Sabbath School during Laurelbrook’s 2018 Graduation Weekend began with a song service led by Rachel, Mariangela, and Eric of the Class of 2019 (juniors). They were accompanied on the piano by Jeremy Westcott, one of the academy English and Bible teachers. The opening song was “I Vow to Thee My Country”.
Maudie Westfall, academy vice-principal for activities, welcomed everyone. The staff were invited to go to the visitors to welcome them. Blake Whited had prayer and read Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
The graduating seniors (Class of 2018) then gave a report on their Mexico Mission Trip, which took the place of the ordinary senior class trip.
The idea came as Rich Sutton and several seniors were on the Christmas Mexico Missions trip to a region where the people still speak Mayan.
It would rain every day the group worked on the first church they constructed.
Tires blowing out stretched their journey to the second church from 8 hours to 14 hours.
The group started around 6:00 in the morning and quit about 4:00.
The second church was on a hill. It was constructed in less time than the first with fewer people.
The group was welcomed into the homes of the members.
Citlali and Sarah Carpenter then sang “As the Deer” for special music. Dyaine Falkenhagen then gave a tribute to the teachers, a copy of which was given to every teacher present. Josia Tonhauser called for the mission offering, which was collected by Thanos, Eric, Hiram, and Oliver of the Class of 2019 (juniors). Sarah Carpenter then had the closing prayer.
Rich Sutton then introduced Richie Perez, the incoming boys’ dean and campus chaplain. He had helped Rich in his Mexico Missions projects.
His parents were getting divorced. His father at first beat him for joining the church, but later he gave his heart to the Lord and asked the mother to accept him back.
When Pastor Perez decided to go to school, his father gave him $100, which he discovered was not worth very much. The school wanted to send him home but eventually let him to work his way through.
In 2009 he finally finished his school work.
Two times he nearly got married but backed out. Then he met an American girl who met the specifications he had established.
This girl had been a little rowdy. Hannah came to a rally at the school and worked in the Sabbath School with Richie. When she went back home, she was changed.
The conference felt the two were so close that they should either get married or split up.
After marriage, Hannah cried because she was so used to some things in the U.S., but she stuck it out.
Their Mexican conference quota for baptisms is 90. Richie’s district went from three churches to seven.