How HLI Redeemed Education and Equipped Me for My Journey


My HLI experience equipped me well for what the Lord had in store for me. It brought me closer to the Lord, taught me how to be bold in prayer, and really redeemed education for me. It helped me to solidify my identity in Christ and showed me how to stand on that and not fall for the lies of the enemy. Though I learned a lot while I was there, my time was not easy. But, it was definitely worth it. 

To give a little background, I lived most of my life with my mother who was abusive and neglectful and often made me feel worthless and wrong at the core. My father was in and out of the picture because he was heavy in addiction which eventually led to his death when I was 15. When I was 13, I moved in with my Aunt and she was trying to teach me something new, but I had already chosen hopelessness. When I was 19, I entered a Christ-centered care facility. In my time there I spent a lot of time looking deeply into the hurts throughout my life, and inviting the Lord into those areas I had run from in my early adult years. This was life changing, but when I graduated from there I knew the Lord wanted me to continue to deepen my knowledge of Him and grow in my ability to share that, and when a friend told me about HLI it just felt like the right next step for me.


Before going to HLI I had never been a part of a Vineyard Church. Things were very different from what I was used to, but the Lord showed me that He was able to work in ways I couldn’t even imagine especially when it came to our classes.  A big portion of the program was sitting through lessons and teachings. I felt nervous and intimidated by that at the beginning because I had a hard time in school, but almost everything we were learning I found fascinating. The Lord used that not only to show me I could do it, but taught me so much more. I learned more about the Bible and practical ways of sharing it. I also learned about how to teach, using tools to continue to grow in my faith, and what it means to walk that out.

 I was blown away with how much the Lord continued to show me through all the teachings. This pushed me in ways I never thought possible. It really caused me to look outside of myself and see the real needs that the people around me had.  I believe the Lord used HLI to prepare me for what He had next for me. I’m so grateful for my time in HLI and even though it was hard at times, it really grew me and equipped me for a life of serving Him in whatever way He’s calling me to.

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:9

Mary McKellick