By Lindsay Philpott, Weimar College student
Weimar, CA – Heidi Supit, a sophomore at Weimar Academy, is part of the Great Controversy class. While they learn facts about world history, the class incorporates Bible history and themes from the Great Controversy, a book written by Ellen White and published by her husband, James White, in 1858.
For their class, students had a project where they were to choose a time period and show what it was like to be a Christian back in that day. At first, the class didn’t know what time period to choose, but they eventually decided on doing something on the Waldensians. It was called the Waldensian Experience, a walk-through journey to see what it was like to live as a Christian in the Waldensian era.
“We wanted to show what their struggles were, and make it real for the people who would go through and see our Waldensian Experience,” said Supit.
At the Weimar outdoor amphitheater, the class set up a little village. It included a baker, a seamstress, and a blacksmith. Elementary students, parents, and academy students were invited to walk through the Waldensian Experience and see Waldensian life demonstrated and acted by the Great Controversy class. People were split into about eight groups of 5-10 people.
First, each group would listen to a PowerPoint presentation about the Waldenses and who they were. Then, they would go into the Waldensian village. Soon, a soldier would come and arrest a Waldensian in the village. As the Waldensian was being arrested, he would start to share his faith and plead with people to turn to what the Bible teaches. The group would then move down to the trails, where a guide would explain the different dangers the Waldensians faced.
Next, they would move on to the “safe haven” of Switzerland. This is where Supit and her friend were working together. Supit would explain how the Waldenses would escape to Switzerland. She also was able to share her own conversion experience with the groups that came by. Afterward, the group would move onto the conclusion of the experience where principal Chad Bernard would talk and wrap up what they had seen and learned.
When asked what her experience was like in doing this project, Supit said, “For me, it was really good doing the research because my part was where I had to share about their escapes to Switzerland and how I came to Christ. It was good for all of us.” It not only made the class more knowledgeable about the Waldenses, but also studying about their lives and what they went through helped them in their own walks with the Lord. They could see how the Waldenses dealt with the challenges and struggles of being a Christian in their day, and gave them encouragement in their own lives.
“It showed us complete dependence on God.”