve in the church, community, or at school?

Shelby: I’ll admit that I don’t serve as much as I should. I was a part of the VAHS Service Club at the beginning of this year but quit going to meetings and participating because of sports, school work and a busy schedule. I am in chorus at school and I am pretty involved with it, so I feel like I should be using that talent at church in some way to glorify God.

Sam: Lately, I haven’t been able to serve as much as I’ve liked to, because of my school schedule, but I still make time for some things. I go to FCA and invite my friends to come with me, I help my dad make initial books as gifts for people, and I help in the preschool area during church service when I can.

What is once piece of Godly advice you would like to share?

Shelby: One piece of Godly wisdom I would like to share is that like I mentioned previously, we are made to glorify God through everything we do. So live as an example and a leader for Christ. Don’t be a follower and do whatever seems cool, or whatever gets you the most friends. Do what you were created to do and live according to God’s plan for your life…not your own.

Sam: If I could give one piece of Godly wisdom, it would be that sometimes God puts things in our lives to help us, but he may also take things out that are keeping us down. And although that thing may be difficult to let go of, just know that he only wants the best for you.

Student Spotlight for Fall 2016

Sam Rasinske

My name is Sam Rasinske and I am 15 years old and a sophomore at Orange High School. I am originally from Illinois, but we moved down here when I was 9. I have 3 younger siblings; two brothers, who are twins, two years younger than me, and a little sister who is 8. I enjoy running, playing music, and swimming. Most importantly I am a follower of Christ who is my savior. I am not perfect but I keep striving after Him every day and want to bring glory to the name of Jesus, who is above every name.

What is your life verse and why?

My life verse is 1 Corinthians 15:10, which says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. I worked harder than all of them [the apostles]; yet not I but the grace of God that was with me”. I really like this verse because so often I get prideful in how well I’m doing in my Christian walk or how I’m more perfect than everyone else, but this verse reminds me that the only reason I am what I am is because Christ has made me that way. Yes I work hard in my Christian walk, but it is ultimately God who is working through me. 

How do you serve in the student ministry?

I am the leader of our student led music ministry in our youth group.

What made you want to start writing music?

I started writing music because I wanted to glorify God. I am a very skilled musician and writing music comes easily to me. I just wanted to use the talent that God has given me to show His workmanship and praise His name and not my own.

What do you do outside of school?

I enjoy playing video games, running, playing music, and reading outside of school.

How was the transition from home school to public school?

It was a very big transition, but God was in control over it. I had very good classes the first semester of freshman year and I think that really helped me prepare for a public school setting. There are definitely pros and cons about homeschooling and public school, but I wanted to do what God wanted me to do, and He wanted me to be a witness to the kids at my high school, and He has proven faithful thus far.