Alaska High Schoolers Join Milo Students for Mission to Guatemala

Brent and Ryan Cole, brothers and Craig (Alaska) Public High School students, recently returned from a mission trip to Poptun in eastern Guatemala. The mission trip was a school activity for Milo Adventist Academy students, who welcomed them "with open arms and hearts to join them in service for their Lord," according to the Coles.

“We had doubts that we would be able to go on the mission trip at first. Money was the big thing. Our church family encouraged us to pray about it. God opened the hearts and pocketbooks of the church family, community friends and businesses. Everything worked out,” the young men explained. Money and Alaska Airlines frequent-flyer miles were donated to meet their travel expenses. The Craig Church held a rummage sale and an Asian dinner to raise funds, and tool belts were donated by a local True Value hardware store.

These brothers have never been to an Adventist academy, let alone on a mission trip. Their travel included a ferry to Ketchikan, Alaska, followed by a plane to Portland, where they joined the Milo students to travel to Poptun, Guatemala.

Soon a hospital will be built near the city of Poptun and near the orphanage and an Adventist secondary school called Instituto de Capacitacion Adventista del Peten (ICAP). Their building project was a quad-plex for staff housing.

“It wasn’t all work that we did. We saw snakes, monkeys, scorpions and other things in nature,” the Coles reported. “We had never seen things like this before. We visited the Tikal ruins and pyramids that are 2,000 years old and got to do some shopping. Through it all, the Lord watched over us and blessed us in special ways. We came home with new friends and a desire to go on another mission trip soon.”

Brent, now a junior at Craig High School, is planning to attend Milo next year. His parents say the phone lines have been warm as their sons continue to talk often with the new friends they made.

July 01, 2004 / Alaska Conference