A new alumni project, Elim Lands, is equipping the next generation of medical missionaries in Dorcas’s homeland.
by Rachel Perry
I must get advanced training in a place that will equip me for my calling. The thought pressed continuously in Dorcas Akintunde’s mind.
After an Adventist medical missionary training center near her home closed in 2013, a few of Dorcas’s friends began praying about starting a new one. In 2015, God provided for the purchase of a property for the new training school; meanwhile, Dorcas, feeling unqualified yet wanting to help, applied to receive further training and experience at Hartland and was accepted. As her friends continued developing plans for the school, she and her fellow Hartland students helped to organize two mission trips (Lift Him Up and H.E.L.P Nigeria) to aid the progress of the young project. In 2017, it officially opened with two students.
In 2019, Dorcas graduated from Hartland College with a bachelor’s degree in health ministry and a fervent desire to return to teach at the new training school God had provided—Elim Lands Nigeria. Today, she and her husband Vojtech Ligenza are the directors of this growing ministry. I’ll let her tell you more about it.
“Elim Lands is committed to training youth in spreading the gospel through medical missionary work. Since 2017, we have trained more than 60 medical missionaries. Students are provided with opportunities to be equipped in many areas of life. Firstly, they are trained in vocational work (carpentry, welding, bricklaying, farming, tiling, and trading); secondly, they are trained in helping the sick to recover (using natural remedies, health expos, community health surveying, health education, home care services, and natural health food production); and lastly, they are trained in how to give Bible studies and better acquaint themselves with Scripture. “Year by year, we see the necessity of schools like Elim Lands. Unemployment in Nigeria is increasing daily, leaving the youth idle and useless, and later leading to an unhealthy influence in society. Our training school not only generates income for them through vocational training, but also encourages them to use all their God- given faculties to touch souls.”
Our Vision for a Lifestyle Center
In order to train medical missionaries effectively, a lifestyle center is needed so students can have hands-on experience in treating health guests.
“Our vision is to have a separate building for accommodating health guests, as we are currently using the boys’ hostel. This limits the number of health guests we can have, as well as the male students we can admit. We would like to stop telling people, ‘Oh sorry, the rooms are occupied; wait until we have a space for you.’ We can only take three patients maximum. Three rooms aren’t enough when there are hundreds and maybe thousands of people waiting to know Christ and His healing power. It saddens us that we cannot offer our services to many more people, especially knowing we have the human resources to treat more than three people at a time.”
Here is where the “Lord, Send Me” (LSM) program comes in. Through your gifts to LSM, Elim Lands can receive additional support and funds to help expand their ministry and realize their vision. Look for more reports on this project in future issues of Hartland Ministry Report. We are excited that alumni like Dorcas are active in ministry and have big plans, and we want to help them be successful. Will you join us in encouraging them by your prayers and gifts?
The boys’ hostel also houses one health guest, a treatment room, and a classroom/cafeteria.
|WHAT IS “LORD, SEND ME”?|
|Hartland’s stated vision is to have “alumni serving in every nation, supporting the mission of the Seventh- day Adventist Church to prepare the world for Christ’s soon return.” Part of our strategy to accomplish this is the “Lord, Send Me” program. In 2010, a vision was born to assist alumni wanting to develop their own self-supporting ministries. Many students desired to start projects back home, but without sufficient aid, they struggled to be successful. Since its inception, LSM has nurtured three alumni projects— Purelight Missions in South Africa, Santos Evangelistic Training Institute in Brazil, and Loma Linda Campestre in Colombia. All have transitioned into thriving affiliate ministries of Hartland College. We look forward to seeing many more, by God’s grace!|