Hartland’s French Pastoral Evangelism major, Thomas Estevan, grew up in an Adventist family, but at school he was taught that God did not exist. Church attendance in France is among the lowest in the world, and around 40% of the population are atheist or agnostic.1
In adolescence, Thomas began drifting from God, and he soon found himself facing a momentous decision: “I could go to university to study what I wanted and have the life that I wanted—but without God. Or I could decide to entrust my life to God and let Him lead me. I finally chose to give God the opportunity to save me from my own miserable life and work to redeem me.” He traveled to Colombia, learned Spanish, and attended Las Delicias.2 There he found a close walk with God and a changed life!
After this, Thomas wanted “to be an evangelist teaching young people who are lost and without real meaning in their life how to connect themselves with God.” A Hartland graduate suggested he should study at Hartland, and as a fleece, Thomas asked God to quickly open the way and provide the needed finances. When he was accepted and offered an MTF scholarship within a few months, Thomas knew he had his sign from God!
Thomas’ calling to be an evangelist to atheistic France has deepened since he came to Hartland: “I want to show young people that there is hope. There is a better life in which they will experience true meaning and purpose by living for a loving God who wants to save, transform, and use them for His glory. This is why I have a plan to establish a missionary school in France, where this goal God has put in my heart can be a reality.” The Biblical Apologetics class, especially, has inspired and equipped him to reach atheistic minds like those he encountered growing up.
Thomas recognizes that many MTF supporters are not able to go to the world as missionaries, while young people like himself are longing to go. “Many of us don’t have the resources to be able to study here at Hartland,” he says, “but you can make the difference. In giving to the Missionary Training Fund, you are laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” (See Matthew 6:20.) Thank you for helping young missionaries like Thomas to fulfill their calling!
1“Religion in France,” Wikipedia.
2 An Adventist college pioneered by the Restrepo family.