Campion Academy welcomed home 145 students to kick-off the school year this week. Parents, staff, and church members rallied together to help the students move in to the dormitories throughout the day on Sunday. In the evening, the beginning of a new school year officially commenced at the annual Student Association (S.A.) Handshake event.
The 2019-2020 Student Association officers introduced the theme for the school year: No Limits. Erick Maldonado, S.A. Spiritual Vice-President, explained, "Everyone has issues that create limits in their lives, like anger, doubt, fear, and failure. But, with the power of God, we can break free from those chains and live our lives with no limits."
After worship, the students enjoyed a few games and class competitions including the classic human knot, hula-hoop circles, and a water-balloon toss. For the main event, the staff and students formed a long line where each student shook hands, gave high fives, or hugs to each member of the staff and student body. Finally, Campion lead pastor, Micheal Goetz, led everyone in a prayer of blessing on the school year.
Welcome home to Campion, students. You are loved.
Naomi Boonstra, an incoming senior at Campion, shares her experience of spending the summer on the Literature Evangelism team with Pastor Matt Hasty.
On August 6, I said goodbye to my summer colporteuring Youth Rush team. For ten weeks, we woke up together, had devotions surrounded by each other, ate breakfast together, had worship together, and then went door-to-door distributing Adventist literature for donations for our school scholarships. This was my third summer doing this, and each time I leave in absolute awe of how God has used us to grow each other and to turn cities upside down.
When you spend a summer doing ministry, the people who are becoming your family are also falling in love with God every day. When I’m surrounded by my Youth Rush team, no matter how imperfect we've been towards each other, I feel like I’m being held up by God’s perfection, and I’m completely at peace. All the floors we slept on, all the vans we drove, and all the doors we knocked on were absolutely filled with the love of God radiating off of this little group of missionaries.
As colporteurs, we talk about how at doors we knock on, we might be the only glimpse of Jesus that someone ever sees. Even if they slam the door on me, my smile might be the only Godly thing someone ever does for them. Going door-to-door, I had to carry myself in such a way that even just a cookbook sale could be a divine experience for someone. Letting God show His love though me has taught me more about its depth than I could’ve imagined when I was first handed an application to give my summer to ministry. Being asked to show God’s character has forced me to completely die to self every morning before I go out, which is something that I now can carry into an everyday ministry.
Naomi Boonstra, Senior at Campion
Delanie Kamarad, incoming senior, shares her experience of her summer in ministry on the Spark Team.
When I became part of the Spark team, I didn’t know how many life-changing experiences I would have. We signed up to help others grow spiritually, but the true growth happened in our own hearts. Students Standing up for God Against Satan Himself: that should’ve been the headline of our job description. Speaking upfront was supposed to be when the movement happened, but making personal connections with strangers on the streets or having people of all ages come to me in tears telling me their story was when I felt closest to God. Through everything, God blessed me with His own form of support.
Throughout the summer, I was constantly uplifted by the smiles of the kids. No matter where we were, I had a magnet to find Jesus’ children. By the time we were ending our summer in Grand Junction, I truly understood the meaning of having “child-like faith” from Matthew 19. I had the company of three beautiful, little girls at Chapel Haven, continually encouraging me to be a better woman for God. Angelee, Haddassah, and Everleigh. These three showed me Jesus every day in VBS and our evening meetings. When I was battling doubts spiritually, they were the ones who showed me Jesus. They were my blessing the first few weeks.
Continuing on to Estes Park, I remember one day I was feeling low. I didn’t feel much momentum at the time, and it felt as though the program was not yet being blessed. Then I heard the voice of little Noah, one of Campion’s own. He was giggling and ecstatic to be visiting our team in the mountains. I took him in as my own and even joked he was my son. He showed me Jesus when I was searching.
And lastly, I met three little angels in Grand Junction. When canvassing and asking to pray with strangers at doors, Kendra and I met a mother whose little girl came out to greet us. We asked to pray with her and Juliette piped up, only being nine years old, and said she wanted to pray for her Dad who is atheist. Juliette attended our evening meetings without the presence or push of a parent. She did it simply because, “loving Jesus makes people more happy,” she proclaimed. Juliette brought her little sister Jipsie the second night, and her best friend Kaitlyn the third night she attended. Our last meeting Sabbath morning, I spoke on Heaven and the two older girls came forward for the baptism appeal.
Child-like faith. That’s the lesson I will never forget from this summer. Though our world may fall apart, we often feel lonely and lost, Jesus is with us. Loving Him will make us happier, we simply have to show Him to others like these kids. I envy their faith. They are our next leaders in the church, and one day I will see each of them and their bright smiles in Heaven.
Delanie Kamarad, Senior at Campion
Campion Academy welcomes Jordan Dubini to the staff. He will be serving as the Assistant Men’s Dean and will be teaching British Literature and Senior Writing classes. We had a chance to sit down for some Q&A to learn a bit more about him.
Tell us a little bit about your background and schooling:
I graduated from Walla Walla University in June of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in English, with business and religion minors. While at WWU, I had the privilege of being Resident Dean for two years, which began my interest in residence hall administration. This past year I have been substitute teaching in my hometown of Lincoln, CA.
What drew you to Campion Academy?
Campion has a great reputation and is located in a very beautiful part of the country. I have only heard good things about the academy, and I was excited to see the job opening.
Why are you interested in being a dean?
The answer to this is two-part: 1) As a dean, no two days on the job are alike, and that means the job never gets boring. 2) Deans have such an incredible opportunity to enrich the lives of our residents. Creating an inviting and comfortable community in the residence hall allows us to foster the spiritual wellness of the residents, which is a ministry in and of itself.
What are some of your goals for this year in the dorm?
My first goal for this year is to ensure that the transition of two new deans goes very smoothly with all of our residents. Change can impact individuals in different ways, and I want to make sure everyone has a good experience. My second goal for this year is to connect with the residents and see in what ways they think residence hall life can be improved, and work on making those improvements. My last goal is one that transcends the others, and that is to create a valuable relationship with each of my residents.
Since you are also a teacher and will be teaching Senior English, tell us what you are passionate about in teaching English.
Regardless of anyone’s educational or career aspirations, the tools they learn in English classes will benefit them for the rest of their lives. My goal is to set my students up for success regardless of which life path they choose, because everyone needs to know how to write well.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Moving to the Denver area coincides with two of my hobbies! I am a bit of a National Parks nerd, so being so close to the Rocky Mountain National Park is very exciting. I have a National Parks Passport that I am able to stamp at each location I visit, so I plan on getting many new stamps. Another hobby of mine is coin collecting (yes, I’m basically a 90-year-old man, haha!). With the Denver mint now within driving distance, I’ll get to experience that hobby in a new way.
What is a Bible verse that is particularly important to you and why?
Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” This verse is important to me because it sets the tone for my goals with the residence hall and our residents. Creating a welcoming spiritual environment in the residence hall opens the door to so many good things.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
On July 28 and 29 Campion’s volleyball coaches put on a camp for the school’s players. Head coach Kelsey Cate along with coach Codi Jahn and coach Baylee organized and ran the camp. 17 girls attended and practiced many drills including passing, setting, hitting, and serving drills. They also played games and conditioned for the upcoming season. Ireland Anthony, who going into her junior year and has been on the varsity team for two years, said that her favorite part about camp was, “Being able to bond with other new friends and being able to try out every position.” Everyone is very excited for this volleyball season which is coming up quick with tryouts starting in just three weeks.
Ashley Herber, Senior Student Editor
Photos by Jill Downey and Jill Harlow
Megan Michalenko, an incoming senior at Campion, spent her summer on the Spark team. She shares with us the impact spending the summer in ministry had on her.
Going into the summer I was definitely most excited to do Vacation Bible School. I love working with kids and I plan on eventually becoming an elementary school teacher. I was in charge of the crafts station which was something I loved. Something else that drew me to the job was music. I play the violin, so each night I played along with praise team. I love the creativity that playing with a praise team allows me to have with the violin. I also enjoyed playing for special music along with our pianist, Kendra Eickmann.
Something I was the most uncertain about for the job was the preaching part. Personally, I am a very shy and introverted person. The thought of public speaking terrified me. When I decided to interview for this job, I didn’t let my fear hinder me. I knew that God was calling me to work for Sparks, and that He would help me with my fear. The first time I preached was at Campion’s student-led Week of Prayer. Although I was scared, I was able to preach in front of the whole school. I made an altar call for baptism, and two students came forward and were baptized later that week. After accomplishing that, I knew God had called me to Sparks for a reason.
My favorite experience of the entire summer was when I preached opening night for our two-week long sermon series in Grand Junction. I talked about the fears and uncertainties we have in this world, and how to cope with them. I made an altar call for anyone who wanted to let go of something and give it to God, and three ladies came forward. Each of the ladies shared with me why they had come forward. Although it was heartbreaking to hear, each of their stories was so inspiring. One of the ladies shared with me that she had recently lost her husband and her house. Something I remember her saying was, “You were preaching right at me the entire time.” That's when I knew God had given me the right words to say that night. He calmed my fear of public speaking, so that I would be able to speak clearly and reach others.
Megan Michalenko, Senior
For the past eight weeks, a group of eight Campion Academy students have been putting on Vacation Bible School programs for children and preaching in evangelistic meetings for adults across the state of Colorado as part of the Spark team. Erik Maldonado, an incoming senior at Campion, gives an overview of their summer of ministry and shares his experience.
Our first two weeks of ministry began at Campion Church. While there, we only held VBS. The turnout was great, and the availability of the Campion gym allowed us to really put everything into the program. We were able to really build a connection with the kids, and they had a great time! After leaving Campion, we arrived at Chapel Haven church, located in Thornton, Colorado. Here, we were able to hold both a VBS and our evening meetings. Our two weeks here were very impactful, as we were able to get to know both the children of the church, and the adults. Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, a few people decided to be baptized. Next, we travelled to beautiful Estes Park. There, we held both a VBS program and the evening meetings for one week.
After Estes Park, we took a mini retreat to Moab, Utah where we stayed at Daystar Academy, a small Adventist boarding school. This proved to be very beneficial for the team. Stuck in the desert with limited phone service, it was here that we were able to really bond and grow together spiritually.
After the retreat, we traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado. Because the church had done a VBS earlier in the summer, we used the time in the morning to hand out free Christian literature door-to-door. This experienced proved to be a huge blessing for both us and the many people who received the literature. We were able to hear many powerful testimonies and even prayed at many of the doors. The evening meetings were well-attended, and through them, the Holy Spirit moved about 16 people to baptism!
This summer was a very moving and powerful experience for me. I was very skeptical about leaving home for the summer, but looking back, it was completely worth it. I was able to share my testimony around Colorado and help people make a decision to come to Christ. Not only this, but because of the constant, 24-hour contact with the team, I have made a group of friends for life. This summer has shown me that if you’re able to commit to the Lord, He will use you in ways that you never imagined.
Erik Maldonado, Senior at Campion Academy
After working for the past 13 years as a physical therapist, Wendy Eickmann was notified at the beginning of July that due to changing business contracts she would no longer have a job by the end of the month. Despite her initial surprise and concern, she trusted that God had something in mind for her. She would easily be able to find another opportunity in the area working as a physical therapist, but she felt God’s gentle prodding to seek out a job that would allow her to be more intentional in ministry. She had no idea what that might be, but she knew that she would like to be more involved at Campion.
When an immediate need for an interim chaplain opened at Campion, Eickmann would never have expected it, but she knew deep down that this was what God was asking her to do. “I felt extremely unqualified, but God put it on my heart,” she reflects. “The very morning I was praying about considering applying for the position, I read these words in my devotional, ‘God will call you to do what you cannot do but will provide everything you need to do it,’” (Tripp, Paul. New Morning Mercies).
Wendy Eickmann has served alongside her husband, Steve (technology teacher), at Campion for the past 13 years. Their oldest daughter, Kelby, graduated from Campion in 2018, and their other two children, Nolan and Kendra, are both current students at Campion. Over the years, Eickmann has been involved and been a second mom to many Campion students, going on outdoor club trips, senior survival, and tournaments. For the past three years, the Eickmanns have opened their home and dinner table every Friday evening to any student who wants to come, sometimes serving over 50 students in an evening! “I have loved being able to connect with students when they come over, and it has made me want to be even more involved,” she comments.
Most importantly, Eickmann is passionate about helping students learn the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ. “I really want each student to know what a comfort and what an impactful thing it is to have a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus,” she emphasizes.
Eickmann looks forward to working also with the student chaplains this year at Campion: Madi Jordan, and her own son, Nolan Eickmann. “They’ve got great ideas and I really plan to utilize them and put them in charge to use their passions and their God-given talents,” she explains.
As a parent, Eickmann has seen the many ways her children have been able to grow in faith at Campion Academy as they are surrounded by spiritual mentors in their teachers, deans, and other staff members. She looks forward to being a greater part of that as we start this school year.
We are thankful that God can even use unexpected challenges for His glory.
There will be some staff changes at Campion Academy. We regret to announce that Pastor Esequias Perea will no longer serve as Campion’s chaplain as he steps down from this leadership position.
Esequias and his family will be moving back to Texas. His wife, Anna Perea, will also be deeply missed as the teacher of the Acquainting Agriculture class. Several staff members will continue to work to harvest and sell the produce through the end of the season.
Campion Academy has been blessed by God through Pastor Esequias and his family and we wish them well as they return to Texas.
God continues to provide for us at Campion Academy. We have decided to hire an interim chaplain to allow the administration ample time to conduct a search for a permanent filling of the chaplain's position at Campion Academy. Wendy Eickmann has accepted the role of interim chaplain. She has been a part of our campus community for over 13 years and clearly has a heart for students and for God. She will be assisted by two extraordinary student chaplains, Madi Jordan and Nolan Eickmann.
While it is difficult for us to see the Perea family leave, we know that God will continue to work on our campus, and we remain focused on our commitment to lift up Christ on our campus and in our community (John 12:32). God’s Holy Spirit moved on our campus in a mighty way this past school year with many students committing their lives to Christ and being baptized. We are thankful for our students who have shown deep commitment to their faith and the mission of the church this summer as they served in mission trips, literature evangelism, camps, and especially on our Spark youth evangelism team. With the support of our local Campion church pastors, the Grand Junction Church, Pastor Phil Jones, and Patricia Torres, the Spark team had a very positive and impactful end to their evangelistic series in Grand Junction. Sixteen people have committed their lives to Christ and plan to be baptized as a result of these meetings.
Please pray for God’s guidance for our staff and our students as we prepare to start the new school year.
Kent Kast led a group including five Campion students and over 30 others on a mission trip of a lifetime to Nairobi, Kenya from June 20th through July 2nd. Their primary purpose was to complete the walls on the second floor of Imara Daima Adventist School, located in a poor neighborhood in Nairobi. As the walls were built, lives were changed.
About 700 students attend the school, and around 40 students have to fit in each small classroom. “The school already had three floors, but the walls had been made of just sticks and tin,” commented Kast. “This is the typical building material in this area if one cannot afford cement or bricks.” After the first few days, they discovered that they needed to leave each morning by four a.m. to get to their worksite to avoid the heavy traffic as they crossed the city. The group worked a total of nine days, laying block and cementing the walls, until they completed all of the walls on the second floor.
Although the school’s students were also on summer break, one of the highlights of the trip was getting to visit with the local people, including the school’s teachers and several parents who came to work alongside the group each day. “The local people were very friendly and helpful. They weren’t there to just watch us work,” explained Kast. “They were very interested in making their school a better place, and they were also very interested in getting to know us. They loved to talk and tell us about their families. Some took us to their homes nearby to show us where they lived. Many of houses there had under 200 square feet of living space.”
Ryan Brown, one of the Campion students on the trip felt good about the work they did because it would help over 700 students. He mentioned, “The most meaningful part of the trip was seeing how other people lived and it made me appreciate my life in America and realize how lucky we are.”
In addition to the construction work, a doctor and two dentists in the group offered free medical and dental care to the people in the neighborhood of the school. These clinics were a large draw for the local people and allowed the group to have greater interactions with the people there.
Even our local Campion community was able to bless the people there through donations Kast collected before leaving. “HMS donated the entire grade school Bible curriculum that they were replacing. The school was very happy to receive the textbooks. The students have to buy their own textbooks, so they often will share due to lack of money,” Kast commented. “We also took several suitcases of donated clothing with us. This was put in one of the classrooms to be given to the people of the community as they need it.”
“I believe the best part of these trips is meeting the people,” said Kast. “The relationships we make with our new friends are genuine. When we leave there are always tears shed as we leave our new friends. When we visit other countries and cultures it helps us put a face on what we see only in magazines and on TV. Often, we have preconceived ideas of what a place will be like or what people believe and do. It is when we can say we have friends that are Kenyan that we can truly say we understand a little about them and their way of life. It also removes much of the fear we may have of an area due to our lack of knowledge. Hopefully we all represented our God and our home country well.”
The group stayed in guest rooms on the well-manicured campus of the East Kenya Union Conference, which also includes a church and medical clinic. While working took up the majority of the time in Nairobi, the group enjoyed attending Sabbath services at the local church, going out to eat at a nice restaurant, and especially having the opportunity to feed giraffes at a local park.
When the work was completed, most of the group went to Masai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya to have a chance to see lions, elephants, other famous African animals. “Africa is not all covered with lions and elephants,” Kast clarified. “They mainly reside in parks where they are protected.” The Maasai nomadic people also reside in this area, and while many have settled into permanent villages, some still roam the vast Serengeti, following the wildlife. “Visiting the Maasai village was as much a hit as seeing the animals,” Kast stated.
At the end of the trip, Kast and his son, Zach Kast, took the opportunity to make a short flight to Tanzania and hike to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest free-standing mountain in the world. “We started at the Machame gate at 5,900 ft. From there we spent four days climbing up through four different climate zones from rain forest to desert,” Kast explained. “The guides and porters were wonderful and became like family. The food was very delicious and fresh. We had perfect weather the entire time with sunny skies and starry nights. On summit day, we climbed the last 4000 feet from our camp in just over six hours to the high point of 19,341 feet (5895 m). We were able to watch the sunrise from the roof of Africa. It was such a wonderful experience and I can only praise God for the chance to experience that trip and for the strength to enjoy it.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director