Manado Independent School (MIS) always implements character education through spiritual activities for teachers, staff, and especially students, one of which is regularly holding the Week of Prayer (WOP) twice a year at the beginning of the new semester in the current school year. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MIS Week of Prayer is held virtually through Google Meet from September 13 -17, 2021. The Head of MIS Campus Ministry Pst. Jerry Jacobs, MCM emphasizes that this spiritual activity is specifically arranged for a week to build an intimate relationship with God through communication, and that is why the chosen theme is "Divine Conversations". Pst. Jerry also encourages all school members to join WOP to enjoy and feel God's blessings.
MIS WOP is participated in actively and enthusiastically by all kindergarten, elementary, middle school, and high school students around Indonesia and abroad, with the teachers and school principals attending this spiritual program. This activity is divided into two sessions, 08:00 – 09:00 A.M. for middle and high school students, while 10:15 – 11:.30 A.M. for kindergarten and elementary school students. The participation of students and teachers in carrying out activities that are beautifully packaged when singing hymns, melodies from each musical instrument to short dramas, contributes to the solemnity of the said Virtual MIS WOP like they are watched performing live.
Every morning, Rev. Renie Ubara, DIS as Director of Youth in Malaysia becomes a channel of blessings through the delivered message based on the Word of God. That we are shaped through the encountered problems just as a potter turns clay into beautiful things, we too are made beautiful even through pain. Sharing a verse in the Bible in the Book of John 14: 1 "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me; Pst Ubara invites the participants to believe in God during this pandemic, emphasizing that "Jesus will give us a deeper peace which will not be snatched away by the state of the world; Jesus assures us that God is in control; and that Jesus wants us to believe in His promises. He promises that we can have a peaceful heart even in a life with various problems. We must make God number one in our life and always believe in God in whatever situation we face especially this pandemic season, this uncertain times of our lives.”
Svetlana Awaloei, a 12th grade MIS high school student, feels that WOP has always been a very insightful experience for all students, because through careful planning and preparation, it is always done very well. “I remember the first time I took part in MIS WOP since elementary school. I was very interested in the programs and especially the speaker. The atmosphere every year is very accommodating with prayer bands and amazing speaker. My favorite part in the Week of Prayer is when the speaker shares his personal experience or life story. I think when they give us young people advice, they always think about the many experiences they share, especially because I know some people find it difficult to share personal information. Therefore, I always look forward to the advice of the speaker for our generation”. Svetlana added that at the end of each WOP, she feels that many people become more motivated to read the Bible every day and improve their lives in general, and this applies to her as well. “I always feel refreshed and my outlook is renewed. It's like hitting the reset button on all the negative thoughts I've accumulated and trusting God in everything.”
Another experience from the president of MIS middle school student association, Windy Witomo, when she joined the MIS WOP. “I believe that having a program like this twice a year is beneficial, especially for all the students. This helps us to prepare for our upcoming exams. And I know that some of us, especially students, are still too lazy to read the Bible or set aside time to pray and talk with God. I believe that this program can help and encourage students to get closer and know God better. We have to break our bad behavior to apply the sermon in our lives. It's hard to change or stop doing what we always do, So, I start my day by praying to God and ask for His help and guidance. Then, with all my heart, I will gradually try to apply the message in my daily life to become my habit.”
MIS also hopes that the purpose of making MIS WOP can be a thorough preparation for the mid-semester exam next week, and is also expected to educate students about good worship attitudes, and about honing the character of students to have a virtuous soul, and tolerance in religious life.
In addition not only WOP activities is held by MIS, on September 16, 2021 there is also a Parenting Seminar program through Google Meet with the speaker Dr. Blecenda Varona who has more than 30 years of experience in the field of health, wellness, and nutrition. All parents and guardians of MIS students from kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school are invited to this activity. All parents attend the seminar well, and ask questions about problems in dealing with the development and education of their children during the pandemic.