Helmer and Belinda Lang

Missionaries Helmer and Belinda Lang join Pastor Walton this week. They discuss God’s leading through their early years, Bible college, and into the ministry.

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Episode transcript:

Chris Harper: Welcome to Harvest Time. My name is Chris Harper, and our host on this program is pastor Gary Walton, the lead pastor of Harvest Baptist Church. Every week we spend these 25 minutes together telling you the stories of our church by interviewing our members and other friends in the ministry. We’d like to invite you to join us at Harvest Baptist Church this week. We have 2 services on Sunday.

The first at 8:45 AM, the second at 10:45 AM. We have Spanish translation during the 8:45 AM service, Japanese and Korean translation during the 10:45 AM hbcguam.org. Hbcguam.org. This week, we’re beginning a new series in 2nd Corinthians 8 and 9. It’ll be a 4 week series.

Let’s begin today’s Harvest Time by welcoming Pastor Gary Walton. Hi, Pastor.

Gary Walton: Hey. Hafa adai, Chris. It’s good to be back with you. And, yeah. We’re looking forward to this Sunday kicking off just a 4 week study and 2 chapters in the book of second Corinthians.

Chapters 8 and 9 are talking about the, early church across Macedonia and their sacrificial giving on, behalf of the church in Jerusalem. And it just gives us a lot of principles about, what, God has called us to as a church and the generosity of our lives, how we help each other, even how churches help each other. And we’re we’re actually beginning our church, Harvest Baptist Church, has just voted to begin a little building project to add some fellowship space on the front side of our, of our worship center, our auditorium. And over the next month, we actually are going to be talking about investing in ministry has to say about the generosity of God’s people and the joyfulness with which we have the privilege to give. We’re just gonna walk through the scriptures on those topics, and I think it’s gonna be, you know, helpful.

And we do invite you to come. If you don’t have a church home and you know that you just wanna be some place where the Bible is being taught, that’s what we’re trying to do at Harvest and, that’s what we’ll do during these weeks. We’re just gonna walk through the scriptures and teach them hopefully practically and helpfully, and hear what God has to say about our lives. So, we would invite you to come and join us. Well, I’m really glad to have with us 2 very special people to us here at Harvest.

Pastor Helmer, Lang and his wife Belinda have been friends of harvest and really part of our family for so many years. So I wanna welcome you back to, Harvest Ministries, but particularly back to, Harvest Time. Welcome to you guys.

Helmer Lang: Thank you, pastor. Thank you.

Gary Walton: We are just finishing up. In fact, as you’re listening to this, we’ll have just completed our missions conference at Harvest where we have the privilege of thinking about and considering again God’s call on the church for the main purpose of what we’re called to do and the mission that we’re called to do for missions. And then connected with that, we have this conference or we call it a retreat for our, Harvest Baptist Bible College students called the Freshwater retreat where, are the missionaries that have been here for our conference then are, serving and teaching and communicating with our students. And so, as you are listening to this, this weekend, we’re just coming off that week and pastor Lang and and Mrs. Lang have been here for those conferences, and we want to make sure that we got them, on radio and get a chance to talk with you again.

Pastor Lang, you have been serving at, as a pastor of, Majuro Baptist Church for, you know, a number of years now. How many years have you been pastor there?

Helmer Lang: We went back there in 94. We started to work in that ministry. It is, Major Independent Baptist Church, But I was ordained to be the pastor in 2002. So

Gary Walton: I know that we just celebrated as part of our missions conference 30 years of your ministry, you know, there since 1994. And we’ll back up and talk about that in a minute. But we’re so thankful for both of you for your faithfulness there and the ways that God has used you, in that ministry. You are both HBBI, so Harvest Baptist Bible Institute graduates. In fact, Pastor Lang, you were in the first graduating class back in 1992, I think.

Is that right?

Helmer Lang: Yes. That’s correct.

Gary Walton: Well, I want to hear about that. In fact, maybe we’ll get some stories about your time, as Bible college students. But let me back up before that, and ask you both about your spiritual story, about how you came to know Jesus and how God worked in your life. And, pastor, maybe you could start. You grew up, in the Marshall Islands.


Helmer Lang: That’s correct. Yeah. The island called Arno. And then after high school, I went to, Palau, a trade school for about two and a half years. And then and that’s where I got saved, through a mission work, by, pastor, missionary Carl Lyman.

And he’s the one who led me to the Lord and then, gave me the opportunity, opened the opportunity for me to come with several young men that already, were already been at HBBI. Well, those were the initial, stages of starting the Bible Institute. So there were 4 of us, 5 of us rather.

Gary Walton: In that first class. Yeah. Yeah. So when you were in Palau, going to trade school, you thought you’d finish school, have a trade, go back to, Marshalls and have a job. What is it that drew you to the, you know, to the message of the Bible and to the gospel?

Helmer Lang: Well, we have this, fellowship that, you know, that pastor Lyman, you know, would come to the school and take us for fellowship, Friday night, Sunday’s services. And it was through this, the gathering, the fellowship that I was drawn to. But you must understand, when I left the Marshalls, you know, I had, you know, I grew up in a Protestant church, and I did not want to be, tied to that. I as a young man, I wanna go out and enjoy life, what the world has to offer. And basically, to try to live in sin is really what I was Yeah.

Pursuing going to, Palau. But then, the roommates that God hooked me up with were going into the fellowship. You know, they would come every Sunday and Friday nights and they say, let’s go to church. And, you know, as an islander, go to church is a good thing. So I went and the Lord spoke to my heart and I gave my life to the Lord.

So that’s how it started.

Gary Walton: What changed for you then? I mean, you’d grown up religious

Helmer Lang: Mhmm. You know Protestant.

Gary Walton: What what did you feel like you were missing, and and what did you know now that really caused you to change?

Helmer Lang: Well, for me, I understand the Bible because we go to Sunday school. We understand all of that. Right. But he spoke, directly, that I can’t remember that message. But Yeah.

It it’s about, you know, where will you spend your eternity? Because there are only 2 options. And I understood the Bible says either heaven or hell. And that, that particular morning, the Holy Spirit just kinda got a hold on my heart. Mhmm.

Do you truly wanna go to hell? Mhmm. Because it could be and he mentioned the fact that this could be any moment.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

Helmer Lang: And so that got my attention. I said, lord, I’m I want to give my life to you, you know.

Gary Walton: Amen. Mhmm. It’s pretty amazing to think about how a whole direction of your life can change just in a moment, you know, in a moment.

Helmer Lang: Yeah.

Gary Walton: And, you know, you’re heading one direction. God stepped in. You can tell there was no coincidences in who your roommates were and where they were going, and God changed your whole life.

Helmer Lang: Yeah. That decision really surprised me because I wanted to go the different direction. Yeah. Even to this day, I am surprised with that decision.

Gary Walton: Yeah. What God has done. That’s great. Yeah. Belinda, what about you?

Tell me about growing up and your spiritual story.

Belinda Lang: My, spiritual story? I I grew up in a, like, religious home. My dad was a preacher for the Protestant church on the outer island. So, when I was 15, I was sent to Palau for a boarding school for girls. And so, I you know, every day you go to church, you hear the gospel, and I thought I was perfect.

I was good. I don’t need Christ. But then in that high school, for the girls, like, they will bring in a preacher to talk to us. So one time, they invited I don’t remember his name, but he came and he was preaching, and then at the end of the office preaching, he said, don’t think that you’re a preacher, daughter, or in you’re on your way to heaven. And that really hits me because I thought, oh, I’m okay because I’m I go to church every day.

So that’s when I realized that I even though I grew up in a Christian home and I go to church, I still was on my way to help because I don’t have Christ in my heart. So that’s when I I knew that I need Jesus. I gave my heart to him.

Gary Walton: Amen. And you guys didn’t know each other in Palau. Right? You were there a few years after?

Belinda Lang: Yeah. I that was high school, but he was in the college.

Gary Walton: Okay. Okay. And then Belinda, how did you, how did you end up coming to harvest?

Belinda Lang: That’s a funny story too because my dad came for my high school graduation. But during, after I got saved, I gave my heart to Christ. I the lady, one of the teachers said, you have to write a journal. And so I wrote in my journal. I said, I will I want to serve him.

So but then I forgot all about it, and my dad came for my graduation. So when he came, it just started, and it was they were on news on the news, Pacific Daily News, and he saw it, and he recognized a girl. And so

Gary Walton: You mean Harvest just started?

Belinda Lang: Not Harvest, but the college. Okay.

Gary Walton: Okay. The college. Yeah.

Belinda Lang: Yeah. So maybe, like, a year after.

Gary Walton: So he saw it in the paper?

In the PDN that the Harvest Baptist Bible Institute had started. Oh, I hadn’t heard this. Wow.

Belinda Lang: Yeah. And so we came together and he said he asked me to stay. And I said, no. I need to go home. I miss my mom so much.

And so I left, and then he came and he said, you are going to this school? I said, no. I don’t want to. Because I wanted to go to, Pohnpei because, we took a test. So I kinda pass it, and they they said, they will provide everything.

Wow. They got a ticket. Yeah. And so, he told me, no, you are going there. But then I recalled my journal and I said, you know, I asked the Lord to use me, but now I want to go to a public college.

So the Lord kinda used my dad to show me where to go.

Gary Walton: Yeah. So I hadn’t heard that before. Wow. That’s great. Your dad hadn’t heard of the Bible College before then?

Belinda Lang: No. I didn’t. He he saw it on the newspaper.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Oh, wow. That’s really interesting. Pastor Helmer, what about you? How did you, end up coming to HBBI?

Helmer Lang: Well, pastor left there to leave, I think a year or 2 before I came here. And he had already talked with the other guys and directed them here. And he said, if you wanna go to, Guam, to this Bible Institute, I can connect you with them. And, I said, okay. Let me think about it, because I also had wanted to come I was about to finish.

I wanted to come to the University of Guam Mhmm. You know, the next step up when, but the Lord worked in my heart and said, you need to go to this school. So, and so I told him that I was I want to come here, and so he worked with pastor John Lewis to have me come to this to this school. So

Gary Walton: Yeah. And I mentioned this earlier. Pastor Helmer was in the 1st graduating class, 1992, which is, really fantastic. And, did you know when you came here whether you hadn’t really sensed that you were called to preach, you just wanted to study the bible? Or did you think you might?

Helmer Lang: Interestingly, I even growing up, I knew that I just here and there kind the Lord kind of impressed on my heart that I would be a preacher, and I tried to deny that. I was not saved, but, you know, you know, the Bible says God has called us from our mother’s womb and there was a sense in me that I knew I was going to be a preacher. And even when I just, you know, was gonna I made my decision to come here I said, really, Lord, I don’t want to be a preacher, you know. I got saved, but I really don’t want to be. But, you know, just the lord worked through it all for me to come here.

Yeah. And so

Gary Walton: But, Linda, you said you didn’t really wanna come at first. So how long did it take you once you got here to feel like, oh, this is this is good. I’m at their good I’m at the right place.

Belinda Lang: Maybe the 2nd year that I was Yeah. Here, that’s when because when I took the application to fill out, I just, write it so just to please my dad.

Gary Walton: Sure.

Belinda Lang: And so I I came here, and then when I got saved, I didn’t get, baptized. So when I came here, that’s when I got baptized. And so the 2nd year, I felt at the lord. And I know that the lord will use me.

Gary Walton: Yeah. What was the hardest thing about coming to the bible college for you? What was the biggest adjustment for you of being here at harvest?

Belinda Lang: To live with, girls that you have you came from, like, different background. Yeah. Yeah. And, and to, you know, be communicate with people in, like, English. Mhmm.

So Still that’s the hardest.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Still true today. I mean, it’s true of any college, but I think particularly you end up in a room. Ultimately, it’s awesome, but originally it’s hard because you get people from different cultures, different islands, different languages rooming together. And, eventually, it’s one of the things that I love about HBBI and HPBC is that family does form here.

It genuinely is your Harvest family that you graduate together with, but it doesn’t always start out that way. There’s some adjustments. So, you left here, pastor Lang. Well, actually, I wanted to ask you guys, god brought you together and, as you started to think about marriage together, did you know Belinda, let me ask you this specifically. Did you know already that you that your your future husband might be going to Majuro?

And what did you think about that? Or maybe you didn’t even know that yet.

Belinda Lang: No. I didn’t. Okay. Well, he was like a friend. Like, we didn’t really date, but then he, called me one time, and he said he has the pastor and everybody that he he wanted to take me out.

So we started dating.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Belinda Lang: And the each, proposal was like, will you marry me? But do you wanna come to the Marshall with me?

Gary Walton: It was together. Yeah. It was the same. And you said yes. Yes.

Belinda Lang: Or well, not I said if my dad said Oh. Agree, then we know it’s of the Lord. Uh-huh. But if he doesn’t, then we’ll just say goodbye and

Gary Walton: Wow. Very good. Yeah. And all these years later, God has, brought you together and given you this ministry, together in Majuro. And, you have 2 children.

Both now are graduates of HBBC.

Belinda Lang: That’s right.

Gary Walton: Brittany and and Elmer, Jonathan. We’ve been so privileged to have them here. It’s really cool to have them second generation students that would come through now and graduate from here. Pastor, tell me a little bit about the ministry in Majuro. God’s really done a good work there over the years.

Helmer Lang: Yeah. So we went there first, as, I guess radio workers, and that’s where we started. And then I, started with the youth. And so the work there right now is a combination of the church, the school. We have a school.

And, it’s good to have this ministry, knowing

Gary Walton: It’s Majuro Baptist Church Academy?

Helmer Lang: Majuro the school or the

Gary Walton: The school.

Helmer Lang: The school is Majuro Baptist Christian Academy.

Gary Walton: Majuro Baptist Christian Academy. And quite a few students. 300 over 300 students there.

Helmer Lang: That’s correct.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Great.

Helmer Lang: Mhmm. And, and we were looking at pictures, just recent pictures of, students that have graduated and come back and work in our ministry and part of our ministry. And for the school, we have 12. There’s 12 of us

Gary Walton: Wow.

Helmer Lang: Including the 2. And then f of them, it’s 22.

Gary Walton: So 22 for total staff?

Helmer Lang: Yeah.

Gary Walton: Okay. And 12 of them are HBBC Yes. Graduates? That’s great.

Helmer Lang: And the rest are from the church. So,

Gary Walton: Yeah. As you see the next generation of the church in the islands and maybe particularly in the Marshalls, what would be some of your burdens?

Helmer Lang: Well, there is 30 other atolls and 3 islands and, I like to see my burden is that all these islands have a ministry to reach out to. And you know as is now, you know, the fields are wide onto harvest but the laborers are few, even with the needs of, young men, and ladies to go out, reach out into the communities, out there. So that is my burden. I like to see that each island will have a pastor or some leader that can be able to reach out.

Gary Walton: I’m burdened for that too. We share that burden with you that that the gospel will grow in each one of these places. There’d be a place where they can hear about Jesus and and know him. Time goes so fast. We’re actually running out of time here, but I maybe I can ask you one more thing.

One of the things we are very passionate about here at Harvest is is discipleship. We think the Bible’s called us to this, and, it’s been the fruit of our ministry now for a number of years. Could I ask you both, who who in your life has been a primary mentor for you that’s influenced you spiritually? Could you tell us who that is? And then what is the you know, if you could say one thing about them that had the is the reason why they were such a significant influence on you?

Helmer Lang: Well, for me, I I can, identify 3 people. The one that led me to the Lord, that the second one that built on that foundation. So one that led me to the Lord is pastor, Carl Leiben. And one that built on that foundation is pastor John Lewis. And then the one that direct me and anchored me down in the work, the ministry is Pastor Stanley Klein.

Belinda Lang: Mhmm.

Helmer Lang: So 3 missionary, pastors, 2 of them missionary pastors

Gary Walton: Anything that you would say in common with the 3 of them that you saw in their lives that was so impactful?

Helmer Lang: They they did so much for me, but, I I guess is their love for the Lord. Uh-huh. Love for the Lord. You know, you come to the islands, you sacrifice a lot, being an American from the states and they were here. They were out here.

God’s perfect time, they were willing to do it because of their love for the Lord. Amen. That’s all I can say.

Gary Walton: Amen. I love that. Yeah. I love that. If our love for the Lord would be seen by others

Belinda Lang: and

Gary Walton: that they would love him too.

Helmer Lang: Yes.

Gary Walton: That’s a great testimony. Belinda, what about you?

Belinda Lang: For me, I cannot, like you said, there’s, like, there are some people that they that I could really think of them right now, but, I would say my husband because he’s the only friend that I have. Being on highway from, like, home.

Helmer Lang: Yeah.

Belinda Lang: Excuse me. Well, I don’t have anybody, and I get discouraged sometimes. I want to quit and give up, but he’s always there to pray for me and encourage me to go.

Gary Walton: Amen. Thank you for sharing that, Belinda. That’s a blessing to me. And, thankful for God’s wisdom in putting you 2 together and, allowing you to faithfully serve him. We are thankful for your ministry.

You’re an encouragement to us as you’re here, before our students. We want our students to see and know your faithfulness to God and how God has blessed that over the years. And, we’re so thankful for that. Thank you for being faithful to him. Thank you for being faithful to each other and loving God’s church and loving his word.

We’re blessed by them.

Chris Harper: And thank you for listening to Harvest Time. At this point in the program, we always wanna invite you again to services at Harvest Baptist Church. There’s a service at 8:45 AM and 1 at 10:45 AM every Sunday morning. We have Spanish translation at the 8:45 AM service, Japanese and Korean translation for the 10:45 AM service. That service you can hear live here on 88.1 FM and khmg.org.

We really hope to see you this Sunday. Thanks again for listening to Harvest Time.

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