From Peanuts to the Passion of Christ: Inspiring Times at Milo Adventist Academy

January 01, 2005 | Katie Weakley

When Pastor Jeff Deming, also known as "PJ," came to Milo Adventist Academy to speak for week of prayer, he started out on the right foot. He got everyone laughing. Danita Rasmussen, a freshman from Modesto, Calif., says, “He asked us, ‘Do you know?’ questions. My favorite was, ‘Do you know what food that we eat is in dynamite?’ The answer was peanuts." Shelina Berglund, a junior from Medford, Ore., adds, “P.J. spoke to us about his struggles with Christianity. The moving part was that he used personal examples in his worships. That made me realize that everyone, even adults, have questions. I think it also helped him to relate to the kids. It made him seem real.”

Oct. 28 was MAA Neighbor Day, when once a quarter students share their talents and hard work with someone who needs help. Sometimes the work isn’t really "fun," but the students always manage to find joy in their projects. Rebecca Rodriguez, a junior from White City, Ore., says, “We went to Tiller Elementary School where they were having a costume contest and I got to help judge!” Sometimes the reward is knowing what the reaction will be when someone comes home and finds something completed. Mark Oh, a senior from Seoul, Korea, says, “We went to a house, and no one was home. But we went ahead and painted their trailer anyway. I’d have liked to see their faces when they got home!”

Family Weekend speaker was Monte Torkelsen, Oregon Conference youth ministries director. After vespers on Saturday evening, eight students received $1,000 work and volunteer ethics scholarship awards. Then everyone viewed “The Passion of Christ.” But as Tatiana Beltran, a senior from Veneta, Ore., says, “What really made the weekend special was being with our families.”