Health outreach opens doors and gives students a new appreciation for Hartland education.
by Andrew Hendrickson
“I wanted my friends to fall in love with missionary work,” says Daniel Miranda, a third-year pastoral evangelism major who led out on a recent trip to Peru. “I also wanted to see my friends’ faith being strengthened as mine has been on previous mission trips.”
Daniel chose Peru in hopes of improving local knowledge of the health message, the Three Angels’ Messages, and true education. Additionally, as he was leading his team of fellow South Americans, he hoped to encourage them to return to South America and support the work there.
The team of eight people—a ninth joined part of the time—visited 16 churches over a period of four weeks, splitting up into groups of two or three. They also conducted three health expos in different communities as bridging events.
“We made more than 300 contacts from the community,” Daniel reports, “which we were able to give to the local churches to follow up.” Local church leaders were very grateful and supportive. They saw this initiative as a stepping stone towards their goal of widespread health evangelism in 2015.
Through one health expo, the team was able to reach the mayor of Moro, Chimbote. The mayor enthusiastically provided a public place for the event, even making a radio announcement and providing an ambulance on hand in case of emergency.
“As you can imagine, much interest was aroused,” Daniel relates. “We had the greatest attendance there for our health expo. We were so thankful for the help, that we decided to use this as an excuse to reach the mayor for Christ.” They gave him The Great Controversy as a token of their appreciation.
Jennifer Sarria, a Christian media ministry major, taught cooking classes, which she considered a blessing in many ways. “Not only were we able to open doors and make friends, but we were also able to draw interest for Bible classes. We had the opportunity to teach Adventists and non-Adventists alike how to prepare vegan food, which was a beautiful experience.”
The team returned from the trip with a new love for missions and a newfound thankfulness for the education they have been receiving at Hartland.
“Personally, the mission trip to Peru was a blessing in every way,” says Jennifer. “It helped me see my education differently—not as a career for myself, but as a useful tool with which to help others. Everything I had learned at Hartland I found to be a blessing during the trip.”
“Praise God for the all-round education offered by Hartland College,” Daniel concludes.