The Robert Haskins School of Leadership (RHSL) graduated 22 students on June 1. While each student excelled, one student received high honors.

Ruth Villa is a wife, a mother of two, a hospital employee and the 2013 high honor award recipient. The award is given to students who maintain a 4.0 GPA after the completion of more than one diploma.

From left, Robert Haskins, Ruth Villa, Marta Caceres and Daniel Caceres, all celebrate Ruth Villa’s high honors. (Photo: Annie Scheffe)

After completing a degree in Christian Ministries, Villa felt God leading her toward a second degree
in Theology.

“I knew God would help me through this journey and make it all possible,” Villa said.

Villa trusted that God would teach her through her studies and grow her faith. However, when Villa made this commitment in obedience, she did not realize the challenges she would face as she began her second degree.

“In September, 2010, my husband was kidnapped in Mexico and we all suffered from it,” Villa said. “He didn’t psychologically recover until three months later. In the month of December, 2010, we went through a tough time as a family, but God helped us through it. In August, 2012, when I decided to take the last five classes online, I also started a job here at the hospital.”

These events wore Villa down, and at times she admitted she wanted to stop working on her degree.

“I would grow weary and tired from the rhythm I had in life and all the situations I encountered during this time,” Villa said. “But I learned to depend on God and to rest in Him, and I continued to give it my all until the end. I kept strong with prayer. God was the main source of my strength and willingness to keep at it until the end.”

In spite of her circumstances, Villa continued in her studies while working at the hospital and caring for her family. She overcame her trials by relying fully on God. With the help of RHSL, Villa took advantage of the people and resources God had placed in her life to grow closer to Him.

“God used everyone of my professors and all the text books I studied to learn more and become closer to Him,” Villa said. “I learned to seek God more, and during this time I felt closer to Him than ever. Now, I feel reassured that He is with me at all times and will never let me down. I give him all the glory and the honor in everything I do.”

Even in the midst of her trials, Villa persevered and overcame each challenge by praising God. Villa is confident that she could not have achieved her goals without God’s provision and strength.

Villa provides encouragement and advice for current and future students of Robert Haskins School of Leadership, “Never let the enemy get in your head and bring you down. Don’t ever settle for less in God’s work. The work you are doing now will help you greatly in your future and you will bless many lives!”

Robert Haskins School of Leadership is dedicated to training and equipping students to be leaders within their multicultural churches. To learn more about RHSL visit