BPC students perform missions in Tennessee

By Josh Niswonger
BPC Public Relations

MOUNT VERNON -- Five Brewton-Parker College students followed their fall-semester final exams by spending the week of Dec. 14-20 in Smyrna, Tenn., as a Baptist Student Union mission team in the Wherry housing project.

The members of this BSU team were Ross Lewis, Chris Elkins, Chris Rainey, Michael Brown and Lindsey Hamrick.

The BPC missionaries tackled many important tasks on the mission trip. They helped with some construction projects, worked with the children of the area and provided support for local missionaries working in Smyrna.

The Wherry housing project is what remains from the closing of an air base many years ago. It had become run-down through mismanagement and had become heavily infested with drug traffic and crime. A team representing Brewton-Parker's Centennial Scholars Program worked in the project during spring break in March 2003.

The BSU mission team kept a journal during the week that reviews the events and thoughts of that week. Following are several entries that revealed to the team members how God works through anyone He chooses.

Dec. 14 -- "I know that the Lord has brought us here for a purpose, and in my spirit I feel that the work this week will affect more than just one person moving into a house. I hope that we can encourage John, Bruce, and Shirley a lot. Lord, humble us and teach us to completely die to ourselves so that we might know your and serve your better. AMEN."

Dec. 15 -- "Ross, Toph (Elkins), and myself (Rainey) were talking on the way up to Smyrna about how the doors of opportunity are opened to us so often, yet we don't stick our feet in to see what is on the other side. God has blessed us with many skills and situations with which we may glorify Him. If we don't use those chances to witness or bring honor to our Father then we will not grow in our faith. This has really been hitting me this last week, that I need to use my skills He has blessed me with for the cause of Christ."

Dec. 16 -- "It is now Wednesday morning, and it is hard to believe that we are almost half-way through our week here in Smyrna. The first two days have been great. We work inside of an old apartment from 9 till 3."

Dec. 19 -- "Well, the work is done. We have completed our task as far as actual labor is concerned. We are not done with the work of the Lord, however. God still has much planned for each one of us as we continue in our walk in life. Praise God for the work we have been able to do and for the protection He has give during work and travel."

Dec. 20 -- "Well, the Lord has taught me a few things this week. We, as Christians, are called to serve. I figured out a couple things that I love to do, which are serving others and to see them smile. I also love to hang out with kids. This is an incredible place and I have been blessed to be able to work with these amazing guys and gal. Thanks y'all! It's been great!"

God did some amazing things that week that have changed the lives of people forever. Mission work is not easy, but the Lord provides the strength.

Many BSU members from Brewton-Parker will be going off this summer to do missions for the Lord. One such BSU member is Ross Lewis. Pray for him as he goes to the country of Belarus, located in Eastern Europe. Serving others and spreading the Gospel is our calling. Let us answer that call.

A prayer from the student missionaries based in their experiences was: "God, let us shine in dark places and smile at cold faces, that we may bring your joy and light to the nations."



Brewton-Parker College students Michael Brown (left) and Chris Rainey lay tile in a house during their December trip to Smyrna, Tenn., as part of a weeklong stay for a five-student Baptist Student Union mission team. (Photo by Ross Lewis)