Lord, Send Me Joins Hartland Alumni Affairs
It has been exciting to watch ministries like Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute (SETI) and Pure Light for Africa (PLA) develop. We appreciate the work Nancy Carmouche has done to start the Lord, Send Me program to help our graduates establish ministries in their home countries.
We want to bring you more uplifting stories of how Hartland graduates are working for God worldwide: whether by starting a school, giving door-to-door Bible studies, or by offering cooking classes to their local communities; whether they are full time self-supporting missionaries, working for the denomination, or are full-time mothers reaching out to others in their spare time; whether they minister in North America, postmodern Europe, or a third-world country.
With this in mind, Lord, Send Me will now be included in Alumni Affairs. Not only will you get updates on special trailblazing projects such as SETI and PLA, but you will also hear about how other Hartland graduates are making a difference for God’s kingdom around the globe. We hope these testimonies will inspire and encourage you to make a difference for Christ wherever you live.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all your prayers and support.
Pure Light For Africa
Olwethu’s Conversion __– by Simdumise Poswa, South Africa
Olwethu is a young man we met during the Gospel to the Youth Mission (GYM) outreach and evangelism training in the village of Kwelera, near East London, South Africa. From June 27 to July 5, Loago and I trained about 15 young people in outreach and evangelism. We covered topics such as God’s way of doing evangelism from the book of Acts, Christ’s method for witnessing from the gospels, how to preach, and how to study the Bible in order to give Bible studies. Each afternoon we went door to door for about three hours. On one of these occasions we met Olwethu and his friends smoking marijuana and other heavy illicit drugs. After sharing with them about Christ’s second coming, we could see conviction in their eyes.
“So that means we need to get ready so that we are not among those hiding in the rocks from the face of Jesus, right?” Olwethu inquired.
We then shared that only Jesus can help us get ready. We made an appeal for those who wanted to be ready for Jesus’ coming and all five of them raised their hands. Four of them signed up for Bible studies and they were so happy to get a chance to study the Bible. Who could have thought that giving a five-minute Bible study could yield such blessed results? We had not seen anything yet though.
“Brother Sim, see if you recognize the young man in the picture,” Andisa Mncunzwa exclaimed in an email three weeks later.
Andisa is the leader of GYM and elder of the Kwelera Seventh-day Adventist Church. Olwethu’s grandmother had called for Andisa to take Olwethu to church the next Sabbath. What happened?
“After the pastor’s visit here I cut off my dreadlocks,” said Olwethu. “I ironed my clothes, polished my shoes, and have been waiting for him to come again and take me to church.”
While we had left the village, the Holy Spirit was convicting this young man’s heart. Andisa has been taking Olwethu to church ever since that time. We thank God for His marvelous working power. Pure Light for Africa continues to work with GYM and the Kwelera church to ensure that a new church will be planted in the village of Gwaba.
This is one of the projects we have been working on as we prepare to start our training school. We are happy to report that renovations to the main house started on Sunday, August 17, 2014. This renovation process is expected to be finished in about a month. We are thankful for your hearty donations. Without you, we could not have started this work.
“When is the Pure Light school starting?” asked Nelie, one of the GYM training attendees. “We need more training like this to win souls to Christ.”
Our goal is to start training at the school in January 2015. We still have the side building to renovate, and we also want to build outside showers for the students. We also need equipment to start an agricultural industry as soon as we occupy the property. All this will cost an estimated $50,000.
Your generous gifts will help to answer the cry of young people to take the gospel to big cities and small villages like Gwaba. Young people are crying for this training. Will you partner with the Lord to answer this cry?
Reaching Out to Young Mothers in the Community_– by Denisa Zita, Canada_
My outreach experience with MOPS
Seven years ago, after giving birth to my son, I was approached by a young lady who lived a couple streets away from me, inviting me to attend a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at her Methodist church. Going there for four years has been a blessing and has helped me build a support group with other mothers that would understand the early years of mothering. Seeing this as an outreach endeavour, my local Seventh-day Adventist church decided to start a group in our town, under the umbrella of MOPS International, a well-known and trusted Christian organization led by women, which provides relevant growth-oriented resources for the mothering journey!
In September 2010, we had our first meeting. At the time I was the only mom in our church with small kids, so I knew that most of the women would have to come from the community. The first lady who stepped in the church on our opening MOPS meeting was a non-Christian, and she kept coming for three years until she went back to work.
Five to 10 church ladies volunteer to tell Bible stories, play, and do activities and crafts with the children in other rooms while the mothers have some time to themselves to enjoy a healthy snack and chat. One of the volunteers is not a Seventh-day Adventist, but she enjoys the environment and helping out, and she has showed interest in giving God another chance and has been invited to attend our church.
Besides two other young moms and me, the rest of the women are from the community and some of them are not Christians. We’ve had about 25 mothers coming to our group and while some go back to work, 9–12 mothers attend bimonthly during the school year.
When I first started this project, my focus was on finding the needs of the young moms in our community and building trust and friendships. Since they all come from different walks of life, they have different interests, but the goal of becoming better women and mothers connects us all.
As we watch short video segments about different challenges of motherhood and have discussions about the topics, I see moms growing in their experience and slowly changing in their demeanour and words. As the years rolled by, the MOPS video presentations have become more spiritual, which leads to deeper discussions. For the past two years I’ve made the decision to start and end the meetings with prayer. Some mothers are more comfortable about this than others, but they sense that there is power in prayer and for some reason they keep coming back.
We invite speakers on different topics, and do some creative activities, ice-breaking games, cooking demos, and even workouts. Since most of the moms have some kind of health issues, they are interested in how to improve their health. So, we’ve brought in speakers to talk about nutrition, balancing hormones, emotional health, and depression.
It touches my heart to see how the moms slowly connect with each other, open up about life issues and feel that the moms at MOPS understand what they go through and don’t judge them. They all have deep issues that they haven’t dealt with and by opening up and discussing, they find healing. We cry and laugh together. Many of them count the days and can’t wait to come to MOPS and have some adult conversation while their children are well taken care of in adjacent rooms. Some of them have attended our Forks Over Knives movie night, or a small cooking class. Others have brought their kids to Children’s Church, VBS, and Christmas programs.
Only eternity will tell the impact a mothers’ support group has on a mom. This year’s MOPS theme is “Be you, bravely,” based on Isaiah 43:18, 19. The moms will learn to look to the future and expect great things from God. I ask you to pray for these special souls. Maybe you could even start a similar outreach project in your local church. For more information about MOPS, please go to www.mops.org.
“Better moms make a better world.”
Make your contribution out to “Lord, Send Me.”
Write in the memo:
“SETI” for the school in Brazil.
“Africa” for the Pure Light for Africa project (or “Loago’s Stipend” to help with housing).
“LSM” for the general support of the program.
You may also donate using our secure website, www.hartland.edu.
_Melissa France Silva
Alumni Affairs Coordinator,
444 Hartland Oak Drive
Rapidan, VA 22733