Samson Fidimaye—a Seventh-day Adventist who converted from Islam while in his late teens—grew up in Nigeria. About a decade after his conversion, he trained at Elim Lands, an Adventist missionary training ministry in his homeland.
While at Elim Lands, he heard about Hartland College and applied to study Christian Media Ministry under Hartland’s Missionary Training Fund program. He recalls, “Both in and out of the classroom, in interactions with friends, in camp meetings and convocations, in the dorm, and in my practical training duties, Hartland prepared me for a life of Christlike service to others.”
After graduating from Hartland, on his return to his homeland, Samson married an old-time friend and ministry partner. Juliet is from a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist home and a graduate of religious studies from a private Adventist college. She is also an experienced seamstress.
So began Advent Family Missions, a comprehensive family ministry supporting the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria.
In September 2021, Samson and Juliet welcomed their first batch of students into their sewing and Bible training school. This entailed training students in dressmaking and having Bible classes and morning and evening devotions with them.
“This has been a vital component of our comprehensive family ministry,” Samson says. “I lead the Bible classes, devotionals, and Bible work. Juliet instructs in dressmaking and Bible classes.”
Already, three teenage girls have graduated. These young ladies were introduced to the three angels’ messages and learned in a few short months what average Nigerian sewing trainings teach in a year or more. Samson and Juliet also became friends with the girls’ families and visited their homes.
Further, since the turn of the new year, they have been hosting three young interns from Samson’s first alma mater, Elim Lands. The interns are taking sewing and Bible classes too. Samson adds, “We are also looking to incorporate some media and farming into what we are doing now. We are already taking steps to have a little farming industry and a Bible-based family radio ministry preaching the three angels’ messages. Media ministries are hugely successful in Nigeria, but this form of ministry is mostly lacking in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in my country. My media education at Hartland and internship at Strong Tower Radio in Michigan convinces me this is possible!”
God has been supplying their needs. Samson continues, “Last year, we had to deal with holding classes in a single classroom in a noisy environment at a shopping plaza. We also had just one machine and one broken machine, but we now have two brand new sewing machines and an industrial weaving machine. Despite the trials, God has been good to us and has been teaching us precious lessons of faith. Interest in our sewing and Bible school is growing rapidly in the community and other places, and we give glory to God.”
Besides teaching Bible in their training school, Samson and Juliet also study with individuals and families who have indicated their interest in Bible studies. “We need a vehicle to aid us in our Bible work, which has already commenced in the communities. Our current method of ‘jumping’ on bikes is neither the safest nor the most efficient,” Samson says.
Through the support of Hartland’s “Lord, Send Me” (LSM) program, the ministry now has a good five-acre property purchased in a nearby country settlement. The big picture is to develop the land to execute their ministry plans on a broader scale.
Through your gifts to LSM, Advent Family Missions 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 Samson 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?