Overcoming difficulty: Students hear about Mark Hine’s testimony during biweekly Dining with the Dean event

Dining with the Dean takes place at the Reber-Thomas Dining Center at Liberty University every other Thursday from 12:00-1:30 p.m. organized by the Dean of Students Mark Hyde, where students get to hear the story of a guest speaker.

Mark Hine, executive vice president for Student Affairs, spoke at this week’s Dining with the Dean by sharing a personal story of overcoming difficulty with the strength of the Lord.

Hine began his message by talking about experiences that occurred in his life, as well as the war between the spirit and the flesh.

On March 5, 1961, he sat in a church service where a man named Walter Oliver preached a sermon about Heaven and Jesus Christ.

Photo by Brooke Raz

“I was in first grade,” Hine said. “God was working in my heart.”

A day later on March 6, he arrived home for lunch and started crying.

“Dad said, ‘Son, what’s wrong?’” Hine said. “And I said, ‘I want to know this Jesus.’”   

Hine revealed that Oliver was staying over at his house and was seated in the living room. Hine told his father how he wanted to know Jesus Christ and go to Heaven.

Hine signed that date in a Gideon New Testament Bible. Eventually, Hine began holding Bible studies with his friends in hopes of helping them know that there is a savior. Later, his family moved from Altoona, Pennsylvania to Marietta, New York so that his father could work at a church.

“Life was good,”  Hine said. “There were four of us; I had an older brother, a younger brother and a little sister.”

However, on April 26, 1965, Hine and his brothers returned from school only to find out that their mother had passed away.

“She had been sick,”  Hine said. “We knew something was wrong, but we didn’t know what. I would later learn that Mom came home, drove her car into the garage, closed the door and lost her breath.”

Hine eventually expressed how he had a soft spot for those who struggled with depression and wished that someone could have helped his mother before she chose to end her life. Later, in his 30s, Hine began working at Liberty University and he admitted that he struggled with the same depression. “Two things that kept me going were that I knew it was a battle — that I didn’t want to do to my three children what Mom had done to us.” Hine said.

After selling his entire collection of guns, Hine read the Bible as he walked through the valley. This was how God would speak to him, help him walk forward and help him fulfill what he was assigned to do.

Photo by Brooke Raz

“I believe it was a spiritual battle,” Hine said. “There was certainly something physiologically going on with me, and it runs with my family on my mother’s side.”

Hyde worked with Hine and prayed for him when he heard that Hine’s son-in-law had passed away on May 4, 2021. Two months later, Hyde was on a hospital ventilator due to COVID-19.

“I remembered my own experience and how God showed up and healed me,”  Hyde said. “Dr. Hine would visit me in the hospital and pray for me. When he shared those moments of when he would come and visit me, it touched my heart because when he talks about how God is real and Jesus Christ is the most important thing, he means that.”

Hine concluded his story by acknowledging that we don’t always understand the ways of God. He said that God’s ways are not always our ways; however, God is trustworthy and will walk with us through difficult times.

“He gave us the grace every day to do what needed to be done,”  Hine said. “And we walked this path together as a family, but most importantly, with God.”

Amaro-Millán is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion

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