17 July 2023 |
Young Seventh-day Adventists in El Salvador are soon to have access to a local option for higher education, according to an article in the Lake Union Herald. Senior Pastor Ron Kelly of Village Adventist Church, Michigan, has been leading a series of mission trips, along with members from previous and current congregations and in partnership with Jack Cain of Reach Out Ministries to construct the country’s first Adventist college. Currently, those seeking Adventist education must travel internationally, often hundreds of miles, at significant cost.
Over spring break, around 153 missionaries connected with Village and Cicero churches converged at the Adventist Training School of El Salvador (ECAS), the country’s only Adventist boarding academy, to aid in construction. Utilizing ECAS as a basecamp, they have begun building the Orley Ford Mission College next to the academy, with works ranging from painting classrooms and laying blocks for the septic system to expanding the existing ECAS cafeteria and renovating parts of a boys’ dormitory.
The mission trips also offer opportunities for humanitarian services such as providing medical and dental care to students on campus and local community members. These experiences expose participants, particularly young church members, to the pressing needs of humanity, encouraging them to reflect on life’s priorities and share inspiring stories that can influence others positively.
Village Church associate pastor Dennis Page, the trip coordinator, emphasized that their mission philosophy transcends merely completing tasks rapidly. He highlighted the importance of fostering team spirit within the church community and promoting cross-generational learning through the act of serving others. This approach, he believes, not only nurtures personal growth and problem-solving skills but also enhances the broader church community.
“This creates opportunities for them to get to know each other, grow together through the experience of serving, and increase in knowledge of problem solving when challenges come along,” said Page in the Lake Union Herald article. “In the end, this benefits the greater body of the church.”