Milo Students Desert Campus to Provide Church Services

Milo Adventist Academy students went to nearly 30 churches last year in small groups to lead entire church services with the guidance and support of academy staff members.

"I enjoy giving sermons because I get to study my topic and then reflect on why I’m choosing to talk about it," said Christian Hidalgo, one of the participants.

It’s not a problem for this junior to get in front of strangers and share his thoughts, but for others it's not such an easy task. Jonathan Carlson, the assistant boys’ dean and coordinator for this program, explained one reason he took on this job. "I’m kind of a shy guy, and it’s really helped me to work with the kids side by side," he said. "I’ve learned to be much more comfortable up front. Now I enjoy helping other teenagers get out of their comfort zones."

Sometimes the group must wake up at extreme hours in order to be at a church more than 300 miles away in time to provide the service. Sarah Sexton, a sophomore pianist, always leaves the sanctuary with a great blessing and a big smile. "Afterwards, everyone tells me how excited they are to see such young, enthusiastic youth up front serving God," she said, the smile still on her face.

After the services, church members treat the students to a potluck dinner. "The food was so good at Ashland," remembered Lisa Hulse, a junior. Sometimes students stay to visit the shut-ins or distribute literature.

George White, Lakeview Church pastor, said, "The youth came with a terrific spiritual atmosphere around them and a very fine manner. You can send them back to me any time!"

September 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference