Silas Rappe, a 1998 graduate of GCHS, is settled here in Moab again after leaving for several years. He and his wife, Sarah Rappe, stay busy raising their family and running the Young Life and Wyldlife programs for high school and middle school students.
After graduating, Silas moved to St. George to attend Dixie State University for two years. Here, he received his associates degree. Then Silas decided to take a semester off in the fall of 2000 to backpack across Europe with his cousin, Kellen Sakrison. After this adventure, Silas returned to Utah. He attended Utah State University in Logan for the next two years, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management. After receiving his degree, Silas took a year off to study for graduate school. During this time he returned to Moab and worked as a volunteer coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service.
In 2004 Silas moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to attend Colorado State University. After graduating with a master’s degree in science, he landed a position as the outreach coordinator for R.E.I. This experience introduced Silas to community involvement. While serving on the board of directors for Bike Fort Collins, Silas helped create a program to teach both kids and adults how to ride in a safe and lawful manner. Bike Fort Collins organized a variety of events, one of which was 6 Day Races at the Oval. It was at the first race of the season in May of 2008 that Silas met his future wife, Sarah Esvelt. After talking and exchanging numbers, Sarah said, “If you call me on this number, make sure you leave your own number in the voicemail so I know how to call you back,” recalls Silas. This, however, happened to be a vital piece of information that Silas forgot when he called her. The two lost touch until July when Silas was helping with a Fourth of July block party. Sarah showed up and the two started dating. They were married a year later.
In January of 2010 the newlyweds became a part of YWAM (Youth with a Mission). First they flew to Belize for a three-month discipleship training school where they learned more about aspects of their Christian beliefs and the characters of Christ. The couple then journeyed to Guatemala and El Salvador to serve their mission. They painted orphanages, gave roses to prostitutes and food to the homeless, and ran a soccer camp and a bible camp for kids who were living in a dump in Guatamala City.
Shortly after their outreach mission, the couple decided to return to Moab. Silas’s dad had had a heart attack. Soon after returning, his best friend, Arlo Tejada, was diagnosed with cancer. Despite his efforts to never move back to Moab, Silas felt in his heart that this was where he needed to be.
Silas was working for the Forest Service after his return. Then, last January things started to fall into place. A youth worker in Moab who collaborated with all the local churches moved back to his own hometown. His position needed to be filled. “That’s when Sarah and I said, ‘Alright, this is our time. This is why we came back,’” says Silas. Silas had always known he wanted to work with youth; he just didn’t know how. Everywhere he went, people kept talking about an organization called Young Life. This organization brings God into the lives of kids who want to build relationships with Him and their community. “I never wanted to be the person to jam Christianity down someone’s throat. I just wanted to share my relationship with these students,” explains Silas. “Young Life is all about relationships, and that’s the part that spoke to me. I knew this relational approach would be the only way to connect with the youth.”
After meeting with the regional Young Life staff in 2011, Silas and Sarah jumped right into it. They started to organize weekly activities, yearly banquets, camp trips, involvement in community happenings and have been at it ever since. Young Life is designed for high schoolers. The same program, under the name Wyldlife, is run for middle schoolers.
In February of 2012 Sarah gave birth to their daughter, Lyda; and in August of 2014 their son, Asher, joined the family as well. The four of them are content here in Moab. Silas holds on to his GCHS pride whenever he thinks of the soccer team. Silas and his friends in high school were the first to bring soccer to the school in1996-1997. It had never existed in Grand County before then. He’s now the assistant soccer coach and is involved in GCHS because he loves to support the kids that he has gotten to know through Young Life. “You can pretty much always see me or another Young Life leader at any of the high school events, Silas exclaims.