The Year They Burned the Books by Nancy Garden


When Wilson High Telegraph editor Jamie Crawford writes an opinion piece in support of the new sex-ed curriculum, which includes making condoms available to high school students, she has no idea that a huge controversy is brewing. Lisa Buel, a school board member, is trying to get rid of the health program, which she considers morally flawed, from its textbooks to its recommendations for outside reading.

The newspaper staff find themselves in the center of the storm, and things are complicated by the fact that Jamie is in the process of coming to terms with being gay, and her best friend, Terry, also gay, has fallen in love with a boy whose parents are anti-homosexual. As Jamie’s and Terry’s sexual orientation becomes more obvious to other studetns, it looks as if the paper they’re fighting to keep alive and honest is going to be taken away from them. 


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Sons of Thunder

Usually I like to get students to write about their experiences with IVCF in this section, but this quarter, I wanted to spend some time acknowledging the gift that it is when God brings us extraordinary students.  


It’s one year ago that Justin and I first walked on to campus up the mountain in Burnaby.  Simon Fraser University is daunting in it’s concrete appearance, but we were more daunted by the students rushing from one class to the next.  Hardly any stop.  Each one was purposefully passing us and our slightly lame (looking back,) table.


The excitement of Day One though is ripe, and while full of fear, we both prayed silently that we’d heard God correctly and that He has a purpose for us, and more importantly, for the students at SFU.  


Then, Don walked up to us.  “Are you guys a Christian group?” 

In fact, we were.  He signed up on our sheet, but even more-so, he gave us a copy of his schedule (a dangerous thing for a student to give to their staff worker).


Don took so many risks last year, and God blessed him immensely in this.  He was faithful in engaging scripture with us, received the call to come to China, and always sought out new ways to see where God was moving on Campus. 


For Mark West, Don invited his brother Dan along.  I worried that it might be a hard experience for Dan to travel to Alberta with a bunch of unknown people who are intense about scripture, but Dan walked in with a posture of openness, ready to receive whatever God put before him.


And now, Dan is showing himself open to all of the things God is asking of him, both at SFU, and in his church life in Surrey.  Together, Dan and Don began transforming their Youth Group with the message of good news they had been discovering on campus.  Together they are leading small groups, and changing the lives of many more students around them!


Men like Dan and Don are gifts to SFU.  They are bold, they are willing, and they love Jesus with all of their being.  They are the students that we had been praying for, and we pray that many more would come as well!