By Jamey Houghton

As Cassie Carr, a sophomore at Vista Ridge Academy, rode to the church where she was preaching in the Dominican Republic, she was going over her sermon notes. The local pastor who was driving said suddenly, “Cassie, you know that sermon that you have prepared for tonight? Well, can you preach on another topic and preach that one tomorrow?”

At first Cassie was terrified! How was she supposed to change topics on the way to church? She wasn’t ready for that! But this was Cassie’s third evangelistic series, so she started working on a brand-new sermon that she would preach in just 20 minutes. She preached about one of her favorite topics—the Second Coming of Jesus! When she returned to the hotel, and I asked her how it went, she shared the story, and said that it actually went really well, even though she wasn’t expecting to have to write a new sermon on the way to the church!

Cassie was one of the Rocky Mountain Conference youth who participated in the third annual Kaleo Project Mission Trip. As one of many youth called to serve, she, along with 53 others traveled to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic for a joint evangelism and building trip. Our building crew completed the foundation and framing for two churches and our painting crew painted the inside and outside of a church that had just been finished. We also held 14 youth-led evangelistic series throughout Santo Domingo.

Campion Academy junior Cameron Sellers was preaching at a church that met in an unexpected location. When I asked him how it was going after the first night, he said, “Pastor Jamey, I preached in a house! There wasn’t much room, and there were people leaning through the windows to hear the message.”

The next night Cameron had to preach near the front door of the house because overflow seating had been arranged in the street, and this way everyone could hear him as he shared the story of love and hope in Jesus. Throughout the week, 700-800 people attended the 14 meetings.

We had quite a few preachers who speak fluent Spanish and wanted to preach in Spanish. Translating all of the sermons from English to Spanish was a daunting task, but in the months before our trip, Mile High Academy students (and sisters) Katherin and Ashley Gonzalez translated the whole series so our Spanish speakers could preach in the local language!

At the end of a trip, it’s common to look back and ask, “Was it worth it to travel so far, to raise so much money, to practice all of those sermons, to sweat and work so hard on the building sites?” As our group reflects on the houses of worship built, and the freshly painted church holding services each Sabbath, they are convinced it was totally worth it. As our preachers and translators consider the 135 people who decided to follow Jesus in baptism, they unanimously agree that it was well worth the trip.

In this third year of the Kaleo Project, it is awesome to see how God has used the young people of the Rocky Mountain Conference. They have presented 44 evangelistic series, participated in 5 building projects, and baptized 550 people through evangelistic efforts. It is exciting to see God use our youth to help fulfill the Gospel Commission!

As Jesus said in Matthew 24, “When the Gospel has gone out to the whole world, then He’s coming back.” Our Rocky Mountain Conference youth are getting the Word out! Jesus is coming again!

–Jamey Houghton is RMC youth evangelism coordinator.