March 31, 2023

Academy Students Serve Navajo Nation over Spring Break

They helped build a small home, host a VBS program, and reached out to the community.

Jill Harlow, for Rocky Mountain Conference News
Three Campion Academy students learned new skills from experienced builders using woodworking and power tools while serving the Navajo Nation in Arizona, United States. [Photo: courtesy of Campion Academy]

Seven Campion Academy students chose to spend spring break serving in the Navajo Nation of Arizona, United States. Led by Leandro Bizama, associate pastor of worship and evangelism at Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church in Loveland, Colorado, the group included about 30 church members, who worked on the construction of a small home, hosted a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children, and provided health talks for the communities of Window Rock and Kinlichee.

“The mission trip was fun; I really enjoyed it,” senior student Jarrod Lang said. “I did construction, and we raised a house from the ground up. The day I left there, I felt so proud that I was able to participate in something that will bring God’s word to the people of that land.”

The construction crew was tasked with building a tiny home to be used for Bible workers, student missionaries, or pastoral families in the future. The three Campion students working on this project learned new skills from experienced builders using woodworking and power tools. The building’s framing and exterior, including the roof, was completed within the week.

The rest of the students focused on the children’s ministry initiative. They helped to prepare and host a VBS program attended by about 20 local children each day. The students assisted in every aspect of the program, from leading music to acting in skits.

  • Camp Nav 2
  • Camp Nav 3
  • Camp Nav 1 1

“I was a doctor that played two roles, explaining guidelines on temperance and trust,” Marcela Zuniga said. “I enjoyed getting to know all the kids and learning lessons that helped my relationship with God grow. I learned that I enjoy helping and seeing others smile and learn about God. The theme was to protect your castle — your body, heart, and mind — and it taught me that I want Jesus to sit on the throne in my castle.”

Mary and Steve Phillips, who are good friends with the local pastor’s family, were instrumental in bringing the group together. They led a health ministry for local adults, which included a health fair and nightly meetings. The meetings had eight consistent attendees, and Mary shared, “We had very deep conversations; it was wonderful!”

Bizama added that he was blessed and proud to see both H.M.S. Richards and Campion schools students, young adults, and church family members collaborating by spending their spring break working and serving the Navajo Nation.

“It was challenging and tiring, especially because we were doing three simultaneous projects while staying in two different areas, but the result of the service was beautiful to see,” he said. “May we always choose a lifestyle of service and mission, no matter the cost.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Rocky Mountain Conference news site.