Christian Figueroa grew up in the Seventh-day Adventist tradition, regularly attended church with his family, and understood Adventist beliefs. But it wasn’t until he encountered experiences at La Sierra Academy and La Sierra University that his own spiritual life and identity fell into focus.
The window into a deeper personal faith cracked opened during the first chapel service Christian attended when he arrived at La Sierra Academy. Later on, he was further influenced through the spiritual support and encouragement of his girlfriend, whom he met at La Sierra University. Then a religion class last year inspired a flash of divine insight, furthering Christian’s journey. He was baptized last June by La Sierra University Chaplain Jason Decena in an outdoor baptistry on the campus’s Founders’ Green.
A great story of service from a PUC alumna, Mary Johnson. Her first international mission trip to Mexico during her freshman year at PUC led her to change her major and marked a turning point in her life!
Since that trip nearly two decades ago, Mary has served on almost 70 mission trips locally and worldwide. She first graduated from PUC in 1999 with a degree in Spanish and later earned her master’s degree in education in 2001. After college, she spent a year as a missionary in Puerto Rico. Mary even took a year off during her career as a high school Spanish teacher to go on as many mission trips as possible. She went on 18 trips in just 13 months.
In Mentone, California, students have class in their own school garden. Before each class, the kids gather for worship and object lessons. Then they plant, pull weeds, water, and learn the health benefits of the food they plant. Since Mentone is conveniently situated in the middle of orange groves, students also help harvest oranges.
While the gardening class as it stands is a bountiful resource for growth and learning, some future goals are to expand the class so that students can learn to create an irrigation system for the garden, build a shed, and experience commerce by selling some of their produce at the local farmers market.
At Holbrook Indian School their farm was established with the focus of holistic education through sustainable farming. A part of that initiative is Garden-to-Plate, where students help to grow, harvest, and prepare organic, nutrient-dense produce. The food is used in the cafeteria to make delicious, healthy meals for the students and staff. And it’s also sold to staff members and more than 100 families in three local communities to help sustain the program.
Thanks to the generous support of donors, Holbrook now has a fully funded garden lab classroom! Daniel Nicholls, HIS agricultural director, has a dedicated space that helps combine instruction and practice for his students. Learn more at the links below: