January 11th, 2011 at 10:01 am
ARLINGTON – For Texas Baptist college students serving on mission trips between semesters, sharing the gospel happened well beyond their destinations.
Students found opportunities to share the hope of Christ where they were staying, with people they met while travelling and with those they encountered during mission initiatives through Go Now Missions, the student missions arm of Texas Baptists.
Student teams spread the gospel by giving new boots to orphans in Moldova, engaging African immigrants in New York City, encountering college students in East and South Asia, helping rebuild a Haitian village and building a home in Jamaica.
Hector Briceño, a Texas A&M University at Kingsville student who went on a trip to share the gospel with Africans in New York City, found an opportunity to share the hope of Christ with Japanese-speaking man from New Zealand who stayed at the same hostel as the team. Briceño’s team was able to minister to the man for the entire trip after the man asked to join the team.
“He barely knew about Jesus Christ,” Briceño wrote. “He only knew that [Jesus] was a man that had died. It took a long time, but God gave me the opportunity to minister to him one on one! He understood everything. The team was able to get him a Japanese Bible, and he was very impressed when he started reading the scriptures in his mother language. I believe reading scripture in your first language is very powerful.”
Opportunities to expand God’s kingdom continued as the students began their specific projects. A team of 10 students gave new boots to more than 2,000 Moldovan orphans who are cared for by orphanages supported by Children’s Emergency Relief International, the international arm of Baptist Child and Family Services. The Texans attempted to provide a ray of hope into the orphans lives.
“I pray they forever remember that is was Christ who gave them their shoes,” wrote Howard Payne University student Carlee Ammons. “‘Cadou de la Isuis’ – these shoes are a gift from Jesus – is what we told each child as we handed them their shoes. I pray they take hold of that promise and never forget the love of Christ. I pray we don’t forget it either.”
Hector Castelltort, Texas A&M University at Kingsville student who served in Haiti, saw chances to minister while painting a school. There he befriended a young man with whom he sought to share the hope of Christ. The interaction between the two nearly moved Castelltort to tears.
“We didn’t only paint a school in four days but also painted the dreams of a better future for the kids who go to that school,” he wrote.
Brenda Sanders, who leads Go Now Missions, praised Texas Baptist college students for wanting to serve God between semesters. In the past two years, interest in winter missions trips has significantly increased, she noted, as students view their break from school as an opportunity to share the gospel outside where they live.
“More and more students are seeing the holidays as a good time to invest in missions,” she said. “Not only do they have the time, but they see the opportunities for open doors to share about the meaning of Christmas. I also think that the types of mission trips we had for students really resonated with them. This generation loves to be involved in meeting needs and building relationships. They had the opportunity to build a house, work with orphans or build relationships with immigrants or college students.”
For more information about Go Now Missions, visit www.gonowmissions.com.