Mission to Mazatlan Milo and Emerald Students Serve Together

June 01, 2004 | Greg Becker

Thirty-five students from Milo Adventist Academy and Emerald Christian Academy (Pleasant Hill, Ore.) survived a 49-hour drive to Mazatlan, Mexico, to spend their spring break building a church, conducting a Vacation Bible School and holding a week of prayer.

Each day, many students traveled 45 minutes by bus to the building site where Dan Tetzler, construction supervisor, directed them. Others stayed behind to host a week of prayer for the older children, who came to enjoy the singing, skits and lessons. Dawn Ponder, Racquel Ledezma and Katrina Harness led a Vacation Bible School for the younger children.

Warm weather helped the progress on the church, but, after eight hours in the hot sun, everyone was ready for a swim at the nearby beach.

In the evenings, students donned dressier clothes to attend nightly meetings conducted by Carl Wilkens, Milo pastor, with Arturo Ledezma translating. Some attendees decided to give their lives to God and be baptized. As the week progressed, everyone was on a spiritual high, ready to do whatever God had in mind.

No one wanted to leave their new friends. They exchanged e-mail addresses and hugs before climbing on the bus. As they waved goodbye, the students realized that though they came to serve, they had actually been served. They began to truly see that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."