February 28, 2007
January Term at Oklahoma Baptist University provides most students time for compressed classes or a long break. For three teams of students, J-Term provided an opportunity to participate in global missions.
Global Outreach Trips, sponsored by the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, provide academic study and hands-on field experience.
One of January trips sent OBU staff and students to work with Kai people in South India. The team spent three weeks with the Kai.
OBU “adopted” the Kai people as part of Finishing the Task, a coordinated effort by several international mission organizations to engage people where no Christian witness exists.
“OBU has committed the next 20 years to engage the Kai people of India and this was our first trip to meet them,” said M.W., coordinator of the GO Center.
The OBU team visited Kai people in two cities and four villages, asking questions, listening to their stories and learning about their needs. The team learned that most Kai people are fishermen, leading the Americans to share biblical stories about fish and fishermen.
“My hope is that God will make these modern day fishermen fishers of men for His glory,” said M.W.
OBU plans to send two teams to the Kai people each year, including a team this summer.
“Our greatest prayer concern at this point is for the people from OBU to live among the Kai and serve them,” said M.W.
Along with M.W. and his wife A., the team consisted of six students and three OBU faculty and staff members: Dr. Mark McQuade, OBU assistant professor of music; Chris Sudduth, senior from Atoka, Okla.; Beka Sudduth, senior from McAlester, Okla.; Hilary Hendrickson, sophomore from Chelsea, Okla.; Jeff Barros, senior from Woodword, Okla.; Jonathan Chambers, freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Julie Davis, senior from Portland, Texas.
A 12-member team of nursing students expanded their classroom knowledge in Cacalote, Mexico. They traveled to the Roca Blanca Mission Base to spend two weeks among the Misteco, Chatino, and Zapateco people groups.
The team combined efforts with a dentist/physician team to complete nursing assignments, check vital signs, assist with medical distribution, and other work serving on the mission base.
“Learning how to communicate, collaborate and negotiate in a cross-cultural setting came naturally during this process,” said Martha Hernandez, OBU assistant professor of nursing. “Students had multiple opportunities to share the gospel not only with clients but also the professional staff.”
While serving with the medical team, the students experienced many opportunities to integrate their faith and knowledge in a diverse culture.
“Faith and knowledge coming together for the glory of God truly results in a life well spent,” said Hernandez.
The OBU team members include: Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of OBU’s School of Nursing; Hernandez; Cathy Buchanan, OBU assistant professor of nursing; Katie Peterson, senior from Texico, N.M.; Emily Hodges, junior from Weatherford, Texas; John Powell, senior from Sugar Land, Texas; Julia Ames, senior from Olathe, Kan.; Rachel Owens, junior from Kennewick, Wash.; Andrea Gardner, senior from Oklahoma City, Okla.; Karina Avila, junior from Broken Arrow, Okla.; Karla Hammon, senior from Pinehurst, Texas; Julie Stevens, junior from Decatur, Ind.; and Sarah Sheriff, senior from Highland Village, Texas.
Indonesia was the destination of a third OBU team. The team of seven students and one OBU staff member worked out of Jakarta, Indonesia with Americans already stationed there.
The OBU team taught English, played tennis, met with an English club, and helped work on a radio program.
“I took a very flexible group of people with me so it was a breath of fresh air for Americans working there to be able to ask us to do anything from teaching their children to minister to people who are destitute and live under a bridge. And we did it all with enthusiasm,” said Jessica Patterson, resident director of WMU dorm.
Through conversations and interaction with the natives, the OBU team learned of the relaxed nature of the Indonesian culture and people.
“We marveled at just how fun it was to be there and get to meet the nationals and share our stories,” said Patterson.
Patterson led a team of seven students, including Jill McDonald, sophomore from Newcastle, Okla.; Megan Hungerford, sophomore from Buffalo, Okla.; Krystina Rankin, freshman from Topeka, Kan.; Torie Chrisman, freshman from Tulsa, Okla.; Ben Schlegel, freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla.; Kristin Helsley, junior from Bentonville, Ark.; and Patrick Fitzgerald, junior from El Dorado, Ark.