Estefanny was one of the first people that I “connected” with in the orphanage.

We met in the courtyard one evening. I believed her to be around 12 or 13 years old. We didn’t speak, but we began playing “volleyball” with a balloon as others played games around us. Her smile and playful laugh lit up the entire courtyard. The more we played, the more I began to realize that Estefanny seemed to have a slight mental handicap. We played for a while more and then went on our separate ways.

Every time I saw her after that evening, her eyes would light up. She would always do funny things to make me smile or laugh. If I was singing or playing guitar she would come over and pretend to sing along or she would pretend to be “conducting” an orchestra. She would laugh. I would smile back at her.

One evening at dinner, I attempted to capture a picture of her. She ducked down behind someone. So I walked over to her and told her (half in Spanish, half in pantomime) that I wanted to take a picture WITH her. She smiled and consented.

I sat with her at dinner that night. I attempted to communicate with her, but felt kind of inept – no, completely inept. After a few moments of awkward silence, she looked at me and said, “Do you like it here?” Kind of taken aback by the fact that she was speaking very clear English, I responded, “Yes.” “Why.” she asked. “Because it’s fun here.” She shrugged her shoulders. “No?” I asked. “Maybe,” she answered. We played games at the table, talked, and shared our favorite things. I found out that she was almost 18, but she was only a freshman in high school. As I observed her and the other kids from the orphanage, I began to realize why I had been attracted and drawn to Estefanny in the first place. She was the “black sheep.” She was the outcast, the lonely. As we were sitting at the table, someone threw something at her head from across the room. The look of hidden and suppressed pain on her face broke my heart.

The day we were leaving, I was sitting in the cafeteria when she came over to me. She was carrying her English homework from school. She laid a test down on the table. She had scored 107%, and she wanted to show me. I told her what I good job she had done. After a while she disappeared, but returned with a silver box. When she opened it revealed a beautiful art set that she had received for Christmas. She told me about how she loved to draw. I complimented her on the set. She disappeared once again, this time returning with a photo album. In the album were pictures of herself when she was a baby and throughout her childhood, pictures of siblings, friends, and even people who sponsor her. As I looked at the pictures, I came to the realization that Estefanny had lived in orphanages for her whole life – at least since she was still an infant. I asked her who her best friend was. She shrugged her shoulders. Estefanny had no friends. She told me that the other kids would single her out and refuse to let her be a part of their friendships. “But I say to them, ‘I don’t care,'” she told me. I found out that the only time she has “friends” are when Americans come to visit. My heart ached, knowing that I would be leaving in just a few hours. In that short amount of time, I witnessed several more people throw things at her, ignore her when she tried to talk to them, say (what I assume to be) mean things, or give her disapproving glares.

After a while, she disappeared once again. This time she came back with a clinched fist. “Give me your hand. Close your eyes. Do not open.” I obeyed. I felt her slide something over my hand and onto my wrist. When I looked down, it was a thin, green, rubber bracelet. I looked at her as she held up her arm revealing a matching bracelet on her wrist. “Friends,” she said.

When I told her that I had to go that evening, she told me, “No.” She told me that I had to stay there with her. I tried to explain that I had to go home. She understood, but it was still painful. I told her that I would come back, and to the best of my ability, I will keep my word.

I needed to go and finish my packing, but I asked her if she would come out and say goodbye when I had to leave. She told me that she would. When I walked out of the cafeteria, I didn’t know that it would be the last time that I saw Estefanny.

There are Estefanny’s everywhere. There are lonely people in our own communities. There are friendless people in our own backyards. You don’t have to travel to another country to find them. Be a friend to someone today. Love them. Show them you care. It might just make all the difference.

#lovewins #Mexico

Robby Lower, Mexico 2017

In class this week, we were talking about how graduate work is different from undergraduate.  In graduate work, the teacher said, the focus is on “critical thinking.”  The thing is, I went to a college [KMBC] that emphasized “critical thinking” in undergraduate work.  The class lecturer went on to say that graduate work requires us to learn to think and come to conclusions.  This was common in every undergraduate class I had.  My alma mater [KMBC] taught us to think, and I am thankful for that.

Brandon Edwards, 2015 Graduate

Most recently, I was privileged to be the speaker for the school’s 2016 Winter Revival. For the next six days, I observed what sets KMBC apart from most schools of higher learning. There is a sense of community. The faculty and students care about each other. The times of prayer around the altar and fellowship in the school’s cafeteria testify to that fact. The students have a sense of purpose. Most are studying full time ministry. The message of holiness is priority. This emphasis is the backbone of the school and has been throughout its storied history. Kentucky Mountain Bible College deserves … needs our support. They have mine!”

Rev. Lane Loman, Nazarene Evangelist

“I am so incredibly thankful for KMBC. Today [October 3, 2015], Elizabeth and I were faced with a challenge that, without the theological and Biblical training we’ve received here, would have ended in disaster. Our central beliefs, traditions, and our faith itself was brought into question by a young man at the Apple Festival in Paintsville. We felt led to talk to this man about Christ and it ended up in an hour long confrontation about the values and the corruption of Christianity. God definitely helped the both of us to stand our ground and defend His name even though we weren’t expecting such a discussion to arise. Because of the classes, chapels, professors, and ministries around campus, Elizabeth and I were able to speak to this man with confidence in Christ and give answers to questions I didn’t even think I knew. Without the amazing training from KMBC and the anointing of God, we would have been wrecked and so discouraged by what this man said to us and about our faith that we hold so dear. I am so grateful for the excellent training I have received at KMBC that has prepared me to intelligently witness, share, and defend my faith in this post-Christian culture.”

Alyssa O’Donnell, KMBC Senior

What a privilege it was to study at Kentucky Mountain Bible College! Giants of the faith taught us the truth of Scriptural Holiness and demonstrated it in their lives. I had been saved and sanctified and called to preach the gospel before going to KMBC, but it was there that God established in me lifelong principles in the life of holiness. Study of His Word and the life of prayer became my regular practice. God taught me the importance of daily walking with Him and seeking His guidance.

In over fifty years ministry I have kept in touch with KMBC and have recommended this college to young people, some of whom trained there and are serving the Lord in ministry today. We have included this training center in our will and have established a scholarship fund so that we can have a part in its world-wide outreach until Jesus comes.

Rev. Don SeymourChurch of Christ in Christian Union

There are many choices in life that we have to make. One of those choices is deciding which college to attend. After enrolling in KMBC as a freshman in 2011, I became aware that the faculty and staff were committed to teaching, preaching and living heart holiness. At KMBC God entirely sanctified my heart, and I began preparing to preach and teach this life-changing experience. Through the many classes, chapels, revivals, and campus jobs I grew closer to the Lord.

I was blessed to marry my sweet wife while attending KMBC. We received much support and guidance during this transition phase. The faculty and staff have provided the example for a Christ centered marriage. KMBC was foundational in preparing me for ministry, marriage, and so much more. I am truly blessed to have chosen a college full of people that believe and live the sanctified life.

Gareth Stephenson2015 Graduate

Kentucky Mountain Bible College is a great place to be. I recently had the privilege of going to a weekend youth retreat in another state. There was music and preaching and a lot of victories won over that weekend. However, the main thing it did for me was make me appreciate Kentucky Mountain Bible College more than I did before I left for the weekend. I have grown up in the holiness church under my father’s preaching my whole life. I never had to question whether the songs we sang at church or the preaching that took place were doctrinally sound. I was always able to absorb all that I heard, like a sponge. When I came to KMBC I had the same experience where I didn’t have to worry about what was being sung or preached; I could just take everything that was said and immediately apply it to my life. When I went to this conference, although there were some really good things about it, I was disappointed with both the music and preaching. Many of the songs were a bit shallow—all about love and bravery and grace. The preaching had ideas and concepts that were not Scriptural but were being preached as so. I left the conference being refreshed because I had gone to focus on God and He always comes through. More importantly, I came away very appreciative of the school that I attend. At
KMBC, there is a huge emphasis on singing songs that are doctrinally and scripturally sound. There is something so rich about hymns that make a soul get blessed. After all, they have stood the test of time. The preaching at this school is always on point. God has spoken to me at this school in ways that I had never expected to experience. He has completely changed my life and I am a new woman in Him. I give the Lord all the glory and praise and I thank Kentucky Mountain Bible College for being such a helpful aid in my spiritual walk.

Lauren Harvey2014 Student