The impact of your Missionary Training Fund donations goes far beyond recipients.
by Gillian Bethel
It was calm and quiet in the Hartland College library one evening as Indian student John Samuel studied. Yet within him raged a tempest of doubt. His past mistakes and current challenges made him almost despair of living up to his ministerial calling. But God reassured him: opening Joe Crews’ autobiography, John read, “How can He look at you and me and see anything worth saving? … We only know that He did. He saw through the rough and repulsive exterior and loved us for what we could become through His grace.”1 His courage renewed, John remembered how receiving sponsorship through the Missionary Training Fund had not only made Hartland possible financially—it had confirmed God’s calling on his life.
John chose Hartland because “it offers a Bible-based practical training.” The classes, relationships with staff and students, work, and outreach have all helped prepare John for ministering to his own people: “Our Seventh-day Adventist church in India needs pastors and evangelists, and I want to use what I have learned by theory and experience to be a laborer in God’s vineyard in India.”
The Missionary Training Fund has made this goal reachable for John, and he wants donors to know they are accomplishing even more: “By giving to the Missionary Training Fund, you are impacting not a life, but lives—which is far-reaching! Currently, I’m studying the Bible with 5−7 non-Adventists as part of my church commitment. When they accept the truth one day and become witnesses, we don’t know how many people they will reach. In December 2016, I was part of a mission trip to India where I taught Bible classes to local Bible workers and spoke to adults and youth during a camp meeting. I don’t know how many lives that mission trip may have impacted.
“All this is possible because you are giving back to God’s ministry what He has entrusted to you. I may not know any of you personally, but you have impacted my life and a multitude of others’ lives. You are making a difference in this world which reaches to the heavenly kingdom. Thank you so much!”
1 Crews, Joe, Reins on My Life, p. 6.