03 Sep


By Steve Nelson…The relationship started out pleasantly. They were a young couple looking to start their life together and were setting up their new home next to ours. Nothing fancy, but important, nonetheless. They were expecting triplets. Day after day, we ran into them as they were making their house a home. We tried to show support and encouragement as they were preparing for their big day. Finally, after much anticipation, it arrived. It wasn’t long before we were given the opportunity to see the newest additions to the family.

We happened to stop by one day unannounced and it was then we had our first glimpse of these precious little ones. I attached my iPhone to a selfie-stick and slowly raised it to the level of their bed. I took several pictures of them and checked to see how they turned out. All three were lying comfortably side-by-side in their nest. Yes, they are barn swallows and their parents had made their home in our horse’s stall.

It wasn’t long before our friendship began to change. Our once-cordial neighbors began to become quite hostile as the day for their younglings’ first flight approached. Morning, noon, and evening, they were insistent upon keeping us away from the nest. Unfortunately, they chose to build their home in a location that was right next to the horse’s water trough—something that required refilling every day. At first, they screeched. That did not work. Next, they became more aggressive and dive-bombed us. The more we protested, the bolder they got. Nothing we could do would convince them we were not their enemies. They only had one goal. From the moment we stepped outside our door, they acted like kamikaze pilots swooping directly toward us—often flying just inches from our faces.

Then, the final attack came. My wife, Samantha, was on the back porch when, out of the blue, she was assailed. Stepping quickly backward to avert the crazy bird’s attack, she nearly fell off the deck. While not fatal, the potential outcome was serious. It was time for action. About a week went by, and the little ones had learned to fly. That was the day they got their eviction notice. Their home was officially relocated outside the horse’s stall.

While most of us face far more challenging issues, it is often the little things that constantly aggravate and try our patience. How is it for you? Are you facing something that needs changing in your life? Are you afraid or uncertain what that change may bring? Does fear keep you from doing the right thing? God promises to help you. Even if what you’re facing has you paralyzed with worry and fear, He says, “Fear not, for I am with you,” (Isaiah 41:10). During our time with the swallow family, I asked God to give these creatures wisdom to know we would not hurt them. Perhaps He chose to use this situation to give me wisdom instead.

Steve Nelson is pastor in a Wyoming district including Worland, Cody, Powell and Ten Sheep congregations.

03 Sep


By Sami Hodges – Loveland, Colorado …After two days of “surviving” in the mountains, the weather forced the senior class to return to Campion Academy campus to complete the annual Senior Survival weekend, a time to bond and fellowship as a class.

The seniors arrived at Glacier View Ranch on Thursday, August 27, and set up camp by constructing shelters using only thick plastic, duct tape, and paracord.

Once camp was set up, Nancy Mezaros, Campion Academy chaplain, led worship, which was followed by bonding time.

“Our entire class was able to be completely open with one another,” said Jayce Treat, Campion senior. “Everyone was completely honest and didn’t hold anything back.”

Then seniors enjoyed hot chocolate and cider while singing together around the propane lamps which substituted for a campfire due to the fire-ban.

On Friday, the students made pancakes for breakfast and gathered for worship while overlooking the mountain scenery. Then it was time for the survival activities to begin. The first activity demonstrated the basics of survival. Next was a hands-on orienteering experience. Lastly, the seniors got to participate in the infamous trust fall.

Heavy rain arrived in the afternoon, causing the seniors to abandon GVR and head back to Campion.

Wanting to make the weekend special for the class, the staff created ways to continue Senior Survival on campus. Instead of returning to the dorms, the seniors camped out in Hankins Hall with the guys upstairs in the chapel and the girls in the Student Center below. Meals were served in the Home Economics room instead of the cafeteria, and the seniors did outdoor activities Sabbath afternoon. The class ended the special three-day event that evening with communion.

“I think even though we had to change plans,” Erica Franklin, Campion girl’s dean said, “the seniors still got to experience the key elements of Senior Survival. As a class, they grew closer and got to share both personal and spiritual moments.”

Despite the change in location, seniors were still able to bond and strengthen friendships through the experience.

“I learned you can trust your friends, even though it may not seem like it sometimes. Senior survival showed me people really do care about me,” Jennifer Florez, Campion senior said. “It was one of the best experiences of senior year so far. “

–Sami Hodges is a senior at Campion Academy, photos by Sami Hodges

02 Sep


By Jamey Houghton – Franktown, Colorado… Reconnecting with missing church members is the goal of the women’s ministry group at the Franktown, Colorado congregation.

In the month of January, the Women’s Ministries director developed a plan to hold thirty days of prayer revival, after which the women would make an attempt to reach those who haven’t been seen in a while.

“We have about forty women on our membership list that no longer attend the Franktown Church. I announced the project and its intent for about three weeks before we started it,” Jamey Houghton, pastor of Franktown Church said.

In the month of February, each member of the women’s ministry group chose four names to pray over for thirty days, and then to make a reconnection attempt.

As with any church membership list, there were a lot of phone numbers that were no longer in service, and some on the list had moved out of state.

However, some of those that were contacted have been in correspondence on a regular basis.

One individual stated that she has been considering coming back to church.

Another individual who hadn’t been to the Franktown church in more than 25 years, and thought her membership had been removed, has requested Bible studies to reconnect with Jesus.

Yet, another was thankful that someone had reached out to her. She felt God was speaking to her through the reconnection attempt.

The Women’s Ministries team is continuing to pray for all the missing parishioners, that the Holy Spirit touches their hearts and lets them know that they are loved.

Jamey Houghton is pastor of Franktown, Colorado church; photo supplied.


02 Sep


By Mike Maldonado – Colorado Springs, Colorado…Members of the Colorado Springs Central Church are reaching out to the homeless community by providing lunch every Sabbath.

The outreach was formed after Mike Maldonado, Colorado Springs Central pastor, challenged the congregation to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Members began to look for ways to impact the community by getting out of the saltshaker (the church) and into the world (the local community).

The congregation formed a new ministry, Jesus Loves You (JLY) Ministry, started by Jones Tu’ufuli, who became aware that many of the homeless in Colorado Springs were not being served by the local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. They are living in makeshift camps in wooded areas, city parks or along the river and were not getting food or clothes on a regular basis.

At first Tu’ufull brought leftover potluck food to the camps, building a relationship of trust with them, including serving meals on Christmas and Easter morning.

It was apparent that more food and more help was needed. This was the beginning of the JLY ministry.

Volunteers joined the effort to help make and deliver meals to the camps and parks in town.

The operation grew so much that a designated space off campus had to be found to store supplies and food.

“The JLY ministry is taking the gospel to the streets and reaching the forgotten homeless with the love of Jesus,” Maldonado said.

With the assistance of Cathy Kissner, RMC Adventist Community Services director, a grant was obtained to buy food and supplies, including shelving and wagons, to haul the food.

Every Sabbath, some twelve volunteers cook, pack and deliver food and water to two different locations, providing 125 sack lunches to the homeless. The sack lunches also include spiritual food in the form of a religious pamphlet. The volunteers pray and show the love of Jesus through their actions to the community.

Army Chaplain Yepsica Moreno, who often serves on the outreach team, encourages soldiers from Fort Carson to join in with the outreach activities.

The goal of the JLY ministry is for the homeless to know they are not forgotten, and that Jesus loves them. Those receiving food are always very appreciative and ask who we are or what church we belong to. In the winter, warm clothes, blankets and hot chocolate are also provided along with the lunches.

The long-term vision is to buy a food truck and have an even greater impact on helping alleviate hunger among this forgotten population group.

“Thank you for caring about us and not forgetting us. God bless you,” one homeless individual stated.

Mike Maldonado is pastor of the Colorado Springs Central Adventist Church; photo supplied

02 Sep


RMCNews – Denver, Colorado …  In the month of March, Radio 74 Internationale, a supporting Adventist broadcasting ministry in France, purchased 1510 AM KPLS in Littleton, Colorado. A Class B radio station, classified by the FCC, it can be heard in several states and even as far north as Canada during the night.

While no local programing director has yet been named, local programming has been aired in the form of telephone interviews.

Friends of Radio 74 Internationale and Golden, Colorado church members Jim and DeEtta Burr, are volunteering with the station to help involve local churches and ministries.

The mission of the AM broadcasts is to inform individuals of not only the loving message of Jesus, but to introduce listeners to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, according to Ron Myers, the station’s owner.

“It’s our desire that (community members) hear Seventh-day Adventists telling their personal stories–who they are, what they do for a living, their interests, lifestyles and hobbies–demonstrating that they are good, ordinary people, as they share how they came to know Jesus, and their hope in Jesus’ soon return,” Ron Myers explained.

The AM station also broadcasts several hours of Spanish programing each week.

For more information on the broadcasts as well as local programing options, contact Radio 74 Internationale at 855 711 7474, ext. 2 or visit their website.

01 Sep


By Shayne Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … Consider it joy, said Shayne Vincent, pastor of the Casper, Wyoming District. All too often, reports focus only on the usual church life topics. “This time, church life went on a summer excitement on the road. It was worth reporting, he commented.

The Casper Church and their minister formed a club, Wyoming SDA Rock Hounds, and put their sights on going to “The Rubicon,” a world renowned 12 miles of off-roading in Northern California. Joining the trip were enthusiasts from Gillette.

A group of 17 made the long haul to spend three long days of adrenaline-pumping rock crawling. Known to many in the Rocky Mountain Conference, Steve Hamilton, former RMC youth director, who, as many will recall, moved to California just days before the infamous Paradise fire, met them there. A veteran of the trail, Steve has gone there since he was a child. He brought his rock crawler rigs, his family, and some friends to join them on the adventure.

Out of nine rigs brought on the trail, six broke down and were repaired or limped through the trail. “It was great fun for all,” Shayne reported after returning home to Casper. “It [the trip] included beautiful sunshine and mountains, worships and friendships, endless obstacles, and pleasant lakeside retreats.”

During the adventure, Steve shared his testimony of how God worked to change his life on The Rubicon, just feet from where the group was seated. He shared “how God has used my own gifts of off-roading to reach many youth for Jesus. We should use our own interests and hobbies to reach others for Christ.”

Pastor Shayne added, that “it was absolutely terrifying fun! I was constantly wondering if I was going to be thrown or crushed by the jeep! But once I got off the trail and had a good nights’ sleep, I woke up the next morning and thought… that was amazing!”

–Report by Shayne Vincent, lead pastor of Casper, Wyoming District; photos by Shayne Vincent


01 Sep


By Tiffany Dien – Loveland, Colorado… Vegetables are growing again under the newly-formed agriculture program at Campion Academy.

The Acquainting Agriculture Program is led by Russell Branham, program director, and recently-hired class instructor Doug Hoos.

“I was looking to get involved with more extensive gardening, but after my wife retired, we kind of discontinued that and had other plans for this summer. But COVID-19 came along,” Hoos explained. “So, I was praying for some place to do some gardening and saw the Campion newsletter come out saying they were re-starting the program at Campion. The timing seemed to be right.”

The students are welcoming the chance to learn gardening and farming techniques.

“During Agriculture class so far, I learned how to plant vegetables and how soil could change the development of the plants,” Gregory Lang, Campion sophomore, said. “It is a fun class. Mr. Hoos is a kind man, and he has the passion to make this class a good learning experience.”

The class in Acquainting Agriculture is open both first and second semester to all students.

“[I’d like] students to learn simple, very low-cost methods they can take home or anywhere in the world to use to garden,” Hoss explained.

Produce is available for sale to the community on a limited basis. Currently, the program offers zephyr squash, green beans, emerald okra, crimson okra and lots of basil. Carrots, beets, brussels sprouts and radishes are not quite ready. The agriculture class will grow mostly root-type vegetables through the winter as well.

Tiffany Dien is a senior at Campion Academy; photo by Jill Harlow