28 Mar


Vashty Segovia Santos – Loveland, Colorado … The Campion Academy Ski Club spent four days enjoying God’s nature in the Colorado mountains on their annual four-day trip to Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Frisco, Colorado, March 23-26.

They started their trip off by holding a church service at the Leadville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Leadville, Colorado, where they shared praise music, testimonies, and experiences from the recent mission trip with the local church members.

Brayden Marroquin, Campion junior, expressed, “It was fun being able to share our experiences of going to the Dominican Republic and being missionaries there. I could tell that our testimonies really spoke to them.” The students were able to fellowship with the members of the church over potluck.

After church, the students went tubing at Leadville’s Dutch Henry Sledding Hill. A group of the students made it their goal to send a tuber over the top of the track. But, despite multiple attempts and recalculations, they were unsuccessful.

For the next three days the group went skiing and snowboarding at Copper Mountain. Each person had a different skill level: some had been skiing and snowboarding since they were small, and others were just starting. “I really liked growing closer to everyone on the ski trip. I liked how everyone was willing to help me when I was struggling on my first day,” Yolanda Han, Campion junior, shared.

During this trip there were several friends that decided that they wanted to switch gear and try something new. Addison Gann, Campion sophomore, shared, “My favorite part of ski trip was trying skiing again. I had skied before but preferred snowboarding. It was really fun to try it again and to watch my friend try snowboarding.”

Elin Sorensen, Campion freshman, who had switched gears with Addison, agreed saying; “It was fun to try snowboarding for the first time.”

In the evenings, the students were able to explore the historic town of Leadville, eat dinner together, catch up on schoolwork, and play games.

On the last day, the students gathered for a group picture and ran. “My favorite part was going on a run together. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone better.” Jovanna Maldonado, Campion senior, reflected.

—Vashty Segovia Santos, Campion Academy Student News Team. Photos supplied.

28 Mar


Liz Kirkland – Denver, Colorado … Thirteen new-in-ministry pastors joined together at the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) office with Mickey Mallory, RMC Ministerial director, and Craig Carr, Mid-America Union Conference (MAUC) Ministerial director, for the New in Ministry meeting, March 19-20.

These meetings have been held twice a year since 2022 with the purpose of equipping RMC pastors that are new in ministry with the skills for a life of ministry.

“The early years of a pastor’s ministry are very important,” commented Mallory. “Since it forms the foundation for the rest of their ministry, it is very important that we provide the tools they need to be successful in life and ministry.”

At these meetings, attendees look at one of the seven core qualities it takes to be an effective pastor as defined by the North American Division (NAD) Ministerial Association: character, evangelism, leadership, worship; management, scholarship, and relationship. The focus of this session explored the quality of interpersonal relationships. Mallory remarked, “For pastors to make a difference in their congregations and in their community, they need good people skills.”

When asked what these meetings meant to him, Lucas Lujan, head pastor at Colorado Springs South and Woodland Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, Colorado, respectively, shared, “[It means] growth, nurturing, strengthening, and maturing. I enjoy the Godly fellowship and being able to worship.”

“For me, the biggest thing is realizing that I’m not alone,” remarked another participant of the meeting. “There are a lot of other people that are learning just like I am learning and growing in ministry. Being able to learn from their experience is my favorite part.”

—Liz Kirkland is the RMC Communication Assistant. Photos by Liz Kirkland.

27 Mar


Ardis Stenbakken – Loveland, Colorado … My mother lost a teenage son in a drowning accident. Very recently, one of my friends lost her adult son to a sudden and unexpected death. Mothers losing sons in death.

This weekend, I think of Jesus’ mother. She was probably still young, in her mid-to-late forties when she lost her son to death in a most cruel way. Oh, how she must have looked forward to the resurrection, having no idea how close it really was.

That resurrection story is important to all of us too, and women played an important part in it. While Christ’s male followers were hiding, and for probably good reason, the women went to the tomb. There they discovered glorious news. And they lost no time in sharing it. In fact, Ellen G. White says that Mary preached it:

Women can be the instruments of righteousness, rendering holy service. It was Mary that first preached a risen Jesus … If there were twenty women where now there is one, who would make this holy mission their cherished work, we should see many more converted to the truth (Review and Herald, Jan. 2, 1879).

Although the men did not want to believe it, the facts were there: the women were right. Now it is our turn to believe and share. The facts are still there for us, men or women. Christ’s resurrection is a fact. Now we too look for a resurrection at Christ’s Second Coming. All of us need to preach it, need to share it, because there’s a world waiting to hear that there will soon be an end to any of us losing children or any other loved one. Glorious news!

It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles (Luke 24:10, NKJV).

—Ardis Stenbakken, a former Women’s Ministry director of the General Conference, is the Campion Adventist Church communication director and is involved with Women’s and Family Ministries. Photo by AdobeStock.

26 Mar


Agape Hammond – Parker, Colorado … A group of dedicated student volunteers from Mile High Academy (MHA) in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, set out on a mission trip to Belize, March 7. It was especially impactful for Newday Seventh-day Adventist Church in Parker, Colorado, as six of the students attend their church. For most of this student group, this was their very first time traveling abroad.

When Newday Church lead pastor, Lisa Cardinal, first received a sponsorship request from one of the students heading to Belize, she was more than happy to help; after all, mission work is part of the Newday way. But then five more students decided to take the call to serve.

In typical Newday fashion, Pastor Lisa decided to sponsor any others who asked. In all, five of the six were sponsored. As they say at Newday, “Newday exists to develop passionate Christ-followers who, together, love God and serve people.” That’s how students Gwen Loney, Eden Jaklich, Mady Lasut, Lily Lasut, Austin Huenergardt, and Wyatt Miller ended up at the MOVE Center and Solomon School.

When interviewed, Gwen spoke of her time there: “I love traveling to new places, and Belize is a place I’ve never visited before. I was looking forward to new experiences and adventures. I think it was impactful to see a new culture. I’m also glad I got to know some of the MHA people better.”

From Vacation Bible School (VBS) programs to painting to construction projects, students had plenty of opportunities to help the community. The volunteers dedicated themselves to various projects aimed at uplifting the community and fostering sustainable development.

Groups of students dedicated themselves to projects designed to serve. For instance, Eden spoke about the Health Fair, where well-checkups and eyeglass distribution were some of the services provided. “I got to help give out glasses. People needed something and I could help them with that. That was a great feeling,” recounted Eden with a smile.

However, if you ask any student what their favorite part of the trip was, across the board it was the VBS program. “The kids were so cute,” quickly commented Mady.

Gwen added her perspective on participating in the morning VBS programs: “I helped out a lot with the kids’ program at the Solomon School. I also led a group that acted out nutrition skits for different classrooms at Solomon. I think the most impactful thing was being greeted and loved by the kids.”

While their journey has come to an end, the impact of their work will continue to resonate beyond the borders of the community they served. In answering the call to go on this mission trip, each of these six students not only transformed the lives of others but also found themselves transformed in the process—a testament to the profound power of service.

Or as Gwen put it, “It’s an experience that you won’t forget. You’ll meet new people, work super hard, learn new things, and make everlasting memories.”

—Agape Hammond is the Upper School English teacher at Mile High Academy. Photos by RD Gallant.

21 Mar


Rajmund Dabrowski – Denver, Colorado … Due to challenging weather conditions in the mountains at Glacier View Ranch in Ward, Colorado, pastors from the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) met at Littleton Seventh-day Adventist Church in Littleton, Colorado, for their annual conference, March 18-19. “We broke with tradition by picking a site which is safer for traveling,” commented the event organizer, Mickey Mallory, RMC ministerial director.

When talking with the participants, one noted the meeting’s had a high level of spiritual atmosphere. At the opening of the meeting, the ministers were challenged by Mic Thurber, RMC president, to focus on what ought to be of the first importance, the focus on Jesus Christ.

“Is Jesus enough for you?” he asked.

The program of the meeting featured presentations by Dr. Michael Campbell about Adventist fundamentalism and the early developments of the church in the first decades of the 20th century. Campbell, a historian and director of archives, statistics, and research for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. The now eminent Adventist historian, Campbell is already known to the Conference as he pastored churches in Colorado.

Mallory explained the choice of presenter. “We invited Dr. Michael Campbell because of his knowledge of Adventist history. He helped to show us how some of the challenges in the application of fundamental beliefs during the early 1900s are still being the issues in the church today. He called us back to the Bible in how we implement our beliefs,” he shared.

The Littleton meeting also provided an opportunity to meet and hear presentations from the RMC leaders and departmental directors.

For many of the participating ministers, Dr. Campbell’s presentations offered perspectives on the church’s theological ups and downs and how the past is challenging the church today. His narrative included shared data derived from many unpublished documents which are presented in his two recent books, 1919: The Untold Story of Adventism’s Struggle with Fundamentalism, and 1922: The Rise of Adventist Fundamentalism.

“Dr. Campbell was fantastic. He was informative, but in a very bring the history to life kind of way. And so, it was a very engaging presentation as he makes the past relevant to the present,” said Michael Taylor, pastor of the Wyoming’s Casper District.

He added, “I appreciate how easy it could have been to celebrate the pioneers of the past, but the pioneers are only who they are because of how Jesus walked in and through them. And so, I love that all of Adventism, as history is now being put in the context of our relationship with God.”

“I appreciate the fellowship, the spirit of just being together, having that we’ve had a few meetings that weren’t together like this. And I love how it feels to just come together with my colleagues in between the sessions,” Pastor Taylor remarked.

Pastor Geoff Patterson voiced his appreciation for being at the meeting with colleagues in ministry: “I appreciate this meeting a lot, particularly, Michael Campbell had some incredible context to give us. And it’s always important to hear the reports from the different groups and departments in the Conference. And it’s good to connect with fellow pastors.”

Referring to Campbell’s presentations, Pastor Patterson commented, “it’s interesting how often themes repeat, even if the details are different [with] that constant pull between a concept of fidelity that links us to a tendency towards fundamentalism with the opposite side that is pulling us forward to understand what we are learning happens now, in fear of what’s actually coming off the tracks. So, living in that tension, I think it’s very strong right now.”

Also among the visitors was Craig Carr, a former Colorado pastor and RMC ministerial director, currently in charge of the ministry in the Mid-America Union Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska. “It is fantastic being back, seeing old friends that are not as old. But also seeing what God has been up to in this area and to see the growth of the Front Range, which just continues to blossom with the economy and with population growth as well as the opportunities and the challenges that present themselves to our churches.”

Several of the participating ministers met their colleagues for the first time. Among them was Ian Reyes, associate pastor at Newday Adventist Church in Parker, Colorado.  “It’s been great being at these ministry meetings. I’m pretty new in ministry, and my favorite part has just been connecting with people that have been in this a lot longer than I have. They gave me perspective on not just ministry, but actually about parenting being about to have my first daughter and just them being able to license family and ministry. That’s been such a big blessing,” he commented.

“Presentations have been great. My favorite part, I think, was Michael Campbell and just getting that perspective on how we got to where we are today. Both positive, but also some difficult things that our denomination is struggling with and that we even see at local church level with some of the mindset,” he added.

Nathaniel Gamble, RMC Religious liberty director, summed up his thoughts about a two-day ministerial gathering, and how it has impacted him: “I found Michael Campbell’s presentations reinvigorating my Adventism and belief in the mission. And it was refreshing to hear from so many leaders about focusing on Jesus.”

Mic Thurber, RMC president gave his final thoughts: “I was reminded right from the beginning of our time together this week of how blessed we are with the pastoral team in the Rocky Mountain Conference. I loved the sense of community and common mission that we shared as we listened, sang, prayed, and learned together.”

Thurber continued, “It was also a joy watching our pastors connect with each other to offer friendship, support, and encouragement. I’m thankful to have spent these few hours with them and look forward to how the Lord will continue to bless each one as they lead our churches to be a force for God where they are planted.”

—Rajmund Dabrowski is RMC communication director. Photos by Rajmund Dabrowski.

21 Mar


Eva Resz – Loveland, Colorado … Members of the Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church, Campion Academy, and community in Loveland, Colorado, traveled to the Dominican Republic for a mission trip, March 7-18.

Thirty-one Campion Academy students, accompanied by an additional 20 students from Thunderbird Adventist Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona, reached the community in the city of Barahona with sermon series, Vacation Bible Schools (VBS), and construction on the boy’s dormitory.

During the mornings, students leading VBS, preaching, and translating began preparing for the evening programs while the construction team mixed concrete and carried bricks to create an addition to the boy’s dormitory. Unfortunately, the construction work was unable to complete the project due to funding shortages.

Moises Hernandez, Campion Academy senior, reflected, “I really enjoyed doing construction and I learned the importance of productivity. We would work hard, and I enjoyed working with my friends. I was sad when the construction ended, but for the remainder of the trip, I helped Claire translate for VBS which was a blessing.”

Each evening, the student missionaries spread out to nine different area churches and put on evangelistic sermon series and VBS programs. The student preachers personalized ready-made sermon outlines to share our uniquely Adventist Biblical truths with the attendees, while other students worked with children in the well-attended VBS programs.

Pastor Leandro Bizama, associate pastor of Worship and Evangelism at Campion Church and the main coordinator of the trip expressed, “I was proud of how our students grew and bonded and shared the gospel. They traveled many miles on crammed vehicles and ministered to hundreds of people every single night.”

Alexandra Cordoba, Campion Academy junior, shared, “There were two things I learned while preaching and translating. First, the church was on fire for God. I would ask ‘who loved Jesus’ and everyone raised their hand. Second, I learned that we should be grateful for the stuff we have here in America because they don’t have the basic necessities.”

In addition to the work, students and sponsors from both schools were able to form a closer bond by sharing meals, going to the beach, hiking in the mountains, exploring the town, and worshiping God together.

Student Keon Paez reflected, “I had a great time experiencing the country and its culture. It was so beautiful, especially the sunsets.”

After seven nights of sermons and VBS programs, 24 local community members and three Campion students chose to get baptized on Sabbath.

Sergio Enriquez, Campion Academy sophomore, shared why he decided to get baptized during the trip: “During the mission trip, I was a translator, and I had to translate the verse Acts 22:16, And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.” Sergio explained that this verse hit home saying, “I decided I should be baptized now.”

Bizama furthered, “The biggest blessing of the trip was to see all the baptisms, and also how the Spirit kindled the fire of evangelism and service in our students’ hearts. A fire I believe will never be put out until Jesus returns.”

—Eva Resz, Campion Academy Student News Team. Photos supplied.

20 Mar


Sue Nelson – Lincoln, Nebraska … Twenty-three Pathfinder teams, composed of six team members each, met at College View Church of Seventh-day Adventist in Lincoln, Nebraska, to compete at the Union-level Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE), March 16.

They came from across the Mid-America Union (MAU) which includes the Dakota, Rocky Mountain, Central States, Kansas-Nebraska, Iowa-Missouri, and Minnesota conferences. All teams had already taken first place at their respective conference levels to move ahead to the Union level.

Of the 23 teams, the 12 that placed first at this event will move up to the North American Division (NAD) level PBE, to be held at the Island Grove Event Center in Greeley, Colorado, April 20. Alicia Spaid, Iowa-Missouri Pathfinder coordinator and coordinator for the event states, stated, “Every conference had at least one team that made it to the final round. Minnesota swept the floor with all six teams taking home first place! And over 50% had first place,” Alicia stated.

“The MAU PBE Committee is proud of our Pathfinder teams and will continue to pray for them as they study God’s Word,” continued Alicia.

Two Pathfinder teams, the Greeley Lesem and Loveland Cougars, represented the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC), and Loveland will advance to the NAD level. “We are very proud of both teams! It was a great experience for the Pathfinders to travel out of state with their families and to be able to be a part of a larger group of Pathfinders studying the same parts of the Bible together,” commented Sue Nelson, RMC Club Ministries executive coordinator.

Lonny Nelson, Kansas-Nebraska Pathfinder executive coordinator, commented on the PBE committee made up of representatives from all conferences: “I want to thank everyone for making this year amazing. You are all great! I love that we have a committed team that works to provide a great experience for Pathfinders who choose to study God!”

Prayers are appreciated for all Pathfinder teams as they continue to study the books of Joshua and Judges for this year’s final PBE event. Next year’s PBE will cover the Letters of Apostle Paul to the Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians.

—Sue Nelson is the Rocky Mountain Conference Club Ministries executive coordinator. Photos by Sue Nelson and Hugh Davis.

20 Mar


Jocelyn Aalborg and Karrie Meyers – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Twenty one Upper School students at Mile High Academy (MHA) embarked on a life-changing mission trip to Belize, where they have immersed themselves in the culture while experiencing a journey of service and spiritual growth. These students, accompanied by faculty members, made a positive impact on the communities they encountered on their trip, March 7-18.

The students met late at the airport on March 6 ready to take off on the 7-hour trip. The beginning of their adventure started March 7 as they arrived safely in Belize, exhausted and excited for their upcoming adventure.

Throughout the trip, the students engaged in various activities aimed at serving and connecting with the local community. On March 8, they commenced their work at the MOVE Center and the Solomon School, where they led Week of Prayer sessions for 160 students, initiated construction projects, and fostered relationships with both students and staff.

The Mission Trip continued with visits to local churches, including replacing a roof at Fireburn Seventh-day Adventist Church and installed new ceiling tiles at the Guinea Grass Church. Cody, MHA’s local contact from MOVE that helped plan the trip on location, shared the following: “Thank you very much for the generous donation you sent us, as well as for the labor you gave us for Fireburn Church. We are truly very grateful to God, first of all, and to you and your work team. Only God can reward you for the work you do.”

MHA not only participated in outreach programs in multiple villages, but they also helped conduct a health fair, mechanics brigade, and children’s program in a community with no Adventist presence. But it wasn’t all work as they enjoyed moments of relaxation, including a day at the beach and a tour of the Lamania Ruins, immersing themselves in the natural beauty and rich history of Belize.

At the Solomon School, the students poured their hearts into construction projects, such as constructing a new covered eating area at the school. This involved building a concrete slab, pillars, and roofing, leaving a lasting impact on the local infrastructure and community. They were concerned they wouldn’t be able to finish the roof before they left due to the Sabbath hours. But that wasn’t good enough for the team. Late Saturday night, via construction lights, the team placed the final piece of metal for the roof installation.

As the mission trip ended, the students bid farewell to their newfound friends with heartfelt goodbyes and reflections on the profound connections they had forged. Despite the challenges and triumphs encountered along the way, the students returned home filled with gratitude for the transformative experience and eager to share their stories of faith, service, and cultural immersion with their families and community.

“We are immensely proud of our students for their dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment to service,” said RD Gallant, MHA’s Upper School Bible teacher and chaplain. “Their experiences in Belize have not only enriched their lives but have also reinforced our school’s mission of nurturing global citizens and compassionate leaders.”

—Jocelyn Aalborg is the vice president of finance and development, and Karrie Meyers is the marketing and development coordinator at Mile High Academy. Photos supplied.

19 Mar


Brandon Westgate and Jeri Lynn Rogge – Ward, Colorado … Many exciting things are happening this year at Glacier View Ranch (GVR), not the least of which is our summer camp program. With the addition of a few new activity offerings, including a baking class, digital photography, and a drama class, the choices for our campers to engage in new experiences are expanding!

We are also thrilled to announce that we are bringing blind camp back to GVR this summer. This week is dedicated to those who have low vision or no vision and have a desire to interact with others with similar life challenges. We can only make this possible by having a strategic partnership with Christian Record Services for the Blind.

Jeri Lyn Rogge, director of editorial and outreach ministries for Christian Record Services Inc., had this to say: “National Camps for Blind Children (NCBC) ministers to blind children and adults, and it’s a joy to welcome Glacier View Ranch as one of eight partner locations for the 2024 summer camp season.”

NCBC offers scholarships, enabling campers to attend at a minimal cost. “We’re grateful for partners, such as Glacier View Ranch, that recognize the potential for eternal impact in the lives of individuals who attend blind camp. While we want campers to have so much fun that they’ll invite their friends to join them next year, our greatest hope is they will learn more about Jesus and His love for them,” said Rogge.

Speaking from experience of facilitating blind camp for four years at a different conference’s camp, Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Youth Department director Brandon Westgate said, “Blind camp is such a unique opportunity for our campers and staff to make real human connections. Summer camp staff are always amazed by the abilities of people with limited vision. When our staff witnesses how well these campers engage with all the camp activities, including riding horses, swimming, rock climbing, and yes, even archery, our staff cannot help but be impressed.”

We are thankful that we can facilitate a special week for members of the blind community to network with others and have an amazing week filled with adventure at GVR.

The age range for GVR Blind Camp is 8-65, so it’s not just for kids. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to minister to a segment of our community that is often overlooked, and we at RMC are grateful for the partnership with Christian Record Services to make this a reality for our campers.

To register for blind camp, or any other week of camp this summer, visit rmcyouth.org

—Brandon Westgate is the RMC Youth Department director, and Jeri Lyn Rogge is the editorial and outreach ministries director at Christian Record Services, Inc. Christian Record Services, Inc. is an official ministry for the blind community of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. Photos supplied.

19 Mar


Carey Jordan – Loveland, Colorado … At HMS Richards Adventist School in Loveland, Colorado, the significant project to revamp the school’s gymnasium is near completion. This building, which has stood as a cornerstone of Adventist Education for the community for many years, is receiving a much-needed facelift. This is to preserve its legacy and ensure its continued role as a place to educate and grow our students in a relationship with Jesus and for a life of service to God and to those around them.

The gymnasium has been showing signs of wear and tear, prompting the school to look at ways to improve it for daily use. With the help of volunteers and donors, the school has been working diligently to refurbish the gymnasium and make it a special place to practice, play, worship, and perform.

The restoration process has not been without its challenges, but the school and church community have shown dedication every step of the way. From repairing the weathered floors, doors, and trim to updating the aging colors and curtains, each phase of the renovation has been met with determination and ingenuity.

As the project nears completion, there is a sense of anticipation among students, staff, and community members. A student ran up the stairs yesterday, looked over the balcony and rested his head on his hands, taking several minutes to stare at the beautiful gym with a smile.  Everyone is excited about this space.

What’s next? HMS is already laying the groundwork for future enhancements. Plans are in motion to proudly display the American flag in the gym. Additionally, the school aims to hang sponsorship banners from local businesses, further fostering ties with the community and ensuring sustainable support for its endeavors.

Through it all, the HMS school community remains steadfast in its gratitude for the blessings received and the collective effort that has brought about this remarkable transformation. As the gymnasium undergoes its metamorphosis, it serves as a tangible testament to the power of God, the importance of community, and perseverance by so many to His work.

As we prepare to open the doors for use in a few days, we are optimistic about the future of the gymnasium and the school as a whole. It’s been a long journey, but we’re excited to see the positive impact this space will have on our students and the broader community.

—Carey Jordan is principal at HMS Richards Adventist School. Photos supplied.

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