When 2022 graduate Madeline Hill was 13 years old, some missionaries came to her church to speak. “I remember sitting there thinking I would never have the boldness to share the Gospel with anyone,” she recalled. “I was really adamant about not doing anything missions-related and thinking the Lord would never call me to do that because I thought I wasn’t good enough for ministry work.”
Just a few years later, during her sophomore year of high school, she felt the Lord calling her into missions.
When Madeline graduated in December 2022 with her Bachelor of Transformational Development degree, she already had a jump on working in business-as-missions. She spent the last two summers interning with mission organizations in Macedonia.
“When I was interviewing for the position, they asked what I am studying,” she said. “When I told them about transformational development, they said, ‘That’s perfect! That’s what we do.’ My degree was perfect for their organization and working in business-as-missions.”
Madeline described her work as creating personal relationships with business clients, gaining their trust and showing them Christian love.
“They aren’t used to people genuinely caring about them,” she said. Blatantly sharing the Gospel can be a big turnoff there, she said. Madeline, instead, learned to say things to her clients such as, ‘My foundation is Christ, and I love Christ, so I love you too and want to see you thrive, both spiritually and economically.’”
The work was so fulfilling, and the relationships she built were so meaningful that Madeline hopes to go back and work long-term at some point.
Growing up near Houston, Madeline learned about UMHB from a high school friend. Even though she applied and got into three different schools, for reasons unknown to her at the time, she knew she was supposed to be at UMHB.
“I didn’t even come for a tour. I just trusted that this is where God wanted me,” she said. “When I found out about the transformational development degree plan, it was exactly what I wanted to do, but also confirmation about coming to UMHB.”