Every year young people from all different walks of life come to Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek to continue their education. They come not only for academics, but also for a family atmosphere where students are encouraged to connect with others and with God.
Zabdiel Brigido, an international student from Mexico and U.S. citizen, came to Milo despite financial challenges. He applied for financial aid and arranged a special work schedule, butj he still fell short of the needed funds. However, Brigido refused to give up on his dream. He hoped to work full time to earn the needed money and then attend school the following year.
But just as Brigido arrived on campus this summer for work, so did a team from Maranatha Volunteers International. Their open team project at the academy provided some additional work opportunities for students. Although he had no experience with construction, Brigido joined in with a smile on his face and asked how he could help. “I think they saw my disposition to work, and they decided to give me a hammer,” he explains with his usual smile.
The Maranatha volunteers were so impressed with Brigido’s work ethic that several of them began good naturedly competing to get him on their work crews. David Evans, Milo boys’ dean, began wondering along with other colleagues if this goodwill might lead any of the Maranatha volunteers to underwrite some of Brigido’s academy expenses. If so, he would be able to go to school with the students his age during the 2015–16 year instead of waiting for the next year. They spoke with the Maranatha leaders, Doug and Melody Wheeler, who loved the idea and invited them to present it to the group that evening at worship.
On the last evening of Maranatha’s time at Milo, Brigido was invited to play his violin for the worship service at principal Randy Thornton’s house. When the music ended, Thornton shared the good news that extra donations from the Maranatha volunteers would help cover Brigido’s tuition for the year and enable him to graduate in May.
Between school and work, Brigido has a completely full schedule. Despite the heavy load of classes and many hours of work, Brigido’s smile never waivers. He is very grateful and gives God all of the glory. “I decided this day that anything I study will be for the Lord my God,” he says. He hopes someday to become a medical doctor.