09 Nov


RMCNews with Traci Pike – Casper, Wyoming …Mountain Road Christian Academy welcomed back Shayne Vincent, pastor of the Casper district, after several weeks of being seriously ill, with a celebration two months in the planning.

Tie-dyed shirts with “Faith over fear” were made and worn by the students. Students decorated the classroom with balloons, banners, and streamers to create a real party atmosphere, and they bought a cake to help celebrate the occasion.

Why the party atmosphere to welcome back the pastor? Because it was a miracle the students had a chance to witness over the last few months.

Vincent is a valued member of Mountain Road Christian Academy, and the students genuinely love him. Thursdays are known as “Pastor Shayne Day.” Students count down the days every week, asking over and over, “How many more days until Pastor comes?”

“Pastor Shayne presents chapel to our students and then plays games with the students. The favorite is Hide-and-seek. They run all over the school building for the last 30-45 minutes of the day every Thursday to find the very best hiding places,” Traci Pike, headteacher at Mountain Road Christian Academy, said.

In September, Thursday fun day came to an abrupt halt as Vincent contracted COVID.

“We found out he had COVID. At first, he was just sick and at home, but then the situation turned deadly, and our dear Pastor Shayne was hospitalized,” Pike recalls.

While Vincent was battling for his life in the hospital, multiple students lifted their prayer requests that “Pastor Shayne” would get better and come play Hide-and-seek with them again every morning.  Students were given daily updates by Pike, who received them from Vincent’s wife Gabriela, and would hold open discussions about how he was doing and would pray for both Shayne and Gabriela after the updates.

Pike recalls when things took a turn for the worse for Vincent.  “Then Pastor got really, really sick. He was moved to the ICU unit at the hospital. Students prayed. And prayed. And sometimes teachers and students cried together.”

Vincent was anointed on October 2, and as Pike shared this with the students and James 5:13-16 was read and claimed by them. Their faith that he would be healed never wavered.  And God began healing Vincent, bringing him back from the threshold of death.

Recalling the joyous moment at school when the news was released to the students that Vincent was being discharged from the hospital, Pike said, “The day he got out of the hospital, we celebrated at school with songs of praise! We sang, ‘Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord!’ and thanked God for answering our prayers.”

“November 4 was a sweet reward to see our pastor and friend once again. He still can’t run around the school building, so instead of Hide-and-seek, he played Sardines with the students,” Pike added.

In the game of Sardines, one person who is “It” hides, and everyone else looks for them. When they find where “It” has hidden, they hide with them.

Pike finished by stating, “Mountain Road Christian Academy students and teachers know that they have witnessed a miracle of healing in our pastor. Praise God that He hasn’t run out of miracles yet!”

–RMCNews with Traci Pike is the headteacher at Mountain Road Christian Academy; photo supplied.

05 May


By Traci Pike … “You aren’t just a teacher. You are a minister,” Lonnie Hetterle often reminded teachers at teacher conventions.

In August 2020, as I was working madly in my classroom for the start of school the following week and feeling overwhelmed like I would never be ready, my phone dinged with a text message, “Good morning Miss Tracie. We were wondering if this year maybe the pastor could baptize the boys or what the steps would be to do that…” The message was from Julie, a mother of two boys, Talon and Danny, in our school.

The boys had begun school the previous year about a month before the COVID-19 pandemic started, which sent us all home for the remainder of the school year. Prior to coming to our school, their family had no church affiliation. They came to our school because of the witness and encouragement of Tami Dietz, one of our school board members. Tami’s son, Wyatt, is a sixth grader and plays hockey with Talon. When Julie and her husband Dan were unhappy with the school that their boys were at, Tami encouraged them to check out Mountain Road Christian Academy (MRCA).

After that text message, I was so excited I started crying and thanked the Lord for the reminder of why we have our little church school here in Casper, Wyoming. It is a ministry. Our students learn about Jesus here!

I immediately contacted Pastor Shayne Vincent with this fabulous news and shared Julie’s phone number with him.

Pastor Shayne came on school days and studied with the boys and other students who wanted to join the study during the fall.

On April 13, Talon and Danny were baptized at the local swimming pool–Casper Aquatic Center. The Dwyers rented the pool for a private party to celebrate their boys’ baptisms. In addition to friends and families from MRCA were the Dwyer’s family and many friends and families from the hockey teams that the boys play with.

The children swam for a little while before everyone was called over to one of the shallow pools. About 30 children sat at the edge of the pool in their swimsuits and many adults stood next to the pool as Pastor Shayne explained about baptism and what it means. Talon was baptized first, followed by his younger brother Danny.

What a beautiful experience! I cried, their grandma cried, and of course their mom cried–tears of joy! It was beautiful to see these two boys give their hearts to Jesus.

After the baptism, there was a party with pizza, cupcakes, and more swimming. It was a grand celebration and the most fun I have ever had at a baptism.

Since then, Julie has told me that some of the kids in attendance have asked about baptism and some of them have started going to their churches again because they witnessed the boys’ baptism. Some of the other students at Mountain Road Christian Academy have also talked to their parents and Pastor Shayne about being baptized.

It can be difficult for churches to financially support our church schools and every year, our school in Casper gets to the end of the year not knowing how we’ll manage to pay all the bills coming due. It is a drain on our church finances. But, events like this are the reminder of why we keep doing what we do! And every year, the Lord makes ends meet! We are an evangelistic tool! Every day we tell our students about Jesus. Every day we pray with them and for them.

Thank you for supporting your Adventist schools!

–Traci Pike is head teacher at Mountain Road Christian Academy; photos by Traci Pike

18 Feb


RMCNews with Traci Pike – Casper, Wyoming…Wyoming kids are tough. They don’t let a high of zero degrees keep them from going out to spread some cheer.

Mountain Road Christian Academy students ventured into the freezing temperatures on February 11 to spread love to lonely church members who have been homebound.

The school normally makes cookies and goes Christmas caroling every year for shut-ins, but the pandemic caused the closure of the school a week early before Christmas and they had to cancel this long-awaited event.

Knowing how much the community looked forward to seeing the students, teacher aide Lynnette Huber began discussions in January with Traci Pike, head teacher, on how to do a similar event for Valentine’s Day.

With a plan in place, students began preparation by making Valentine cards and practiced singing Jesus Loves Me, and Oh, Friend Do You Love Jesus as “love songs” in preparation to share Jesus’ love with their fellow church members and others.

Pike recalls the event, “February 11 was a cold, COLD day in Casper. Students, staff, and Pastor Shayne Vincent bundled up in winter gear and loaded onto the school bus before heading out. Singing was cut down to just Jesus Loves Me to limit the time out in the frigid wind chill temperatures that were around -20 degrees that morning.”

The visit by the students brought smiles to the members they visited.

“What fun it is to surprise people with a friendly visit. Smiles were abundant on the faces of the visited as well as their young, singing visitors. People didn’t mind at all holding their doors open for two minutes as the students and staff sang the familiar old song to them to remind them that Jesus does indeed love us and to show them that they have not been forgotten during this time of pandemic,” Pike added.

Mountain View Christian Academy plans to continue this activity in the future as it has become a favorite outreach activity for the school and students.

–RMCNews with Traci Pike who is head teacher at Mountain View Christian Academy; photos supplied

01 Jul

Mountain Road Christian Academy Backyard Graduation Ceremony

By Traci Pike – Casper, Wyoming . . . Casper church members and families from Mountain Road Christian Academy (MRCA) gathered on a cold and windy June 30 to celebrate five students who graduated from different levels in May. Traci Pike, school principal and head teacher shared a report about the event with NewsNuggets.

The celebration included a grill out, hosted by the Pikes at their home.  Braving the strong winds and cool temperatures for June, 60 participants gathered to recognize the accomplishments of these students.

Pike wanted to be able to celebrate the graduates in person instead of virtually, so she postponed the date for graduation until an in-person gathering was possible. Following the guidelines released by Wyoming’s governor and the Wyoming Health Department allowing gatherings of up to 250 people outside as of June 15, Pike began to plan the graduation ceremony.

MRCA had five students graduate this year: Lexi Alexander and Drexol Williams graduated from the 8th grade and Isabelle Huber, Olivia McDonald, and R. J. Pankonin graduated from Kindergarten. The 8th graders preferred to stay low profile and were relieved that they didn’t have to do any public speaking. The Kindergarteners wore light blue caps and gowns with beaming smiles as they descended the back-deck steps while attendees hummed “Pomp and Circumstance.” The new first graders then received their diplomas and posed for pictures with their teachers, Traci Pike and Lynnette Huber.

It was an evening of fun in spite of the less-than-ideal weather. Casper church members and school families showed once again that they are a hearty bunch and won’t let a little wind keep them from having fun and supporting their school. Students and families were happy to gather to celebrate the end of this bizarre school year.

Mountain Road Christian Academy is looking forward to opening for the new school year on August 31 with at least 15 students planning to attend.

Traci Pike is principal and head teacher at Mountain Road Christian Academy; photos by Gabriela Vincent