Christian students return from missions
EDWARDS – Vail Christian High School students and staff members have always been serious about their annual mission trips, and this year was no different. From Buena Vista to Costa Rica, students got the opportunity to help others.Freshmen traveled to the Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista and staff members in charge of this group say that the students’ preparation was exceptional. Typically, it is the job of spring work crews to prepare the camp for a summer onslaught of as many as 600 young people a week. Freshmen cleaned in the kitchen, raked leaves on the lawns, removed logs and branches from construction areas, and painted cabins and meeting rooms. Teachers Amy Flammang and Bob Isbell were in charge of the sophomore/junior mission trip to Denver. Students spent four days in the heart of Denver assisting many needs of the less fortunate, Flammang says. “Early mornings, late nights, and fluctuating weather didn’t deter the spirits of our saints,” Flammang says.
Downtown DenverThe sophomores’ and juniors’ projects varied as much as the surrounding Denver neighborhoods. They worked at soup kitchens, sorted clothes, painted, cleaned, talked with people at homeless shelters, sorted and boxed food at several food banks, and danced and laughed with the elderly at an assisted living care facility. At night they ventured out to the IMAX theater for a rafting picture tour of the Nile River, and attended choir performance from students at Illinois’ North Central College. The students also heard Paul, a homeless man, tell the story of his life. After his hour long talk, many stayed around for another hour to ask him further questions. Stereotypes of the homeless were changed from this encounter, students said. “He was extremely intelligent,” student Jake Blair says. “Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks,” Flammang adds, “was comprehending the impact of their work when they could not see an immediate tangible outcome. Work accomplished in one day at COMPA food ministries helped feed approximately 8,000 families. We pray that these young adults were impacted as much as they positively impacted so many people in Denver.”
Central AmericaTeacher Mindy Larson, parent Linda Halverson and executive director Steve Glandorf visited San Jose, Costa Rica with the seniors. All three adult sponsors have a child in this year’s senior class of 13 students. Students said having “milk on your cereal in the morning or long hot showers are luxuries that few Costa Ricans are privileged to on a daily basis.””The Costa Rican experience was a mission trip immeasurable to those of the past for this group of individuals,” Larson says. “It was a unanimous conclusion that there are no words to describe the powerful impact that this trip had on everyone.” The group was involved in building a shelter for “Food for the Hungry,” which distributes food to many children throughout Central America. They also leveled ground and laid the foundation for a Sunday school building in the town of Naranjo. The group also interacted with children at local schools and churches.
“The Costa Rican people, in general, were found to have the true spirit of God living within them and exemplified that by the way the lived their lives,” Larson says. “They may not have had much in terms of material wealth but were rich beyond belief with family values and their love for God.”After the trip, seniors Deacon Maloney and Christina Schultheis gave testimonials during a local church service. Their messages were centered around the impact the mission trip had on them.”Today I made a new friend. Even though I can’t understand her most of the time, I know that Jesus is in her heart and he’s in my heart and that’s all that matters,” Schultheis said. Glandorf says the trip was unforgettable. “The time we spent in this beautiful Central American country proved to be one of the most powerful, meaningful, and rewarding blessings that I have experienced in my entire ministry career,” he says. Vail, Colorado