Traveling to Hartland

Sep 8, 2014

by Alexi Garcia

After I received the acceptance letter from Hartland and with it the opportunity to become a Missionary Training Fund student, I went to the American Embassy in Venezuela. They told me to talk in English and I did not know much of that language, so most of my answers were “Yes” or “No.” When they asked me to explain my bank account balance and how I would pay, I said, “Let me speak Spanish.” It went well and they approved my visa.

But on the day of my flight I needed to pray hard. I knew my I-20 was not up-to-date due to government problems. It went well until I arrived at Atlanta International Airport and I faced the reality of being in a place where I didn’t know the language. Because of the I-20, they sent me to immigration and I waited there about two hours.

When they finally called me, they checked all my papers and then told me I could not be in the United States. I thought, If God brought me this far, He needs to do something. I smiled and waited and then they asked me, “What are you going to study?” I answered, “Pastoral Evangelism.” The man looked at me and asked, “Is that something religious?” I replied, “Yes, I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.” He then said, “I have never heard of that church before, yet because you are a Christian I will let you into the country, but you need to fix your I-20. Welcome to the United States.”

After I finished there, I missed my flight and had no idea how to communicate with the airline assistant. She asked me for money to buy a new ticket. But after she checked my flight itinerary, she said to me, “Go to Dulles International Airport. We have a promotion today that all students get to fly for free, so you don’t need to pay.” I was happy and just thanked the Lord for such an experience.
On March 4, 2013, I arrived at Hartland safely and in really good condition. My journey to Hartland was a real experience of faith for me. God indeed showed me that it was His will for me to be here, and now I’m glad I chose to follow God’s plan for my life.

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Where He Leads, He Provides

Sep 8, 2014

by Jennifer Sarria Cifuentes as told to Kelly Ostrom

My name is Jennifer Sarria Cifuentes. I am a Christian Media major from Colombia, South America. I was not born a Seventh-day Adventist; I came into the message with my family. As we followed the light God gave us, we moved to the country and joined a self-supporting ministry. I became acquainted with Hartland from the interns and graduates who came to share their Bible knowledge and by observing how God was working in their lives.

I worked on the production team for the ministry’s publication. We printed testimonies and other helpful articles. I wasn’t really trained for that work, but I learned from brothers in the ministry and let God use what little knowledge and talent I had. I was motivated by the way people responded and by our increasing print orders. I knew I needed more tools to do a better job, and as I saw the need and prayed about it, I realized that God was leading me to pursue training in media ministry.

My family did not have the finances for me to study at Hartland. Since we went into ministry, God has provided and cared for our needs; so when I was accepted to receive help from the Missionary Training Fund, I knew it was God’s provision for my education.

I would like to share one important testimony about how God has provided since I came to Hartland.

When I started my first school term, it became evident that I needed a computer—but I had no money to buy one. One day I opened my mailbox and saw a slip indicating I had received a package. I didn’t know anyone who would send me anything, but there was a medium-size box with my name on it, and inside was a computer for my schooling and a note saying, “This is from the Lord, who knows all things. ” I was very moved. I knew only God could impress someone to do that.
Likewise, I do not know those of you whom God has used to make my education here possible, but I am very grateful to each of you. No human reward is greater than what God can give for each voluntary effort or sacrifice you make to support us. Your investment helps me and others to develop for better service. Your gift helps me to finish so I can return to my country and provide well-designed spiritual material, especially for youth. Thank you.

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Called to Teach the Bible

Aug 19, 2014

God chose Alexi to fill a great need in Venezuela.
by Kevin Wahl

“I was about to finish my health studies at Las Delicias Institute in Venezuela when the institute’s director told me about Hartland College,” shares sophomore Alexi Garcia. “He wanted me to develop more in the area of Bible, because Las Delicias has a big need for Bible teachers. After I graduated from Las Delicias, I received the acceptance letter from Hartland.”

Alexi chose to major in Pastoral Evangelism. “There is a great work to do in my country—teaching youth how to study the Bible and share it through their personal experience and walk with God. It was not an easy decision because I wanted to further my health studies. But after several prayers, God showed me His will. I received my visa and flew to America.”

What have been Alexi’s most important experiences at Hartland? “I’ve learned the importance of having a deep connection with God and how to have it, which for me is the substance of what being a Christian really is.

“I can say that for a foreign language student it is hard, but worth it. In less than one year I could speak English and understand my classes and the people around me. I appreciate the opportunity God has given me to learn in an intellectual, social, and practical way the lessons that will make me a better servant.

“Also, the testimonies of the staff and students, and how everyone is willing to help you in your spiritual experience, have taught me what being a missionary really is.”

What will Alexi do when he returns home? “I’ll teach Bible classes at Las Delicias, and help with their lifestyle center, farm, and outreach activities.”

When Hartland accepted Alexi, he received the opportunity to be a Missionary Training Fund (MTF) student. Could Alexi have come if it were not for the MTF? “No, because I have no way to pay for my studies since money from my parents wouldn’t be enough, as the currency in my country is much lower than the US dollar.”

Alexi concludes by thanking those who give to the MTF. “I’m very thankful for all the support you give to us, because it helps to spread the gospel around the world. I know that for each student it is a blessing to be here, but without your help we MTF students would not able to reach the high calling God has for us. Thank you so much, and I know God will give back what you have given to us—not just in money, but also in health and spiritual growth.”

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South Africa Calls Me!

Apr 2, 2014

Cwayita is training to spread the everlasting gospel in her homeland.

by Kelly Ostrom

“Because I believe God called me to be a Bible teacher and Bible worker back home in South Africa, I chose to take the Bible Instruction major at Hartland College,” says Cwayita Ntsikeni, a third-year student.

Cwayita loves the Lord immensely, and it’s evident in everything she does. Whether singing, giving a Bible study, working, or having an everyday conversation in the dorm, Cwayita allows God to shine through her.
Cwayita first heard about Hartland when a school friend invited her to a camp meeting in Botswana where four of the speakers were Hartland graduates. When Cwayita heard them speak, she was impressed that she needed the same training. A year later, Dr. Standish came with another Hartland student. Her impression to come to Hartland deepened, and she began looking for a sponsor.

By 2011, the Lord had given Cwayita a sponsor so she could start her first year at Hartland. But after a few terms, the sponsor was unable to continue and Cwayita had to go on a work-study program. Later, the Lord opened the way for her to receive support from the Missionary Training Fund (MTF) so that she could finish her course.

Canvassing and prison ministry have made the greatest impact on Cwayita’s experience as a Hartland student. “While canvassing, I’ve been able to pray and sing with people, share a testimony of the Lord’s goodness, give a small Bible study, or share an encouraging thought with the discouraged. Then finally, I’m able to leave them with truth-filled literature. All this brings so much joy to my soul!

“Prison ministry has been the best outreach for me. It’s the highlight of my week! To see the smiles, the joy, the excitement of studying God’s Word, and the impact that the studies have made with the inmates, warms my heart.” These experiences have given Cwayita opportunities to practice what she has learned in her studies.

Cwayita plans to return to South Africa to work from city to city, town to town, and village to village, training church members and doing Bible work with them. She has a heart for soul winning and helping to plant new churches, and she wants to get members involved in the work, too.

To those who give to the MTF, Cwayita wants to say a big THANK YOU. “The Lord has used you mightily in keeping me at Hartland. Be not ‘weary in well doing: for in due season [you] shall reap, if [you] faint not.’”
1 Galatians 6:9

Planned Giving Comes to Hartland!

Feb 25, 2014

New donation methods have been made available to our supporters.
by Staff Writers

“In October, we learned of a donor who would finalize a charitable gift annuity to benefit our ministry—but it needed to be finalized before the end of 2013,” relates Norbert Restrepo, president of Hartland Institute.
The time had come for Hartland to start to offer planned giving (PG) resources to its supporters. “These can include will and bequest planning, gift and estate planning, and charitable gift annuities,” explains Richard Reichard, director of Stewardship Ministries.

Richard had attended a Planned Giving Startup Seminar last year in June. Then in August, Hartland’s administration learned of Western Adventist Foundation (WAF). “Their commission is to make many PG instruments available to Seventh-day Adventist organizations, including Hartland,” Richard informs us. “We firmly believed that it would be in our best interest if we could utilize WAF to offer PG resources to our donors.”

There was a catch, though. “WAF requires the organizations they serve to document their commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist faith in their corporate documents,” shares Norbert, “so WAF’s attorney proposed two amendments to Hartland’s Articles of Incorporation.” Hartland’s administrative committee, bylaws committee, and board all voted in favor of making these changes.

Yet the proposed amendments to Hartland’s Articles of Incorporation still needed to be approved by its constituency. Just under the wire on December 19, Hartland held a special constituency meeting for the sole purpose of considering these amendments. The constituents unanimously voted, “Yes.” Planned giving has reached Hartland.

But what is a charitable gift annuity?

First, the term annuity means “…an investment that pays someone a fixed amount of money each year.”1 Charitable gift annuity refers to “a type of gift transaction where an individual transfers assets to a charity in exchange for a tax benefit and a lifetime annuity [income].”2 For one that benefits Hartland, there are three steps:

The donor gives cash or other property to WAF with a designation to benefit Hartland.

The donor benefits from an income tax deduction, and WAF pays him/her a fixed monthly amount based on the donor’s age, current rates, and other market variables at the beginning of the annuity.

The annuity ends at the death of the donor and their spouse (if included), at which time WAF transfers the remaining principal to Hartland.

If you are interested in investigating a charitable gift annuity, you may call Richard Reichard at 540-672-1995 or Jim Brown of Western Adventist Foundation at 1-866-365-5595. Richard concludes, “Planned giving resources will help us in the long run. With this, we are investing in the future of Hartland Institute—not merely in our immediate operations.”

1 www.merriam-webster.com
2 www.investopedia.com

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Knowing Himself Better

Feb 25, 2014

David has learned more about his own needs and the needs of others.
by Kelly Ostrom

“I first heard about Hartland from a friend about a year after coming into the church,” says Pastoral Evangelism major David Symons, who comes from South Africa. “I was still becoming acquainted with the inspired writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. However, despite my ignorance, this school my friend spoke about really intrigued me.”

David is able to study at Hartland because of the Missionary Training Fund (MTF). He says that had it not been for the MTF, he would not have been able to afford to study here.

David has learned more about himself and he’s been drawn closer to God.
“God has used this place to expose my real character weaknesses as never before,” David shares. “This might sound like a bad thing, but it is really a great blessing, for in knowing these weaknesses, I am far more prone to turn to God and ask Him for strength.

“Through my various experiences and interactions here, I have learned the importance of keeping my walk with the Lord simple and to sacredly guard the time that I have with Him in the mornings and evenings. Also, through Hartland’s nursing home outreach, I have learned that the best way to overcome a spiritual decline is to become actively involved in service. Oftentimes I would feel discouraged and want to stay in my room and sulk, or at more serious times, pack up and go home. However, when I would go to the nursing home, I would be encouraged to continue my course and draw closer to Jesus.

“Another important lesson that I have learned is that of balancing mental and physical work. God has lessons for us not only in the Bible and other textbooks, but in nature as well. When I have worked outside, especially on the farm, I have learned many precious lessons, especially regarding the importance of self-denial and our need of the Holy Spirit.

“When I go back home, I would like to train people to be as self-sustaining and independent as possible. I want to teach them how to study the Bible for themselves, make their own natural treatments, and cook their own, healthful, plant-based foods. I want to follow the inspired command, ‘Educate, educate, educate!’”1

To those who give to the MTF, David would like to say how grateful he is for your assistance. “My dream of receiving training here at this wonderful school would have been impossible had it not been for your kind, freewill donations. May God bless you greatly in return for your kindness to me.”

1 White, Ellen G., Tetimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 590; vol. 7, p. 132

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Preparing to Be a Media Missionary

Feb 25, 2014

“I want to use my media skills to reach people in Colombia for Christ.”
by David Castellanos as told to Kelly Ostrom

“Hi, my name is David Castellanos. I’m a Christian Media Management major from Colombia. I’m also an MTF student, meaning I receive help from Hartland’s Missionary Training Fund for my studies. My experience here so far has been a great blessing. Not only do I get to study subjects I enjoy, but I get to grow in Christ and serve God as I study here.

Hartland is a place where young people can develop both physically and spiritually to work for God. One of the most important aspects of my education here has been working at Hartland Natural Farm. There I’ve learned practical skills and have been developing my character. Taking care of the plants, sowing, planting, and doing the different activities required to produce a harvest have drawn me closer to God. I’ve learned that in order to produce fruit, we have to work with perseverance, sacrifice, and dedication.

Back in my homeland, I knew that God had a calling for my life. I first studied at Las Delicias, a missionary school in Colombia. I heard about Hartland College after I began working as staff at there. Some of the other staff members told me about this school where I could continue studying to receive a better preparation. I’m really thankful for the MTF because without this fund, surely I wouldn’t be here. I’m sure it was God who made this possible.

Hartland has made the difference in my life. The fact that I’ve had to depend on the Lord to be able to study here and to have my personal needs met has helped me to pray more, to search for God every moment, and increase my faith in Him. Hartland has taught me that the things that we have here on this earth, we have only by the mercy of God, who provides for our daily needs.

I have a great burden for the work in Colombia, especially for Las Delicias. I plan to return there to help with the educational program by teaching some classes and working in the media department, doing projects to help both Adventists and non-Adventists.

To those who give to the MTF, thank you so much for greatly helping us. You’re making it possible for young people from all over the world to prepare to work for God.

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Partners in Ministry

Feb 24, 2014

You make “Educating for Eternity” possible!
by Richard Reichard, Stewardship Ministries Director

At the end of a year, we often review the year gone by. My blessings included my first grandson, a new son-in-law, and my mother turning 98. A challenge for me was my father passing away at 97, but even in this there is the blessing of knowing that he is resting, waiting for the Lord to call him.

For my parents as well as my wife and me, 3 John 4 summarizes our desire for our family to the third and fourth generation. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

Hartland also purposes to see its “children” walk in truth. Hartland’s “children” are our college students, PVYBC campers, LEC guests, Last Generation readers, and so forth. Without you, fulfilling our God-given vision of “Educating for Eternity” would not be possible.

Two of our most important funds are the “Missionary Training Fund,” which supports worthy college students, and “Where Needed Most,” which fills the gaps, enabling other funds to do their job. In the coming year, I anticipate our being able to offer you Charitable Gift Annuities, which have a number of tax benefits for donors.

Some might not realize Hartland’s size and complexity. Having a college, youth camp, lifestyle center, outreach magazine, and more, means our needs are larger than those of ministries comprised of one person and a few support staff. Almost 50 staff members are necessary to operate this multifaceted ministry.

As I’m writing this, we just finished our fall graduation. What a thrill it was to hear how God used these young people during their internships! Henry helped with one evangelistic series but then preached two more series, in addition to doing all the other pastoral duties. The church chose him to be their pastor.

Debbie worked so diligently at a prominent lifestyle center that they told her, “We do not know how Hartland trained you, but we want more students from there.”

At a missionary training school in Europe, the administrators were so happy with Christian’s work that they selected him as their director. They said they could find no one more qualified or better able to communicate. Each graduate saw lives transformed for Jesus as a result of their internship ministry.

As we look ahead to the uncertainties of a new year, we can trust our loving heavenly Father to lead us. We will be able to accept the blessings and face the challenges so that our lives will glorify God. Thank you for enabling us to train young people to walk in truth and to turn many lives right side up for eternity.

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Unclaimed Promises and Unfulfilled Prophecies

Dec 8, 2011

They’re like gold bullion lying forgotten in a Swiss bank vault!

by Norbert Restrepo Jr.

Special promises and prophecies have been given for every age. When Daniel understood the Lord’s promise “to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem,” he cried unto the Lord in prayer asking for their fulfillment! Daniel 9:2. Nehemiah also cried unto the Lord as he recognized the unfulfilled promises of his age, and God opened the doors allowing him to be actively involved in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

When we read John’s letters to the seven churches in Revelation, we find wonderful promises offered to each of them. The blessings promised are based on the condition of hearing what the Spirit has to say. This hearing implies obedience.

The message to the church of Laodicea, the church or our age, emphasizes this opportunity of hearing Jesus in a special way: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. In fact, Revelation begins with a blessing for those who read and “hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3.

Today, as we are living in the antitypical Day of Atonement and Christ is finishing His redemptive work in the most holy place, we should cry unto the Lord and search the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy to see the promises and duties that apply to us. Then we should set ourselves to fulfill them. There are promises for us to claim right now—we must not wait till the Sunday law comes about.

God desires to make us a “spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9. Just as Nehemiah was an instrument in the Lord’s hand to bring about the restoration of Jerusalem, we can be His special servants in these last days. We can arise and rebuild the walls—the walls of biblical economy, true education, and Christian service. As we perform this practical work motivated by God’s love, the world will marvel. Our neighbors and community will perceive the love of God and the wonder of His law. Our message will have power when His promises are fulfilled in us and through us. Oh that we may experience revival and reformation!

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The Cure

Feb 1, 2009

Millions are dying without this vital substance.

If I told you of something that people lack so desperately that they are dying in need of it, would you be interested? And if you learned that you could help supply the lack to these dying people, would you be curious?

You might say, “There are so many things lacking in this world. We hear of food shortages in third world nations, of gas shortages in Eastern Europe. We hear of companies with deficits. Countries like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Thailand lack peace. All these shortcomings are so big. Where could someone as small as I help? What lack could I fill? Besides, with the economy the way it is, I’m beginning to lack things myself.”

And I would answer, “This need of which I write is not something like food or money, of which there will never be enough. There is no such thing as an infinite supply of food or oil, but there is an infinite supply of this mystery thing. For a Christian, there’s no excuse for having less of it even when the economy is plummeting.”

“Don’t keep me waiting,” you would say. “Tell me what this mystery substance is.”

The Bible says in Ephesians 6:20, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Unto whom? God, of course—the God of power and love, the God of our salvation. Notice the verse doesn’t say: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly when the economy is doing well.” Our God is infinite, unconstrained by the economy. He is the infinite Supplier who will fill us with power.

You ask, “But where do I fit?”

The last part of the verse answers this: “according to the power that worketh in us.” God has chosen us to be the channels of His mighty power—the power that can change the way you act, that can spark love in your heart for the unloved.

There is a world ignorant of the power of God to save. You can play a part in dispelling that ignorance. As you receive power from God, you will be empowered to share with those who are perishing for a lack of this power. The cupboards might be bare, the clothes threadbare, but nothing says that a Christian can’t have an infinite supply of the power of God. Do your part to fill this lack and tap into the power of God.

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