Fields of Faith: Randy and Beth Hlad Trust in God’s Sovereignty
When a farmer plants his crops in the spring, he never knows what kind of yield it will produce at harvest. He sows it with care and takes every measure he can to ensure the best result humanly possible. He has no control over the wind, the rain, the hail, or any other aspect of nature. Those things are in the Lord’s hands.
Randy Hlad (’79) and his wife Beth (Dickson ’80) have been farmers for most of their lives and are well aware of the peaks and valleys of the agricultural industry, the constant unknowns, and the good harvests and the bad. They have learned to trust God through it all.
“The understanding I gained at Faith Baptist Bible College of God’s sovereignty in all things can be applied to farming,” said Randy. “Just like planting the seed and waiting for the harvest, not knowing if it will be bountiful or not, you learn to trust God through both. He directs the outcome for our good either way.”
Randy grew up in Sylvan Grove, Kansas, a rural town of fewer than 500 people in the heart of the Sunflower State. Beth grew up in Everett, Washington, a bustling suburb of over 100,000 people 25 miles north of Seattle. Randy’s parents were alumni of Omaha Baptist Bible College. Beth learned of Faith through her pastor, Paul Mann, who was an alumnus of Faith and took her on an official college visit.
“Though I knew no one, I felt led by God and most ‘at home’ there,” said Beth.
Randy and Beth met at Faith playing round-robin ping-pong with friends in the cafeteria, then had back-to-back dates for the Sadie Hawkins Valentine’s Day event and a church Valentine banquet in 1979. They were married in 1980. They both appreciated the foundational teaching of God’s Word and the exposure to great teachers, speakers, and music while at Faith.
While the Hlads had their fair share of high yields and prosperous times over the course of their lives and farming careers, recent times have featured some difficult valleys. Within the last five years, the Hlad’s have experienced losses of jobs, friends, health, and family.
After 35 years in the farming profession, they had to give up the family operation and change their life profession. During that time, they also lost close friends who had to relocate for new ministry opportunities, and they suffered through serious health issues with Randy, who had five different medical problems, each requiring hospitalization and huge medical bills. Worst of all, they suffered the loss of a vibrant, fun-loving teenage daughter, who was unexpectedly called home to heaven. Jenessa (age 19 at the time of her sudden death from Septicemia, summer of 2015) was excelling in her college studies to become an athletic trainer.
“Praise the Lord she was a child of His and many lives were touched through her life and death,” said the Hlads. “Through all of these things we have learned much.”
The Hlads are active members of Beverly Community Church in Beverly, Kansas. Randy has served as youth group leader, deacon, and Sunday School teacher, and is currently serving as the worship and song leader. Beth has served in various roles with VBS, Christmas programs, ladies programs, and is currently involved with women’s home Bible studies and nursery duty.
In their free time, Randy and Beth enjoy time with their children, their families, and their five grandchildren, who all live in the state of Kansas.
Despite the trials of the last five years, the Hlads continue to focus on God’s goodness and His sovereignty and to place their hope and trust in Him.
“It is possible to experience God’s unfathomable peace in the midst of life’s storms,” said Beth. “God knows and loves each one of us so well and provides exactly what we need at the time we need it, though we may not understand what is happening and why. Even when it comes at the price of personal loss and sacrifice, He is forever sovereign and faithful, full of love and grace, worthy of our praise!”