Those who attended the HBBC Friendship Banquet were treated to a relaxing lunch this year. Special music by our students, delicious food and even a photo booth were enjoyed by all. Pastor Joe Baldwin spoke from Ephesians 4 and challenged all to “walk worthy of the vocation you have been called to.”
Take a look at some pictures from this recent event.
During the Christmas season, many often feel so busy that they miss the real reason for the season. In Bethlehem, the innkeeper’s wife was surrounded by the responsibilities and busyness of her inn that she missed the very first Christmas at her doorstep. This past Sunday morning, December 13, the students of Harvest Baptist Bible College took time to help everyone refocus on what is truly important at Christmas and all year long through a presentation of song and drama entitled “Adore Him.” The annual Christmas presentation by HBBC has become a highlight of the holiday season at Harvest Ministries.
To many, Monday, October 19th (thanks to the Columbus Day holiday) was a day of rest and relaxation with a day off from school or other activities. But for the students of Harvest Baptist Bible College, Monday held an entirely different meaning–an exciting, monumental, fun-filled meaning–as it was the second day of HBBC Spirit Days. Starting on Sunday evening and continuing on into Monday, the HBBC students were divided into four teams who then competed against each other in all sorts of crazy games. Spirit Days also included breaks for delicious food as well as a time to take in spiritual food with a challenge from the Word of God. Although the competition was intense, the camaraderie among the students was even stronger as cheers and laughter rang out across the campus. If one of the goals of Spirit Days was to encourage a spirit of friendship and unity amongst the students, then this year’s Spirit Days was definitely a success!
Each year, a number of new students from across Micronesia travel to the island of Guam to be a part of Harvest Baptist Bible College. For many, the journey could give them many reasons to fear. Leaving family and friends and traveling to an unknown location where they will meet strangers and undertake the difficult task of beginning college can be difficult for anyone. In order to make the transition just a bit more easy, Harvest Ministries hosts an HBBC Adoption Fellowship where many families at Harvest “adopt” these students into their families. Once “adopted,” the students have the opportunity to be a part of their new family for the whole year and perhaps even for their entire time in college. The word “adoption” during the HBBC Adoption Fellowship does not mean that the students are officially a part of a new family, but for all intents and purposes, the students become just as much of the family as the “Mom,” “Dad,” and “kids!” From this point forward, the “adopted” students now have a loving family who will invite them to their home and look after them on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon to see the HBBC students join their new families for meals, shopping, holidays, and more! An added benefit of the adoption process is that families and students from different cultures, backgrounds, and locations learn to love and understand each other a little bit better. As a result, love for the Micronesian culture grows as does the burden to assist the students as they prepare to return to their islands to share the love of Christ with others back home.
Born in Chuuk, raised in Saipan, and educated on the island of Guam, Tisaleen Hernist–who goes by the name Tisa (“Teesa”)–is a perfect example of how the ministry of Harvest Baptist Bible College (HBBC) is transforming the lives of students from all across Micronesia. Contrary to what some believe, not all of the Pacific islands are always a tropical paradise. Although you will find the sun, sand, cultural heritage, and flora associated with the tropics, the idyllic scenery and island lifestyle can sometimes mask economic and spiritual hardships. However, against the darkness and difficulty many islanders face, you will also find the light of the Gospel changing the hearts and lives of students as the ministry of HBBC prepares students to return to their island homes and become a beacon of Christ to an island desperately in need of a Savior. Tisa, an HBBC graduate who is now working on her master’s in education, shared her story with World magazine author Susan Olasky for an article entitled “Called to Chuuk.” Be sure to click on the link to learn how Teesa is ready and willing to face the challenges of working, teaching, and ministering on the island on which she was born–but of which she herself admits she was ignorant of the traditions and culture (due to growing up on another island far from Chuuk). You can also dig a little deeper into the backstory of Tisa and hear her story in her own words when you listen to “TheWorld and Everything In It” podcast (World News Group Membership required–trial membership available).
Jesus challenged his disciples to go into all the world and to make disciples of Him. The joy and excitement of preparing young people for this ministry is most evident during the graduation ceremony of Harvest Baptist Bible Institute, held recently in the auditorium of Harvest Baptist Church. Young people from all across the islands of Micronesia, who have traveled to the island of Guam for four years of education, received their diplomas and are ready to begin the next chapter of their lives as they return to their homes prepared to practice what they have learned at HBBC. Some will be teachers, some will be pastors, and some will work alongside others who are already hard at work training others to be disciples of Christ. During this year’s ceremony, Dr. Steve Pettit (President of Bob Jones University in South Carolina) shared the commencement address before each graduate marched across the platform, received their diploma and then were greeted by friends and loved ones with a larch assortment of gifts and leis, before returning to their seat with the flower leis nearly towering over them (a tradition during the HBBC graduation). The ceremony was not only a joy to behold, it provided strong evidence that the ministry of training young people to return home and further the Gospel continues to thrive at Harvest Ministries.
The wind and rain of Typhoon Dolphin couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the graduates of Harvest Baptist Bible College and Harvest Christian Academy as they attended the Baccalaureate Service on Sunday Evening, May 17th. The focus of the Baccalaureate service is always a spiritual one, as students are encouraged to remember what has been taught to them during their years at Harvest. During the service the staff members of Harvest Ministries, were acknowledged for their years of dedication and work; with some staff members being honored for twenty years of service. The yearbook dedicatees this year were Mr. Uri Schallhorn and Miss Tiffany Blum for HCA; and Mr. Kevin Inafuku for the HBBC yearbook. One student from each of the graduating classes was chosen to share a testimony. Michael Charley shared about how his own Mother’s testimony for Christ before she passed away is what ultimately led him to make a decision to follow Christ, come to HBBC and now be planning to go back to the outer islands of Pohnpei to give the gospel. Kristin Bower shared about her days of school at Harvest thanking the staff for caring about her walk with God and commending her own family for their spiritual support of her. The special service was concluded by a challenge to parents brought by Dr. Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University. Dr. Pettit challenged parents to pass on to their children values and vision, to know God and to serve God; taken from 1 Chronicles 28:9-10. It was an inspiring evening for both parents and students causing much gratefulness for the past as well as much anticipation for the future.
Photos, photos, and more photos–digital camera batteries and cell phone batteries were put to the test this Saturday afternoon during the 2015 HBBC Friendship Banquet. The Harvest Baptist Bible Students took advantage of the opportunity to dress up in their finest attire and took as many photos of each other as they possibly could. There were plenty of highlights to photograph–from the delicious feast of food, hilarious skits, and special music to the challenges from fellow HBBC students and beloved faculty member Pastor Don Eckert. An annual tradition, the HBBC Friendship Banquet gives the students, faculty and staff of HBBC time to enjoy a fun and relaxing evening together basking in the strong friendships that God has blessed and build over the year(s) at Harvest.
During the Sunday morning worship service at Harvest, the Bible College students performed the Christmas story, as told from Mary and Elizabeth’s perspective. The performance included the HBBC choir, some select musical groups and a dramatic interpretation of the Biblical account of the Christ’s birth. The student’s had put in long hours of practice, under the directorship of Mr. Kevin Inafuku, for the musical portions, and Mrs. Deborah Donton, for the dramatic portions. Their hard work and passion was evident in the performance, as many in attendance were blessed by the familiar Christmas story, told in a very unique and sometimes humorous way.