07 Jan

International students find second homes for the holidays

By Campion Academy Student News – Loveland, Colorado…Even though most of Campion’s international students couldn’t return home due to COVID travel restrictions over the holidays, they were able to find comfort in welcoming host families.

Jarrod and Greg Lang, two brothers from China, haven’t been able to return home since they came to Campion in August of 2019. Jarrod explained that dealing with homesickness can be difficult. “I miss my family and the food they cook, especially my grandma’s cooking,” he said.

Brayan Martins, international student from Brazil explained, “I’ve definitely felt homesick, but it helps that I’ve been calling home every day and talking to my mom through FaceTime.”

The students mentioned that host families helped them have a positive experience despite being far from home.

“The families have made me feel really comfortable and the kiddos of the families loved me like their own; it felt like home. Throughout break, I got to know three new families, eat a lot of good food, and make new friends,” said Brayan.

Jarrod further commented, “My host families helped me do things that I never thought I could accomplish, like doing a five-foot drop-off on my [mountain] bike with Matt Hasty.”

Local families opened their homes over the break, enriching their family lives with young people from other cultural backgrounds

Campion Student News Team; photo supplied

07 Jan

Commentary — Will this be the year?

By Ron Price — I cannot recall ever welcoming a new year more than I do 2021. Somehow, I do not think I am alone in that regard. Someone recently said that 2020 will soon become a common expression in our culture to describe anything tense, unsettling, discouraging, frustrating, etc. I could go on, but please do not be surprised to hear in the coming weeks, months, and years something negative described as a “2020 thing.”

For many of us, 2020 was a nuisance and great inconvenience. It was, however, devastating for some of you, and my heart goes out to you if that is your case. Hopefully, this new year will be a vast improvement.

As with all trips around the sun, a new year inspires us to choose goals or different living ways.  So, have you yet made your new year’s resolutions? As I write this, we are on day five, so I must also ask if you are still keeping those you made? I do not know the statistics, but the vast majority of us abandon our hopes and aspirations quicker than we like to admit.

While there are numerous reasons why this failure is so common among us, I want to focus on a couple of hints that might help you stay the course and accomplish what you decide is essential in your life.

My source for this post is Jon Acuff, a fabulous author who offers wise counsel in living life well. The first point I’ll share is what he calls “the day after perfect.” When you set out to bring about a change in your life, you are typically highly focused, motivated, and determined. The first day or two is a proverbial piece of cake. But sooner or later, you will have a day when you miss your target. You fall back to your old ways and do not live by your new desired standards.

That day is “the day after perfect.” Up till that point, you have enjoyed success and the fruits thereof. You’ve been on a roll and feel a great sense of accomplishment. And then the crash comes, and you face a critical decision. All too often, that decision is “well, I blew it, so I might as well eat the whole cake,” or “smoke the whole pack,” or “drink the whole bottle,” or you fill in the blank.

That’s why the day after perfect is so important. If you can somehow refocus and marshal your energy to resume the effort, you will be well on your way to success. When attempting to bring about any change, please expect setbacks, and determine in advance that they will be momentary stumbling blocks, not deal-breakers.

On a side note, as a former smoker, I noticed that whenever I abstained from cigarettes for any length of time, after my first smoke, I would invariably increase my normal usage for about that same time to sort of balance out what I had missed. This was not intentional, I promise you, but it seems to be a common fact of life that when we stay away from a destructive habit we increase our usage after we relapse. Hopefully, that can provide you with some incentive to rejoin the battle quickly after a setback.

The second tip from Mr. Acuff – and he has plenty more in his book Finish, is to cut your goal in half. He suggests two ways to do this. One is actually to cut it in half. If your goal is to have $1,000 in the bank by a specific date, change the goal to $500, which is more achievable. Since success breeds success, you will likely be motivated to go on and reach the full destination of $1,000.

The other way to cut a goal in half is to double the time required for its achievement. Again, if you desire to have $1,000 saved within 30 days, give yourself 60 days to complete it. Doing this should increase your chances of success and spur you on to go after other pursuits you desire.

Nobody ever said life is or should be easy. However, I believe the harder you are on yourself; the more manageable and more enjoyable life can be. Also, please remember that you are worth the effort. Though it is a cliché, the statement that there is not another just like you anywhere on the planet is also true. And the rest of you are counting on you and pulling for you to succeed.

— –Ron Price is a member of RMC executive committee from Farmington, New Mexico. Email him: [email protected]; photo by pixabay

06 Jan


By RMCNews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … After 27 years, the Mile High Academy bus, which has carried many students and faculty to multiple events, has left campus for the final time.

The bus quit working in August and according to MHA, parts have become non-existent and the knowledgeable service mechanic retired, selling not only his shop but also comparable spare-part busses. Based on the uphill challenge for the bus, the administration decided it was time to sell MHA’s iconic transportation mode.

Reflecting on the quintessential bus, Brian Howard, upper school teacher, said, “It was a way to get where we were going, but it was also much more than that. It was a safe place to hang out. It was a place to learn new and interesting things about our friends and colleagues as we talked while rolling along. It was a place to learn new games. It was a place where friendships were made and strengthened.”

Upon hearing the news of “Blue’s” final trip, alumni began posting memories on Facebook.

“So long, Old Blue. The stories you could tell. A piece of MHA history is gone on [to] the bus farm in the sky,” Amy Rasco, MHA alumnus commented.

Greg Shick, another MHA alumnus, recalled his in-school suspension resulting from the bus, “I got ISS (in-school suspension) for locking Marcus Smittick in the cargo hold of that bus.”

A committee has started researching several gently-used buses and is working on finding the right one for MHA.

–This article was adapted from an article which originally appeared on Mile High Academy’s website; photo supplied

06 Jan

10 Days of Prayer 2021 – Seeking Revival

The Rocky Mountain Conference prayer ministries team would like to invite RMC members to join them over the next 10 days, January 6 – 16, at 6:30 a.m., 12 noon, and 6:30 p.m. for prayer.

Also Mid-America Union Conference will host a virtual inspirational gathering each night at 6:00 p.m.

For more information please click here.

04 Jan


By Alise Weber – Littleton, Colorado … The Littleton Adventist Church grounds was transformed into the City of Bethlehem on December 19 to welcome the community to experience Bethlehem.

Planning for this event began in March and the scale of the event was changed multiple times due to the ongoing pandemic.  What didn’t change was the organizers’ hope to share the Good News and the joy of Christ’s birth with all who attended.  The idea of hosting an event like The Bethlehem Experience became more of a mission as many churches were unable to offer traditional religious Christmas activities for their congregation and communities.

During the event, each group of 40 travelers was greeted by a guide at the Bethlehem gates who shared important information about their visit to Bethlehem.  After the introduction, their guide led them into a busy night market where Roman soldiers loomed in the background.  Travelers were beckoned by marketplace business men and women “selling” fabric, produce, hot drinks, small animals, and cookies. Tax collectors were encountered throughout the marketplace ready to collect “taxes” for Rome.

Exiting the marketplace, the crowd traveled to the shepherd’s fields where the children and young-at-heart could interact with the goats and donkeys there. The fields encompassed an inn with a tired, but cranky innkeeper who was tired of people knocking on the door asking for a room for the evening. The crowd’s attention was drawn to the ancient story of the shepherds watching their flock by night through the narration of Luke 2.  Eyes were drawn to the heavens as fireworks lit up the evening sky, much like the Bethlehem star many years ago.

Following the star, the gathering, filled with anticipation, made their way to an ancient cave more than 2000 years old inside the tent. There, those who gathered witnessed Joseph comforting Mary as she prepared to give birth. As angels surrounded the couple, Joseph emerged from the cave holding baby Jesus, played by 10-month-old Sully Palmer. The watching group, moved by the arrival of Jesus, expressed their emotion through applause and tears. Others sat silently, absorbing the scene unfolding before them.

The evening concluded with the Wise Men inviting individuals to rediscover Jesus in the year ahead.

Tierra Hull, invited by a member of the Littleton Church, attended with her husband and two young boys.  After the event, she wrote to her friend, “We LOVED it and hope you do it next year.  My son said it was the most fun tradition ever.  We all feel so blessed to have had a fun Christmas event this season.”

More than 450 people, many visiting Littleton church for the first time, attended the free 30-minute Bethlehem Experience.

With the success of The Bethlehem Experience, Littleton Adventist Church would like to make it an annual event, with the desire of sharing with more and more people the hope, light, and joy Christ’s birth brought to us all.

If you would like to view the Nativity scene, please visit https://www.facebook.com/LittletonSDA/videos/676031106427379

–Alise Weber is Littleton’s Children and Family pastor; pictures courtesy of Littleton Facebook page.

04 Jan


By Renae Hamstra – Castle Rock, Colorado … “Presents!” was heard echoing from children throughout the Christmas store set up by Castle Rock church and Castle Rock Adventist Hospital.

Eyes were aglow and hearts were warmed as 36 families received Christmas gifts at Castle Rock’s first Christmas store. Some thirty-five volunteers from the hospital, the hospital foundation, and Castle Rock Adventist Church spent hours planning, purchasing and wrapping hundreds of gifts before the big day.

Remarking on the Christmas store concept, Brandon Nudd, CEO of Castle Rock Adventist Hospital said, “This kind of community outreach is great. Let’s do it again next year.”

The volunteers reached out to local elementary school counselors to obtain names of families not serviced by other organizations. The families were asked to arrive at the hospital at a specific time where each family member received two wrapped gifts.

Bob Whitlock, a volunteer and Castle Rock member, saw the children’s eyes light up as huge bags of wrapped gifts were given. “It was so gratifying to participate in the Christmas store and hear the many words of heartfelt appreciation.”

Renae Hamstra, Castle Rock Member, shared her favorite part of the event, “The best part was distributing gifts to the 168 people whose Christmas was looking bleak and hearing the children exclaim, “Presents!”’

The church and hospital would like to make the event an annual tradition in Castle Rock.

“Hopefully, in life after COVID, we’ll be able to have the kids come into the hospital and choose gifts for their family members,” said Bernice Benabe, church Christmas Store coordinator.

If you would like to learn more about the Christmas Shop 2021, please visit http://castlerockadventist.church/.

–Renae Hamstra is a member of the Castle Rock Adventist Church; photos supplied

03 Nov


By Mary Lynn Green – Denver, Colorado… When constituents make calls to Planned Giving and Trust Services, but don’t leave a message, there is no way to return those calls.

Doug Inglish, Trust Services director explains, “Our phone system, unlike a cell phone, doesn’t record the number of a caller who hangs up before leaving a message. We have heard that some of you have called, left no message, then wondered why we did not return the call.”

Likely similar issues have been experienced by all conference departments due to the COVID restrictions in Denver which have not stopped RMC office staff from working.  Employees, however, have had to adapt to these restrictions by staggering schedules and honoring social distancing. Many have had to work virtually and the majority of meetings have been held via zoom.

During these challenging times, Planned Giving and Trust Services would remind potential callers who have questions to do the following: use email, access us through the website rmcgift.com, or try reaching us by phone.

“When you contact us via email or through the website, we respond pretty much as always. However, when you call us, it may be a different story depending on how you manage that contact,” Mary Lynn Green, associate director of Trust Services said.

“We are as committed as ever to providing service to our constituents, so when you do choose to call us, please leave a message,” Green stated.

–Mary Lynn Green is RMC’s associate director of Planned Giving and Trust Service’ photo by Rajmund Dabrowski