Milo Student Discovers the Greater Good

When Milo Adventist Academy announced plans for a mission trip to Mexico this year, I was excited. It would be my last mission trip as a high school student. A group of my friends and I planned to go help children in El Oasis, Mexico.

But then problems arose. With concerns surrounding the political situation in Mexico, the trip was canceled. When I heard the news, my heart sank.

As we considered options, we were invited by Roseburg Junior Academy to go on another trip. From the start, I wasn’t interested. It didn't involve the international flair a trip to Mexico promised. The Roseburg Junior Academy plan involved flying to San Diego, Calif., then driving all the way to Holbrook, Ariz., to our final destination—Holbrook Indian School.

Jeff Deming, Milow pastor, discussed the opportunity with us and told us we had five minutes to decide whether or not to join the alternate trip. The more I heard about the trip, the less I wanted to go. It didn’t fit my picture of a mission trip. However, my friends and I decided to pray together, and an amazing change took place. By the time we said, "Amen," I knew I was going to Arizona!

The next few minutes were a whirlwind of phone calls to parents and flight changes. Yet, in spite of my commitment, I continued to feel a nagging disappointment. Why hadn't the Mexico trip worked out?

As the Holbrook trip flew by, I felt moments of frustration. I wondered if I had really felt God telling me to go on this trip. Then I realized something: God was using the annoying moments and frustrating circumstances to help me grow.

Once I accepted I was just along for the ride and God was in charge, I felt better. We accomplished a lot. We were able to gravel the parking lot, paint bathrooms, strip and wax a gym floor, pull weeds and clean up brush on the school grounds. On Sabbath we drove to Canyon De Chelly and hiked down the trail. At the bottom we met Native Americans who live there and sell their handiwork to support themselves.

When I think about the mission trip during my senior year at Milo, I think how I almost let my desire to control life get in the way of an experience God wanted to give me. I'm glad I accepted, and let Him lead.

July 01, 2009 / Oregon Conference