As Hartland began, developing its health ministry was a top priority. Dr. Standish, the board, and the pioneer staff worked enthusiastically towards their vision of a medical missionary training program coupled with a purpose-built lifestyle center. The latter was to be fed from two medical practices, one in Hyattsville, MD, the other in Charlottesville, VA. To start the lifestyle program, four beautiful period bedrooms in the mansion, complete with four-poster beds, were restored for health guest accommodation and proved very popular. Whenever those were full, Dr. Standish willingly gave up his elegant office to accommodate extra health guests.
The clinics flourished, offering health counseling, lectures, and cooking schools as well as medical consultations to Hartland’s surrounding communities. The health majors were trained then, as now, to minister in the lifestyle program under careful supervision, and members of the faculty, including Dr. Standish, could often be seen walking with the health guests. At Hartland, health ministry started and continues as a campus-wide effort. The recent AMEN clinic held here in the fall of 2018 is part of a long Hartland tradition of staff and students working together to meet people’s mental, physical, and spiritual needs.
The opening of the Hartland Wellness Center in 1990 was a landmark in the development of Hartland’s health ministry. The excellent new facilities enhanced the expanded program, but it was always the human touch of compassion and personal interest alongside simple remedies, prayer, and the blessing of the Great Physician that reached hearts and restored health. When the Wellness Center closed in 2008 in need of renovation, the program continued changing lives in the home-like atmosphere of the converted women’s dorm. Today, with the renovation completed, we have a purpose-designed lifestyle center again, along with better classrooms for our health and midwifery majors.
Dr. Standish’s vision for Hartland’s health outreach went far beyond the campus, and with his encouragement, Hartland graduates have pioneered thriving health ministries on several continents. Hartland students often organize mission trips to train church members all over the world in the simple health practices they learn here. In turn, those church members reach out to their communities through health. So the ripples continue! Please pray with us that Hartland’s health ministry will keep on expanding until Christ returns.