May 25, 2006
Some OBU graduates were not out of their caps and gowns more than 24 hours before boarding planes and heading to destinations around the globe. They are among a group of students participation in five Global Outreach opportunities this summer.
These endeavors are coordinated by OBU’s Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach. The center serves as the unifying core of OBU efforts to provide academic study and hands-on field experience related to missions.
On Sunday, May 21, three GO teams started their mission trips. Though one team did not have far to travel, two others were heading overseas.
Dr. Craig Walker, OBU’s Wheeler associate professor of economics, is leading a group of four sophomores who are working with Habitat for Humanity in Stroud, Okla. Oklahoma City’s Curtis DuBois, Tyler Ross and Raymond Reiger, and Blake Woods from Blachard, Okla., began the home construction project this week.
Dale Griffin, OBU campus minister, and team departed for India. The team will give art demonstrations and conduct outreach programs with university students.
Gena Keffer, a graduate from Louisburg, Kan.; John Armstrong, a sophomore from Lincoln, Calif.; Sam Jones, a graduate from Muskogee, Okla.; Michelle De La Garza, a graduate from Midwest City, Okla. comprise the team.
Robert and Faye Griffin, parents of Dale Griffin, are leading a team of sophomores to Thailand, doing research on people groups. The Griffins recently completed spent three years as International Mission Board missionaries to the country. Currently, Robert is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Cole, Okla.
Members of the Thailand team are Trace Heavener from Kansas, Okla.; Dylan Byrd from Broken Arrow, Okla.; Kristen Webb from Muskogee, Okla.; and Sarah Tyson from Half Moon Bay, Calif.
A GO team left for China May 22. They will be teaming up with William Wilson, former OBU professor, who has developed a program with a Beijing university to teach conversational English in an informal setting on campus.
Bob Doucette, a member of Heritage Baptist Church in Shawnee, is leading the group which includes Justin King, a junior from Yukon, Okla.; Heather Stiverson, a junior from Tulsa, Okla.; Delana Deer, a sophomore from Norman, Okla.; and Kara Brock, a freshman from Enid, Okla.
The largest GO team will leave July 4 for Swaziland, Africa. Led by M.W., OBU global outreach coordinator, the group includes 14 members who will participate in ministry care for women and children, and offer AIDS education.
Students on the team are Kara Roberts, a senior from Guymon, Okla.; Brian Bailey, a senior from Broken Arrow, Okla.; Kristin Boyd, a sophomore from Grand Rapids, Mich.; Allison Gentry, a senior from Hobart, Okla.; Carly Norman, a junior from Norman, Okla.; Jessica Hill, a sophomore from Las Cruces, N.M.; Joseph Moreland, a senior from Shawnee, Okla.; Rachel Piontak, a freshman from Catoosa, Okla.; Scott Ramsey, a freshman from Fredricksburg, Texas; Sherri Matthews, a senior from Shawnee, Okla.; and Tara Ryan, a freshman from Bixby, Okla.
M.W.’ wife, A., and Gary Piontak, Rachel’s father, also will work with the team.