A Beautiful Beginning at Milo

We're off to a great start this year at Milo Adventist Academy with an enrollment of 168 students, up from 138 last year. This includes 94 new students, and applications continue to arrive.

Milo hosted a spiritual emphasis week during the second week of school. Every evening all the students came together in the church for a spiritual high they would never forget. Throughout the week, different staff members and students shared the message, and always the audience left deeply touched. The theme for the week was “We’re on a Journey,” but the focus was “We’re Not Home Yet.”

Carl Wilkens, pastor, felt impressed to make the call for commitment on the first night instead of waiting for the last evening. When he invited the students to pledge their lives, everyone stood without hesitation and came forward. People crowded the aisle as they moved to the front, and six students requested baptism. At the end of the service, as the pastor’s wife played the postlude to quietly dismiss the students, most chose instead to remain and sing. For more than an hour, the church was filled with the worship and praise of an unannounced afterglow as some sang and others broke off into groups for prayer.

As the week went by, students examined their values and what it is that helps them in their Christian voyage. On Friday night, students celebrated their pledges in a foot washing and communion service. At the pastor’s invitation, nearly 30 students came forward to share their testimonies in front of the entire school. Tears mixed with laughter bonded the students and faculty into a family. A deeply-felt spiritual atmosphere enveloped the church as the familiar scripture was read: “This is My body broken for you. Take, and eat ye all of it.”

On Sabbath evening, a baptism provided the perfect ending to the spiritual week. Students, parents and friends gathered to see Rachel Hensler publicly commit her life to the Lord. As she was lifted out of the waters of the South Umpqua River, the crowd broke into cheers and applause.

Though that week has ended, the spiritual atmosphere continues. It’s not unusual to see a few students praying in the middle of the oval, a group singing praise songs as they walk or friends reading a devotional together. Friendly hellos have replaced shy silence as together everyone strives to be more like Jesus.

November 01, 2003 / Oregon Conference