By: Andrew Webster
Chapel forms a bond that brings everyone as children of God together as one. Maranatha High School allows its students to share this experience together once a week in either the auditorium or gym. Acting as a form of Christian community, Chapel allows us to separate our barriers, appreciate, and worship with each other. Likewise, Chinese chapel gives international students the chance to learn about and praise God in their language.
To say the least, Chinese chapel exceeded my expectations. I was expecting to just walk in and sit, and then to hear the same songs and bible stories I hear every week. Before I entered the commons, I was greeted by Mrs. Wunderly who works with with the international students. She was very excited to allow me to enjoy the experience and gave me some chocolate as I walked in. I saw many of my international student friends and they were happier than I’d ever seen them and with open arms they introduced me to their friends. Carl Xue then agreed to be my translator. The first half of chapel was completely in English, as a speaker went over important events coming up such as Dressember and Chinese New Year. Everyone was very excited to find out that before finals in December, there would be therapy dogs to help the students relax. After that, the chapel was all in Chinese. First, they brought up Ivo and two other freshmen to sing. From the beginning to the end of the songs, I could tell there was a difference in the atmosphere; everyone was engaged and respectful to the lead singers. Next they brought in the speaker, who told the story of the prodigal son and connected it to his own life and how he felt he was like the prodigal son within his own family. He also talked about a movie called “When Beijing meets Seattle 2” which is about a girl who rescues her father from gambling and a young man who comes to America when he is 14. The chapel closed with a heartfelt prayer, which was longer than I usually am used to, but it added to the atmosphere of unity. As the bell rang, I felt disappointed because I wanted to stay longer. The experience was both rewarding and special to me and those around me.