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Home / News and Information / News - July 2005 / BPC students take gospel to Mozambique

BPC students take gospel to Mozambique
By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations

In three months’ time, Lyons native Kara Mixon has visited two countries to share the gospel ministry that she has felt called to study at Brewton-Parker College.

Mixon, the daughter of Emory and Monique Mixon of Lyons, and Brewton-Parker junior Stephen Sweezey of Lindale spent one month in the southeast African nation of Mozambique, which is considered one of the world’s poorest countries but trying to recover from years of civil war.

Kara Mixon, a Brewton-Parker College senior from Lyons, teaches an English as a Second Language class to students in Mozambique during a four-week mission trip in June that was sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Student Union. Stephen Sweezey, a Brewton-Parker junior from Lindale, also participated in the mission trip.

Mixon and Sweezey spent two weeks each with two couples of missionaries assigned to Mozambique through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Their trip was sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Student Union and included two other Georgia students, Benjamin Long of Armstrong Atlantic State University and Jennifer Sellers of the University of Georgia.

“Students from BSU’s around the state of Georgia raise money to send other students through the summer missions program of the Collegiate Ministry Department at the GBC,” said Glenn Wallace, campus minister and BSU director at Brewton-Parker.

“It is a blessing to be a part of working with students, like Kara and Stephen, who are willing to sacrifice their summer break in order to the follow the call of our Lord, even if it takes them as far away from home as Mozambique.”

In March, Mixon was one of Brewton-Parker six students who went to the former Soviet republic of Belarus, where they worked side-by-side with Belarusian students.

The Belarus trip was arranged through Bob Hartman International Ministries and organized at Brewton-Parker through an Apologetics Practicum course led by Dr. Hal Ostrander, chair of Brewton-Parker’s Division of Religion and Philosophy.

Mixon and Sweezey – who spent his spring break on a Brewton-Parker BSU-sponsored mission trip to Nicaragua – are the fourth and fifth Brewton-Parker students since 2001 to serve as Georgia Baptist summer missionaries to Mozambique.

They and their two other Georgia companions stayed the first two weeks with Brian and Becky Harrell in Nacala, which is just a few miles from the coast of the Mozambique Channel, and the second two weeks they were based in the coastal village of Angoche with missionaries Harvey and Jenifer Sparks.

In Nacala, Mixon assisted Brian Harrell, whose job with the IMB is to develop leadership in the village and the province, by organizing a children’s program that included playing soccer in the morning and teaching the youngsters tug-of-war. They also introduced the Mozambicans to bowling and Frisbee.

“We had 300 people, mostly children and youth, but we also had some adults who attended,” said Mixon, adding that they had a youth program one time each week. “Steven and I did ours on purity, which they really don’t value,” she said, noting that youth could be classified as anyone age 13 and up, even to 27 in some cases.

Mixon and Sweezey’s activities with the Harrells were not restricted to staying in Nacala, however, as they ventured into the bush lands. They made a three-day trip to the village of Memba, where they shared Bible stories to about 25 leaders from eight churches in the province.

Farther south, they visited the village of Larde, where a new church had been built in one month’s time. While there, Mixon and Sweezey shared the plan of salvation and taught the basics of the Bible, including God and the creation, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

When they joined the Sparks in Angoche, Mixon and Sweezey taught English classes four days each week along with Bible stories. They again shared basic biblical standards, to one certain family in one situation and to a bigger group of families in another.

“When we taught them English, we had to tell them why we say things the way we do, and that made it very hard,” said Mixon, who, in addition to the church leader, had Muslims, pagans and those who practiced witchcraft attending the sessions. “The leaders were really receptive.”

Mixon said they ate with the families about five times and were received very well, but dealing with the larger group situations was harder to handle. “The people in the bush lands were more cooperative than in the cities,” she said.

“The people of Mozambique are very fearful all the time and are scared of bettering themselves,” Mixon said. “They want to be better, but they are scared of being better because of what someone will have the witch doctor might do to them. They are a very envious people and steal a lot to have more. But there are way too few jobs. We had to minister to them that there is a safe God, or a loving being anywhere.”

Mixon is working on a bachelor of ministry degree at Brewton-Parker and participated in summer missions in New Mexico in 2004.

In comparing her two international ventures this year, she said both the Mozambican and Belarusian cultures live in a constant state of fear but for different reasons.

“In Belarus, the fear comes from the government, and in Mozambique the fear comes from the pagan religion, so there are two different strategies from which missionaries have to work,” she said.

Mixon noted that the Mozambican government was much more receptive in allowing those to enter under the auspices of Christian influence than in Belarus, where the Brewton-Parker delegation had to enter primarily as teachers of English as a Second Language.

“We need to show them that there is hope,” Mixon said, “that if they can change their spiritual focus, they can see God for who He is and that He will not condemn them of who they are.”

-BPC-

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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
 
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
 
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM