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BPC sends one out every 10 Mt. Vernon students on spring mission trips
|BPC student Morgan Hurst reaches out to the children living in “shanty towns” in the area of Tijuana, Mexico the college visited on a spring mission trip. (Photo by Steven Dressen)
By Kelley M. Arnold
Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON—Brewton-Parker College’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) sent three teams of students on mission trips during Spring Break 2007, reports campus minister and BCM advisor Glenn Wallace. Combined with the Division of Religion and Philosophy’s Belarus mission trip led by division chair Dr. Hal Ostrander, one out of every 10 students housed on BPC’s Mount Vernon campus worked on mission trips during their spring break.
According to Wallace, the focus of his mission goals is outlined in Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (KJV)
“This spring, we really wanted to take the commission in Acts 1:8 and put it into practice, making it
a reality for our campus,” said Wallace.
Brewton-Parker students are, from left to right, Michael Crosby, a Nicaraguan lady, Jonathan Lewis, Josh Hartley, Jana Bailey (blue t-shirt), Callie Bynum, Stephen Moye, Ross Lewis, Jeff Tinsley and Erin Bower (green t-shirt). (Photo provided)
Wallace explains that of the BCM teams, one team worked in the ninth ward of New Orleans rebuilding homes destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, another delivered the message of God’s Word to a remote mountainous region in Nicaragua, while another helped revive a church in San Diego, Calif., by recruiting new members and then delivered food, water and supplies to the impoverished “shanty towns” of Tijuana, Mexico.
Therefore, Jerusalem, in Acts 1:8, could be compared to the BPC campus and the surrounding areas, said Wallace, while “Judea would be the region of our country – which was Louisiana, and then we would focus on our country beyond our region, Samaria, and then internationally.”
Stateside, BPC students worked with Baptist Crossroads Ministry of the First Baptist Church of New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes in the upper Ninth Ward’s “Musician’s Row”.
“On the trip, we worked with around 200 college students on eight flooring systems,” said BPC junior Rachel Underwood. “We worked on moving dirt, hammering nails, cleaning and organizing tool sheds, picking up trash, moving 80 pounds of concrete and putting up some walls. At times we would have to sit and wait five minutes while waiting for another task to present itself. In these minutes, God showed me that when He puts something on your heart for you to do, He will give you an opportunity to do it.”
Underwood is a native of Tularosa, New Mexico and plans to stay in touch with a young woman she met on the trip, who told her she was “lost and looking for meaning”. Underwood shared her faith and gave her a Bible.
|BPC student Emily Oliver works the caulking gun in rebuilding homes in New Orleans upper Ninth Ward. (Photo provided)
“I don’t know if she will accept Christ – I pray she will. All I know is that God put in my heart to minister to someone, and then He opened doors in ways I would have never imagined,” added Underwood.
BPC student Paul Lanning says he is most proud of the way BPC’s BCM group in New Orleans stayed committed to the commission in Acts 1:8.
“We stayed spiritually strong by beginning and ending each day with scripture and prayer, as well as singing praise songs and spending time talking about what we’d experienced during the day,” said Lanning. “I believe we effectively ministered to New Orleans, both by helping to construct eight new houses of the brightly-colored kind that persuades many nearby residents to restore their own houses and by spreading the gospel to the other college students whom we ate, roomed and worked with.”
The two international teams worked with the same purpose – spreading God’s word – but in separate mission fields. The students attending the Tijuana/San Diego trip spent two-and-a-half days in San Diego, and three full days in Tijuana, Mexico.
“In San Diego, students worked with an older church, which has dwindled, in a church restart,” said Wallace, who also attended this trip. “The students went door-to-door carrying handbills and distributing water. In Tijuana, they did more door-to-door distribution, evangelism and carried water and blankets to families. They also painted shacks; I wouldn’t call them houses. Where we were in Tijuana was extremely impoverished. People would just make houses of whatever they could find, or steal. It’s a shanty town, a squatter’s village, built on top of garbage, a landfill. It was really sad to see people living in these conditions.”
In Nicaragua, students worked with Operation GO (Gospel Outreach). It is BCM’s third year making the trip in the spring. Operation GO officials set up a base camp in the mountains of Nicaragua, and then used students, Wallace explained, to hike into the remote areas to invite the native families to come down to the base camp for church services.
“(Operation GO) visits homes that no one else will go to,” said Wallace. “They tote a portable generator in on their back and show the Jesus movie. It’s not for the faint or the weak of heart but it is high adventure blended with ministry.”
To learn more about the BCM’s mission trips at the college, or how to be a part of the ministry, contact Wallace at Brewton-Parker: 912-583-3211.