A dedication to faith

Senior Elizabeth Sung (Left) leads the praise and worship service on Dec. 3 at her church, Chin United Pentecostal Church.  Junior Zing Hnem (Right) sings with her church choir on Dec. 10 at Indiana Chin Baptist Church.

Riley Hyatt, Sung Zathang

Senior Elizabeth Sung (Left) leads the praise and worship service on Dec. 3 at her church, Chin United Pentecostal Church. Junior Zing Hnem (Right) sings with her church choir on Dec. 10 at Indiana Chin Baptist Church.

Hailey Boger, Reporter

The holiday season is in full swing, and with the traditionally celebrated Christian holiday of Christmas just around the corner, senior Elizabeth Sung is as dedicated to her religious activities as she’s ever been.

According to pewforum.org, approximately 72 percent of Indiana’s population follows a branch of Christianity. This branches out into 52 percent Protestant, 18 percent Catholic, and the remaining belonging to another branch. Religion can be an important part of a person’s life, and one may let their decisions and thoughts be shaped by their faith.

Sung attends the Chin United Pentecostal Church (CUPC) where she spends a rather large chunk of her time volunteering, attending services and helping people out in general. Her activities include, but are not limited to, teaching Sunday school students, leading praise and worship and leading group song practice.

“Even if I’m so busy with everything…I always want to give my time for my church,” Sung said.

While Sung is not at church, she helps translate for people in the Chin community who don’t speak English very well. During the summer, she will help them make phone calls to pay bills, apply for jobs and even assist them in getting their green cards. At SHS, she is involved with Key Club and International Club and is also a part of National Honors Society and Cardinal Cadre.

Sung gets involved with religious activities and services almost every time one comes up, despite her involvement in other things.

“Religion is very much, 100 percent, very important to me,” Sung said. “Everyday of my life, I need God.”

Junior Zing Hnem is another student who is very dedicated to her religion. Hnem attends religious activities at Indiana Chin Baptist Church (ICBC.)  She sings in the choir at her church, and also volunteers for youths in need. For Hnem, volunteering and doing deeds for God is of utmost importance in her life.

“I would love to volunteer for any activities for my Christian fellows,” Hnem said. “Since my (life is in God’s hand), I can sacrifice anything for him, even myself.”

Even outside of church, Hnem remains dedicated to her religion. She attends a Bible study with her friends, prays with her mom and always keeps her faith in her heart. She also talks about God with her friends.

Since Hnem was raised as a Christian by her parents, she intends to stick with her religion for her entire life and lets her faith guide her decisions and thinking. She stays strong no matter what happens in her life and tries to take the challenges to serve God in the best way.

“We make decisions everyday which includes the good and the bad,” Hnem said. “Because of my faith in Jesus, I (try to) ignore the things that I think are bad and try to do good things everyday.”

It’s not just students who are devoted to their religion, either. Teachers also take time out of their busy lives for their faith.

Science teacher Justin Heinold, a Christian who does not follow a specific denomination, attends worship services with his family at Indian Creek Christian Church on the weekend. There, he says he also meets with a group of men he met through religious activities.

Outside of church, Heinold and a few other teachers at SHS gather on the mornings of White days for religious purposes. He also takes personal time to read the Bible and pray, and from time to time, he allows a student-led prayer group to be held in his classroom.

Religion is an important part of Heinold’s life, as it affects his way of thinking, beliefs and outlooks on life. He says his faith affects how he develops relationships and connections with people, which is something that he believes is an important part of life.

“(Religion) affects a lot of the daily things that I do, the way I conduct myself,” Heinold said. “And ultimately, what my life will look like after this life.”