22 Sep


RMCNews – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … “We’re all working together; we all have a common goal,” Andrew Carpenter, the new principal at Mile High Academy, remarked on the collaboration he would like to accomplish among Mile High Academy, front-range churches, Campion Academy, and other schools in RMC.

Born and raised in Tennessee and graduated from Madison Academy outside of Nashville, Tennessee, he is aware of the benefits of Adventist education. Carpenter is married with a two-year-old daughter, which occupies his time when he is not at MHA. After graduating from Southern Adventist University, he began his career as chaplain at San Gabriel Academy in Southern California before being offered the position of vice-principal, where he served under the leadership of Paul Negrete the past few years before accepting the call to be the principal at MHA.

Carpenter, by joining MHA, opens the academy’s new chapter of leadership. He would like to continue to build on the innovative programs and introduce systems that would help support what the school has accomplished while continuing to move forward with best practices. “One of the big innovations is real-world learning, sometimes called project-based learning, which is a great tool for education, teaching kids relevant and authentic experiences,” Carpenter comments, adding “and getting [the students] involved in how the skills and content they’re learning in the classroom interact in the world they are living in.”

Collaboration between area churches and MHA is encouraging to Carpenter.  “We have great pastoral support, not from just our constituent churches, but also from pastors outside of our constituency who have been very supportive of the school and working to help us see how we can partner together because it’s a blessing for their ministry as well as ours to be able to minister to the families of kids.”

He adds, “I think the more we invite everybody to be a part of what’s happening in our ministries, as we partner together, the stronger our ministry becomes. I think we need to talk about how we can continue to partner together. How can we sync our calendars, our programming to benefit each other and not just for the sake of benefit, but so we can be more effective in what we’re trying to accomplish here in the Denver Metro area?”

Carpenter’s mission for MHA goes beyond preparing the students for academic success but includes equipping them to advance God’s Kingdom. “The mission is helping to prepare our young people to be active participants in Christianity and to be part of the great commission within the Adventist context, helping to train and prepare them by partnering with our churches. We are developing a program based on brain and science research, our biblical worldview combined with our historical understanding of where Adventist education came from and the counsels of Ellen White.”

The core mission, according to Carpenter, comes down to character development for the students. He takes this value directly from the book Education by Ellen White, who encourages teaching the students about the joy of service in this life and for eternity. “That’s going to be a huge component of what we do because that’s the mission of our church. The other component is, as our new [Conference] president, Mic Thurber, begins that we look at his mission and vision for Rocky Mountain Conference and see how Mile High can help collaborate with that vision.  We are all working together, and we all have a common goal. We’re looking at how we can help to support our churches and our conference with our young people completing that mission.”

Carpenter is anxious to build a strong relationship between Campion and Mile High Academy.  “I call Don Reeder frequently and ask him how Campion is doing.  I would love to collaborate with them on outdoor activities and mission projects.  I know we play sports together, which is great.  There’s a healthy relationship there, but I would love for our students to spend time together.  I would like to see prayer conferences with our academies.  I think bringing our academies together would help us realize that we are working toward the same goals and mission.”

He adds that the question he bases his leadership on is, “If Mile High can improve in one area, how do we help the school in Farmington improve, and how does the school in Farmington help Mile High improve? When we’re talking about the mission and vision for education, specifically in the Rocky Mountain Conference, how do we begin to affect more than just ourselves with what we’re doing?”

“We need to be collaborating not just with Campion, but also with Brighton, Vista Ridge, our school in Casper, and others.  I’m impressed with our teachers in Wyoming.  They’re amazing educators.  They have some tough challenges out there by themselves, but they’re working together.”  That’s a tremendous example of collaboration, according to Carpenter.  He adds that when we are focused just on ourselves, we will miss the mark, but if we continue to collaborate together, Rocky Mountain Conference education will be great.

According to Carpenter, the call to MHA was about doing more than doing a job only at Mile High but also changing the wider community. “We want to do something greater than [with] just ourselves at Mile High Academy and affect the whole conference, union, and division.” This mindset set forth by Diane Harris, RMC education director, made Carpenter want to join Rocky Mountain Conference as principal at Mile High Academy.

–RMCNews; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

21 Sep

COMMENTARY: Don’t Save the Best for Last

By Doug Inglish — You’ve all heard the phrase “save the best for last.” I suspect it has its roots in describing a meal, in which desert typically comes at the end, but whatever situation brought it into usage, it has since acquired other applications.

A competing phrase, also in general use, encourages us to “put your best foot forward.” I have no idea where that may have originated, but the idea is also widely understood.

Used car dealers put their best models out front, with the high mileage cars on the back row. Realtors post pictures of the recently remodeled kitchen and hope buyers don’t notice the proximity to the railroad tracks. There is even a biblical example of this when the ruler of the feast where Jesus turned water into wine noted how most people serve the best at the beginning and save the cheap stuff for later (see John 2).

Isaiah has an interesting illustration about a man who uses the wood from a tree that he chops down:

Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it, he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat, and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
From the rest, he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
— Isaiah 44:16-17, NIV

The purpose of the illustration is to show the absurdity of idolatry. How can half of the tree be fuel and the other half a deity? Point taken, but that’s not the point I want to make here. Instead, I wish to draw your attention to the order in which the wood is used: the first part is for himself, and the last part is for his god.

I would like to suggest that this order for the use of resources is pagan. If I make sure that I get my needs met before I consider how much I can spare from the leftovers for my God, I’m not rising too far above the idolater in the illustration, even if I am not bowing down to chunks of wood. Maybe I’m not actively engaged in the worship of a false god, but I can’t make the argument that taking a Me First attitude about my resources is illustrative of true worship.

True worship doesn’t save the best (God) for last. God asks for the first fruits (Proverbs 3:9-10), not the leftovers. The only way to honor that request is to put our best foot forward, giving Him what He claims from the beginnings of our resources and doing so with a heart full of gratitude and respect.

If we put things in that order, what’s left for us will be no problem (see Leviticus 26).

–Doug Inglish, RMC vice president of administration and stewardship director; photo by iStock

20 Sep


RMCNews with Sue Nelson – Ward, Colorado … Leaders young and old descended on Glacier View Ranch to study, fellowship, and celebrate together at the annual Pathfinder and Adventurer leadership training.

The gathering, held September 10–12, hosted 140 leaders from 50 clubs throughout Rocky Mountain Conference. The fellowship between leaders was greatly anticipated as well as appreciated. The first in-person leadership training in two years.

Addressing the crowd on Sabbath, Ron Whitehead, director of the Center for Youth Ministry, explained that the Rocky Mountain Conference will have the honor of hosting 60 thousand Pathfinders in three years at the 2024 International Pathfinder Camporee in Gillette, Wyoming.  “Rocky Mountain Conference will be the host to the world,” Whitehead said.

“Our conference will have the unique opportunity to host overseas clubs who will be flying in from many other countries but will not be able to bring tents or food with them. We can invite these clubs to camp and eat with us, thus forming lasting friendships and international experiences. We are all very excited and cannot wait for 2024,” expressed Sue Nelson, RMC Pathfinder co-coordinator.

On Sabbath, an investment ceremony of two new Master Guides from the Golden, Colorado Falcons Adventurer Club was held.  The club ministries website of the North American Division defines a master guide as “a responsibility more than status. The Master Guide continues to be the highest level of Invested leadership within the Adventurer/ Pathfinder programs of the church. It focuses on one’s personal spiritual life and growth, first and foremost.” The ceremony was led by Chris Hill, former RMC Adventurer and Pathfinder executive.

One attendee, commenting on the investment ceremony, said it was a privilege to celebrate the accomplishments and hard work of the two individuals invested.

Attendees had the opportunity to attend a question-and-answer forum that allowed newer staff to interact with those more experienced and raise questions about local club issues. Those studying to become Master Guides attended classes to help them with requirements. Other classes were held on the stars, origami, and a new honor piloted in RMC researching pikas,  little rodent-type animals that live exclusively in high mountain altitudes.  A new director’s course also covered the basics of starting up a new club.

Reflecting on the honor classes, Kathy Dorn-Walker, RMC Pathfinder trainer, commented, “We studied ways of teaching Pathfinders the stars honor and learned how to tell Bible stories with different constellations. The Glory of God in the heavens!”

Adventurer award classes during the weekend outing included safety, horsemanship, and healthy foods. The Pathfinder honors taught were outreach, backpacking, and knots. Classes were also offered in Spanish, and the Adventurer award in Spanish included friend of Jesus, health, and missionaries.

— RMCNews with Sue Nelson, RMC Pathfinder co-coordinator; photos supplied

A Pika

20 Sep

Reflection: Sometimes It Takes a Mountain

By Michelle Velbis — Have you ever had a song make you gasp because the lyrics just seemed to be speaking right to you? Recently, I heard the song “Sometimes It Takes a Mountain” by the Gaither Vocal Band. The chorus says, “Your love is so much stronger than whatever troubles me. Sometimes it takes a mountain to trust you and believe.”

Do I need mountains in my life to be closer to Him? Do I believe God through the mountains of trials? Honestly, I feel like I have figuratively climbed Mt. Everest more than once. When someone recently asked me how my faith was being affected by the seemingly constant challenges, it gave me pause. What would my transparent answer be?

When I was younger, I asked God a lot of whys. I still do, and I believe He isn’t fazed by those questions, but now I find that I am asking myself, “What can I learn?”

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10, NLT.

One thing I think God continues to help me see is that I am not patient. As a teacher, I preach on a growth mindset, and yet I find myself struggling to grow in this area. From a father’s love, I think He patiently shows me that He wants me to live in the present and stop living at break-neck speed. As a doer, this is really difficult, but I am slowly learning that if I live life too fast, I miss so much of Him and the ways He wants to speak to me. I don’t know about you, but I have to climb the mountains in Colorado’s thin air very slowly. So maybe the mountains are to help me slow down.

“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9, NLT.

When I don’t get the answers that I want, do I still trust him? Well, I know that I usually throw an inward hissy fit first and try to use my persuasive skills on God about why my way is better. When I stop yelling and sit still (there is that being still part again), He calmly reassures me that His ways are better for me, even if it is uncomfortable. Creator of the Universe and Heavenly Father – his curriculum vitae alone should be enough to quiet my fears.

“I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4, NLT.

Another component to spiritual mountain climbing is to use a Sherpa. It’s a lot easier if you use one. Did you know that Sherpas can sometimes carry double their weight? Of course, our Creator can carry much more than that. And even when I mentally know that why is it so hard to let him carry my loads? In my case, it is often just pure stubbornness. I have this insane need to do things myself. Some psychoanalysis might reveal that I just don’t trust anyone else to do what needs to be done. Naturally, this is cause for exhaustion and burnout. This leads me back to being still and trusting Him. Lord, thank you for being patient with your headstrong child.

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT.

When I am struggling for every breath and my muscles are burning, the last thing I want to do while climbing a mountain is to thank the person who suggested the tortuous activity, that is until I get to the top. When I see the stunning and jaw-dropping views, I look at my friend and say, “Thank you.”  I look back at the trail I just came up and know that, although it wasn’t easy, I am a much stronger and better person for the experience.

I think it is like my experience with God, and maybe I can even get to the point like Paul, where I praise Him during the trials. Because I know, without a doubt, the view from the top will be worth it.

–Michelle Velbis is principal at Springs Adventist Academy; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski

20 Sep


RMCNews with Frank Wilson – Ward, Colorado … Hispanic members of RMC gathered in three locations for camp meetings in September after not having been able to meet in person for fellowship and Bible study last year.

Faith, hope, and love in an uncertain world was the theme at the meetings featuring Alfonso Valenzuela, senior pastor at the Campus Hill Church in Loma Linda, California.  The gatherings were attended by 500 members in three different locations–Glacier View Ranch, Durango, and Grand Junction. Instead of hosting one group, the events were divided this year to add an extra layer of protection against the pandemic.

“We want to say, ‘Thank you, God,’ because it was a great success. More than five hundred members attended the meetings. Most of the Hispanic brothers and sisters were able to experience and attend camp meeting one more time,” Frank Wilson, Boulder Hispanic, Aurora Hispanic, Brighton Hispanic, and Carbon Valley pastor, said.

Wilson added, “We are ever thankful to our heavenly Father who granted us the opportunity, protection, and the blessing to participate in such a wonderful event.”

— RMCNews with Frank Wilson pastor of Boulder Hispanic, Aurora Hispanic, Brighton Hispanic, and Carbon Valley; photo supplied

16 Sep


By Hyacinth Cookenmaster – Rocky Mountain National Park … Campion students escaped the classrooms, ditched the masks, and discarded the textbooks for painting brushes, compasses, and cameras as they held outdoor school in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

The mission of the day was simple … to have fun while exploring and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation that surrounded them as they broke off into small groups for the first half of the day.

Reflecting on the trip, Ruth, sophomore, commented, “It was a great stress reliever from our daily schoolwork while also being outdoors.”

Showing off their artistic side, pupils relaxed on a hillside while Lindsey Santana, Campion teacher, and librarian, explained how to use watercolors when painting mountain landscapes. The challenge … recreate landscapes from their point of view. “It was really fun; we learned how to create a sunset landscape using only the primary colors,” Toby, freshman, said.

While some were busy showing off their artistic side and dreaming of becoming the next Vincent van Gogh, others decided to get creative with the lens. Walking students around Sprague Lake, Jill Harlow, Campion teacher, and communication director, provided lessons on how to take photos using different depths of field and perspectives.

Sophia McGrew, junior, reflected, “I really enjoyed nature during our walk; we saw a female moose and elk, which made me happy.”

Another activity offered was to identify edible plants and ones that might taste okay at first but can quickly be toxic.

“It was a great experience; we learned how important it is to check with multiple sources, such as books or the internet, before we eat anything in nature. We had a lot of fun while exploring and hiking up the hill,” Elizabeth, senior, expressed.

Gwendolyn, sophomore, summed up the day full of adventure: “I loved the trip in general and had a lot of fun, but boy was I tired when we got back; all I wanted to do was eat and sleep.”

–Hyacinth Cookenmaster, Campion senior; photos supplied

16 Sep

Reflection: Providence in Colorado’s Peaks

By Michael Hansen — We had been thinking about this trip for a few years, my two kids and I. We began planning in early summer, narrowing down the best dates for the three of us. Tuesday before the trip, the weather was iffy, with the remnants of Hurricane Nora streaming to Colorado.

Friday morning arrived, and the weather was perfect. We made a last-minute decision, did one last check with my wife, who was working many shifts in a row, and got the green light.

We gathered a few remaining necessary items and hit the road, only to drive through a nasty thunder and hail storm before leaving town.

After a six-hour trip, we found the Mill Creek BLM campground at dusk and were able to locate a spot, an exciting development, because we had no idea if one would be available. The view of the Milky Way was stunning.

So far, things were working out as planned. We arose and ate early in order to get up to the trailhead and begin Day One–roughly a twelve-mile round trip.

As expected, the first day was ten hours of exhausting, gorgeous, tiring, with hurting feet and legs, but we were quite relieved to make it back to the campsite.

Day Two dawned with a chilly 32 degrees. By the time we made it further up the 4WD road to the upper trailhead for Handies, the temperature had dropped to 29 degrees. We cut our hike to about 2 1/4 miles, which was exactly what we wanted!

The views heading up American Basin were spectacular. The grade, however, was very steep, and we needed many breaks to catch our breath, drink more water and rest our legs. The hike up to the summit was challenging.

It took us about an hour and a half to get back to the car. One of the best feelings in the world is taking those boots off after hiking!

We started down the road, and things got interesting. As we slowly poked along, we suddenly heard a “thump, thump, thump” from the engine area. I thought it was a wheel or that we had caught a big rock in the tread, that is, until the battery light came on.

I immediately pulled to the right and turned off the engine. We looked under the hood, and it was conspicuous what had happened–the serpentine belt had shredded.

The next vehicle that came by pulled up next to us and asked if things were okay. We replied no, explaining what had happened. The driver replied by saying “I’m headed into town and can give you a ride if you need it.”

I decided to hop in, but wasn’t exactly sure what I would do once in town. Seventeen miles up the road, there was no signal whatsoever. The kids had stayed behind, stating they would get a ride back to the campground.

As soon as I got a signal, I started researching. I found several towing and roadside help “servicing Lake City,” but only one actually in Lake City. René’s Towing and Auto shop. I called and had to leave a message for what turned out to be his cell number.

Meanwhile, the kids made it back to the campground. Michael, who drove me into town, was headed back up the road but not to our camp. Ours was 3 miles past his. So, I had a ride at least back to the campsite.

As we got near the town center, we saw a sheriff’s truck and deputy. I waved him down and explained what was going on, hoping he’d be able to point us in the right direction if René’s wasn’t it. It turned out that was the best option. There was no one else anywhere, but he’s usually pretty good with returning calls, according to the sheriff.

I was finally able to talk to René. He said he would get tow my car if I could get it back to the lower trailhead parking area.

Michael and I headed back toward the campground. I finalized plans to meet up with my children again and find a ride back to the 4Runner.

As we were approaching the camp, we noticed a car behind us, and I decided to flag it down to see they could give us a ride up to the vehicle. Grant and Christine said they were headed up to Cinnamon Pass, but they could take us to the car. I thanked Michael for rescuing us and waved goodbye to him.

Arriving at the campsite, we piled into their FJ, and before taking off, they paused, and Grant said, “Hey, we normally pray before taking off on drives, is that okay with you?” I said, “Yes, of course!” We prayed and took off.

As we were pulling out of the camp, we ran into René in his truck! We caught up with him and told him who we were, and that we’d head up to the car and try our best to get it down to the parking area. I wasn’t sure if I could drive it without a serpentine belt, let alone down a 4WD road.

As we were driving up, we got to know each other a little, and Brandon, my son, mentioned he was headed to Walla Walla for school.

“Oh really, what school?” said Christine.

“Walla Walla University.”

“Wait, are you Adventists?”


“So are we!”

It happened that I waved down some new friends who are Adventists! They even know a couple of people we do (of course).

We arrived at the car a little worried about whether it would start because the hazard lights were left on. It started, and I kept the lights on and slowly made my way to the parking area about a mile down.

As soon as we got to the parking area, René was also arriving at the same time! As he was getting his truck in place, we tried restarting the car, but it was dead! We would not have been able to go any further!

René got it loaded while we had a small audience watching the action. As we passed the campground on our way down, we heard cheers. I guess the kids went around asking if anyone could get a ride back to our car, and so when they listened to the truck, they cheered us on!

I am still amazed at God’s timing and providence.

As I’m writing this, I just returned from taking the parts to René’s shop because Grant and Christine had found a place in Montrose open (it was Labor Day) and brought them to us in Lake City. I can’t thank them enough for their generosity.

So, there you have it. God’s creation was showing off as we explored its heights. God’s power to arrange things in a very personal and providential way was also showing off! He gets all the glory!

–Michael Hansen is the prayer ministries director at Newday Christian Adventist church; photo supplied.

15 Sep


RMCNews with Love Pickle and Elizabeth Jureckova – Loveland, Colorado … After a dreadful year of pandemic restrictions, soccer and volleyball have returned to Campion Academy.

According to students, not having competitive sports due to COVID-19 negatively impacted the school experience. “It felt kinda empty without sports last year,” Jovanna, Campion sophomore, said.

Sharing the same sentiments Kendra, Campion senior, expressed, “Having volleyball back is definitely a highlight of my senior year; I missed going to tournaments last year and being with my teammates.”

With sports back, the cheers of students, staff, and families returned as Campion Academy boys showed off their soccer skills during the season’s opening game against Mile High Academy. The Campion Cougars dominated the Mustangs 3 to 1.

“After not being able to play any sports last year, it is great to finally be able to play sports again, especially soccer. It’s already been a great start to the season, and it will only get better. We have a lot to work on together as a team, but we all are willing to put in the work. I think our whole team is excited to play soccer once again, and we all want to bring the trophy back home from Union,” Karson, Campion soccer member, expressed.

While the boys celebrated the win, the girls’ volleyball opening match between the two schools was underway.  The Cougars and Mustangs both showed perseverance during the match, and, in the end, MHA ended on top, winning 3 to 1.

Students were thankful to be back on the field, win or lose.

“It felt really good being back on the field. I think sports bring people together in a way nothing else can. You could definitely tell the effect of not having [sports] last year had on everybody. We’re all super excited to play again this season, make memories and have some fun,” Collin, Campion soccer team member, said.

“It’s nice to get back into the groove and feel the energy of competition,” reflected Kylie, Campion captain of the volleyball team. “I have a good team, and I am looking forward to what this season will hold.”

— RMCNews with Love Pickle and Elizabeth Jureckova; photos by Gwyn Reeves and Jill Harlow

15 Sep


RMCNews with Samantha Nelson – Cody, Wyoming … Creation, the Flood, and dinosaurs were at the center of two community event seminars held in Cody and Worland, Wyoming, in early September.

The event, presented by Creation Truth Foundation, an independent ministry based in Oklahoma, hosted 150 community members combined at two separate five-evening presentations. The uniqueness of the programs came from the life-size dinosaur fossils and casts set up for the presentations.

Reflecting on the planning and organizing done for the program, Samantha Nelson, spouse of Pastor Steve Nelson of the Cody district, said four words were the catalyst of the process. “’ In the beginning, God’ are the words that kept coming to my mind as Steve and I thought about possible ways to reach our community. Many Christians today believe the evolutionary lie or some amalgamated version of it, such as God started Creation, but then evolution took over.”

She added, “How can Bible-believing individuals believe these lies of the enemy of our souls? In my mind, the only way to be able to share Bible truth with others effectively was to get back to the basics and build a common foundation upon the truth of God’s Word, which tells us that, ‘in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.’”

In Worland, the middle school auditorium was transformed as dinosaurs were set up on stage.   Youth occupied the front rows, getting a better view of the dinosaurs and actively participating in the discussions. Some of them were able to assist with dismantling the dinosaurs and packing up fossils.

The event was live-streamed, giving those unable to attend in person the opportunity to experience the informative series. “I started watching the Creation Truth Foundation seminars done in Worland a couple of weeks ago. After the first one, I couldn’t stop. I watched all five seminars today! I highly recommend them,” Traci Pike, teacher at Mountain Road Christian Academy in Casper, enthusiastically expressed.

During the meetings, the guest presenters of the seminars visited SonShine Academy and met with students allowing them to look at some of the smaller fossils they brought and get answers to their questions.

Nelson recalls an interaction with a community member in Cody that made all the planning, organizing, and hard work worth it.

“One of the biggest blessings to take place was meeting a family who was searching for truth and a safe church family. God arranged this interaction. One of our Facebook ads stated the programs would start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday instead of Sunday. None of us caught the error. A little before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, a family walks in. I apologized for the error and the fact that none of us were aware of it. Then, we just started talking.”

Questions were asked, recalled Nelson, “Did we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior? Were we Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses? Were the presentations biblical? Did we believe God created everything?” the family quizzed.

“In the moments together, God knit our hearts together as only He can do. This family attended every program and promised they would see us in church, too. God led this family to see the erroneous ad and to come to meet with us privately.”

–RMCNews with Samantha Nelson, wife of Steve Nelson, pastor of the Cody district; photos by Steve and Samantha Nelson

President of Creation Truth Foundation, Matt Miles, shares the Bible history of Creation.


Attentive crowds as President of Creation Truth Foundation, Matt Miles, shares the Bible history of Creation.


The stage fully set in Worland and people beginning to arrive for the presentations.
13 Sep

Brighton Adventist Academy honors Colorado fallen soldiers

RMCNews with Brooklyn Hill – Brighton, Colorado … Brighton Adventist Academy, Grades 5 through 10, recently visited “The Wall That Heals,” a traveling Vietnam Memorial, when it made a stop in Brighton, Colorado on September 2 to honor those who had paid the ultimate price for the people of the United States.

Students spent the week leading up to the event researching Coloradans whose name was listed on the Vietnam Memorial. Their assignment was to locate the name of the Coloradan each had chosen to study and etch a pencil rubbing of the name at the exhibit.

The field trip allowed students to experience an event that shaped their grandparents’ lives during the 1960s and early 1970s. Daneil, ninth-grader at BAA, expressed, “It was sad how many lives were lost in the Vietnam War.”

For others, the overwhelming number of those who gave their lives and were honored on the wall was what stood out. “It was interesting how many people were on the wall,” Nathaniel, ninth-grader at BAA, mentioned.

Students learned about items families left at the wall in Washington D.C. to honor their loved ones. The tour guide showed the students items, including an entire army suite, a care package sent to a soldier that was sent back to the family unopened because the soldier died before he could open it, and a prosthetic leg with a long note on it. There was also a motorcycle on display called The Gold Star dedicated to the veterans who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Reflecting on the event, Brooklyn Hill, a seventh-grader at BAA, said, “The wall made me feel sorry for all who died in the war. I [want to] thank the people running this establishment for all they have done for people to see their lost family members. I also [want to] thank my classmates for being respectful of the wall.”

The Healing Wall is three-quarters the size of the actual wall in Washington, D.C., and has 58,000 names on it.  The Wall that Heals left Brighton, Colorado, to travel to the Pinon Hills Adventist church in Farmington, New Mexico, where it was on display from September 7 to September 12.

— RMCNews with Brooklyn Hill, a seventh-grader at Brighton Adventist Academy; photos courtesy of Brighton Adventist Academy’s Facebook page