The Butterfly Who Found Jesus

The Butterfly Who Found Jesus


I’ve been dancing for two years
and what made me start dancing
is that I was really interested,
and for my family.
My family are all shawl dancers.Shawl dancers represent the butterfly
so we have to be graceful and light.
The stars are for my mom.
She calls me her little shining star, so that’s why I have a bunch. Then, there’s my butterfly
because it represents the dance. I have yellow in it for my Cree name. My Cree name is
“yellow mountain rogue woman,” and blue because I love blue.Shaneek is a member of the Cree,
one of the largest groups
of First Nations in North America.In Canada alone,
there are more than 200,000 members.
An increasing challenge
in North America is for Native youth
to retain their culture.Through dance,
Shaneek is able to continue
her tribe’s legacy and express herself.She has attended
Mamawi Atosketan Native School
in Alberta, Canada,
since she was in the second grade.
This Adventist school is located
in a rural environment
to allow students to focus
on their school experience.
This is a unique school
because it specifically responds
to the needs of the Native population
from kindergarten through high school.
By celebrating and integrating
the Native culture,
the school can educate in a powerful way.Students regularly attend classes
in Native history and language,
in addition to standard classes.They get a hands-on education
that prepares them for their future.
They are really supportive.
So, if you were behind in your grades,
they would help you personally
and help you “up” your grades.
They want you to pass, not fail.They want you to succeed.All students are given breakfast
and lunch for free, if they ask for it.
The staff wants to ensure every student
has the best opportunity to learn.
The staff’s caring attitude
build the students’ trust
and confidence in them.For some of these children,
this may be the only place
they feel safe and secure.At this school,
students have the opportunity
to talk with trained counselors
about any topic.
I wanted to start dancing
since I have a lot of energy, there’s that reason,
and to get rid of some of my sorrows, to let them free.When Shaneek was in the third grade,
her father passed away.
Her father’s death was difficult
to deal with and she felt alone.
It was around this time
that she first learned about Jesus.
She began reading the Bible
and found comfort in its stories.
When I was little,
I felt really by myself, so when I came here
and learned about it, I was like, “Oh,
there’s actually someone here to look after me and I’m not alone.”This transformed Shaneek’s life
in a positive way.
Teachers and staff at this school
emphasize the importance
of a personal relationship with Jesus.Now, she spends time
in God’s word each day
and continues to grow closer to Him.As enrollment grows each year,
there is no more room
for growth in this building.Mamawi Atosketan Native School
has begun construction
on a dedicated high school building
to facilitate current and future growth.
The staff and students
ask for your support
through the 13th Sabbath
Offering this quarter.
A portion of this offering
will go to the school
to satisfy its growing needs.Please join us in prayer
as they meet a great need in this region.
Thank you for giving
to the 13th Sabbath Offering!

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