Three young adults arrived recently in the Lansing area to help our church establish a health evangelism ministry that will meet people’s practical needs and develop their hunger for Christ. The three CROSS Trainers—Kimberly Agosto, Elijah Hartman, and Lily Schultz—will be here through May 2022. 

CROSS stands for Churches Reaching Out to Serve and Save. These young people are passionate about reaching out to our community and will receive additional training during their time in Lansing. They will train and mentor lay people in personal evangelism and health ministry and will help to coordinate our church’s efforts in those areas, while supporting themselves and making new contacts through literature evangelism.

The CROSS Trainer program is a joint initiative of the Michigan Conference Literature Ministries Department and the Lansing Adventist Church. Its purpose is to accelerate the Lansing Church’s transformation into an Urban Center of Influence for the mid-Michigan area.

“The CROSS Trainers will work in close partnership with the Lansing Family and Lifestyle Medicine Clinic,” says Dr. Kimberly Azelton, director of the clinic, which is in the pre-opening stages. “They will learn how to help patients from the clinic make healthier lifestyle choices and will direct them to the One who can help them live a wholesome life. The CROSS Trainers will then train church members in this important ministry that will help us meet the physical and spiritual needs of the Lansing community.”

The CROSS Trainers have already started their training in the core competencies of Gospel Health Evangelism, which include 

  • Lifestyle Cross Training and Partnering, 
  • Personal Evangelism, 
  • Plant-Based Cooking/Nutrition, and
  • Physical Fitness.

In addition to classroom instruction, the young people will gain practical experience under instructor supervision and will train teams of church members in the competency. This fall, they are working with the attendees of the Renové Health® program. Next spring they will help conduct Lansing’s citywide integrated gospel-medical evangelistic series with Chris Holland.

“Over the eight months of this program, these young people will learn not only the theory of health evangelism but also its application in the local church,” says Pastor Phil Mills. “By motivating, teaching, and mentoring local members, they will play a key role in establishing a long-term health evangelism presence among the Lansing area churches.”

Read on to find out how each of the team members came to be a part of this ministry and what they enjoy doing in their free time. 

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Kimberly Agosto
During my last year at SOULS West Bible College in Arizona, God called me to the CROSS Trainer program through a three-step process of conviction that showed me the importance of the health message we have in light of spiritual discernment and overall well-being. 

But why did God call me here to the CROSS Trainer program specifically? Because I am stubborn. And God knows that stubbornness projected onto a worthy cause is a powerful thing. So He brought me here to teach me how and where to channel my stubbornness so that I can be unstoppable for the gospel. And I have found a worthy cause. The total restoration of physical, mental, and spiritual. This is what will heal the brokenness of this world, and this is the gospel we are to preach as Adventists. 

God called me here to teach me to be unwaveringly stubborn for His gospel of total restoration, so that through this transformation, the power of the Holy Spirit, and Scripture, God’s people can have His character manifest in them, and thus we can bring an end to Satan’s kingdom once and for all.

For recreation I enjoy spending time with those I love. I often do this through going out to eat, playing board games, or just spending time together. The activity doesn’t really matter as long as it is bringing people together. I also really enjoy reflecting, especially on my own life. I believe it is reflection that brings us to a point of change. I want to see myself come to many points of change and growth this year through reflection.
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Elijah Hartman
For the past four years I have been pursuing pre-med studies at Weimar University in California. As graduation was nearing this past spring, I was considering what to do next. Though I had been accepted to Loma Linda as a medical student for this fall, several experiences during my time at Weimar were indicating that it would be wise to take a gap year between my college studies and medical school. After much thought and prayer, I began exploring my options.

One of the opportunities I came across was brought to my attention by Dr. Kimberly Azelton. She had given a brief presentation about the medical ministry effort which was about to begin in Lansing. She related that they were looking for several people to enter the CROSS Trainer program to help with the launch of this project. Though I had thought little about the presentation at the time, my new plan to take a year off made this opportunity more relevant. 

After contacting Dr. Azelton and learning more about the project, I applied and was accepted. I’m really excited about this endeavor and look forward to working with all of you to reach the community of Lansing through medical ministry.

For recreation I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and backpacking. Other hobbies of mine include gardening, programming, singing, and spending time with friends. There might be other activities which I would enjoy if you introduce them to me!
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Lily Schultz
My name is Lily Schultz and I am from Florence, Oregon. I am 22 years old and have seven younger siblings back home. I recently completed my B.S. in Natural Science at Weimar University, and I want to learn to combine the information I am learning about lifestyle medicine with the gospel message. I hope to attend medical school and become a physician. 
God opened the door for me to come to Lansing for the CROSS Trainer program this year, and I am very excited to be able to work in the church and the community! I learned about the program this summer and prayed that God would show me if it was something I should do. I wanted to spend a year in service for Him before medical school. God made it clear that this is where He wanted me to be, and I know He will bless. 
When I have free time, I enjoy hiking, especially in the mountains. I also find it enjoyable to garden and harvest. I love any opportunity to do things with my family.
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