Who could have imagined that three young people who all lived in Mongolia in the past would reunite, become friends, and graduate together at Highland View Academy (HVA) in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States?
Urnaa Uuaganbayar was born in the coldest capital city of the world — Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Her mother, Enhkbayar Mishigdorj, is one of the first Seventh-day Adventist converts in Mongolia and helped translate many of Ellen White’s books from English to Mongolian at the Mongolia Mission office. Uuaganbayar’s journey took her from Mongolia to the Philippines to Brazil before she came to HVA during her senior year in 2019. She is currently majoring in psychology at Southwestern Adventist University in Texas.
Bradley Banuag was born in the Philippines. He first met Uuaganbayar in 2002 when his parents, Dudley and Eunie, served at the Mongolia Mission. Bradley’s family moved from Mongolia to Arizona and then to Hawaii in the U.S. before moving to HVA in 2017, where Eunie serves as the school’s business manager. Bradley is currently pursuing engineering at Andrews University in Michigan.
Gabriel Orellana was born in Bolivia. He first met Uuaganbayar when his parents, Josue and Eveling, served at ADRA Mongolia from 2011 to 2015. Gabriel’s family moved from Mongolia to Nepal before arriving in Maryland in 2018, where Josue serves at the ADRA International office, located in the Adventist Church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Gabriel is currently studying biology at Andrews University.
“This is a testament to how God brings together nations, tongues, and peoples,” Eunie Banuag said. “God can use a small school to bring together young people from diverse backgrounds to be trained and prepared for His service. HVA continues to be a testament of the diversity of the family of God.”
As the class of 2021 — the new batch of future alumni — is ushered in, they also praise God for being able to witness for Him. This class includes a varied group of students representing Brazil, El Salvador, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, and the United States.
About Highland View Academy
Highland View Academy is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian day and boarding high school located in the hills of western Maryland, along the Appalachian Trail. It is a private co-educational secondary institution, part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world’s second-largest Christian school system. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.