Milo in Nicaragua A Student's Afterglow

As the plane descended over the Columbia River and Portland, Ore., I stared out the window, excited about being home again. After spending two weeks on a mission trip in tropical Nicaragua with 33 other Milo students, coming home was bittersweet.

The 13 hot days we spent in Nicaragua started each morning at 6 o'clock with our leader John Kelley’s rendition of “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go!” Our main project was to build a church. In addition, some of the students held a week of prayer for the local Adventist school. In the evenings all the students walked a couple blocks down the street to host Vacation Bible School at the public school. The first night we started with about 30 participants and ended up with nearly 80. By the end of the two weeks, we had close to 150 coming every night, ranging in age from toddlers to twelve-year-olds.

The last night we were there, the local pastor, Waldo Casildo, had worship for us. After sharing his impressive personal testimony, he gave us the best gift anyone could have asked for. As we all sat around him, he stood and read a letter to us from the church. In his letter he recounted many of our experiences—Mr. Kelley falling in a hole, our group being robbed during the night. He also thanked us for what we had done and invited us to meet him again in heaven.

I will never forget the blessing that I received in Nicaragua.

June 01, 2005 / Oregon Conference