While working the hat stand in a Ukrainian market, Emma French, a student at University Mary-Hardin Baylor, met a boy named Dennis. He was looking for a warm hat to take back to his village for another child who needed it.
"I was a little taken aback so I asked, 'This hat is not for you?' He told me, 'No, I already have one hat, I don't need another. But I know some people who do'," said Emma. "Dennis broke my heart and humbled me that day. His generous, caring, and selfless heart brought me to tears."
With his one hat, Dennis understood the true meaning of need. He was the epitome of selflessness.
"I pray for a heart like Dennis, so quick to think of others before myself," said Emma.
Emma traveled to the Ukraine over her Christmas break in December 2013 through Go Now Missions, the student missions program for Texas Baptists, where she and her team distributed books and hats to orphans.
As Christians, God commands to go and make disciples of men, preaching the good word to others. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Go Now Missions is committed to sending Texas university students across the globe to share the love of Christ. In December, 79 Go Now missionaries traveled to places including East Asia, Jamaica, and Laredo, Texas.
Being a missionary does not always mean traveling to a different hemisphere or to the other side of the globe. Sometimes, people need to hear the word of God right down the street.
Jaylan Moore, a student from Tarleton State University, traveled to Portland, Oregon. She worked in the Portland Saturday Market and was able to have conversations with many of the people there. "We wanted to leave a positive imprint in the lives of the people we came into contact with and break down the stereotypes of Christians and Christianity, " said Jaylan.
While at the market, she talked to a woman who had had a bad experience with church and Christianity. "I was amazed at how open she was to talk about Christianity and following Jesus," Jaylan said. "Whatever her inner turmoil since that experience, she seemed to come to terms with God in that she did not blame him for the negative things that happened to her."
"Most students think of Christmas break as a time to be with family, go skiing or have a break from school. But these students gave up part of their break to serve the Lord as Go Now missionaries," Brenda Sanders, Director of Go Now Missions, shared. "Christmas is a significant time to share the gospel as the season opens up doors to explain who Jesus is to us."
Go Now Campus Missionary Tanner Sparkman, a graduate of Tarleton State University, led a team in London, England, and was partnered with a student who had the gospel of Luke in Arabic. He started a conversation and spent an hour and half sharing the gospel with a Muslim man in a coffee shop and left a copy of the gospel with him.
"It was incredible to watch God work through a student from Texas in order to reach a man from the middle east," said Tanner.
Go Now Missionaries follow God's command because they know they are called to go.
"I think the teams would say that it was well worth the sacrifice of part of their holiday and that it will be a Christmas they will never forget. What better way can there be to celebrate the birth of Jesus," said Sanders.
Go Now Missions is currently accepting applications for summer, impact and fall trips until on January 27, 2014. For more information, visit www.gonowmissions.com.