September 17, 2007
Oklahoma Baptist University students were challenged to serve others during the university’s weekly Chapel earlier this month.
OBU alumni Andy Wilkins, Mindy Goff and Jeff Foresee and OBU’s local outreach coordinator, Tony Tyler, spoke about service as part of Stepping Stones, OBU’s Chapel series for the 2007-08 school year.
While OBU students, Wilkins, Goff, and Foresee helped reestablish OBU’s Volunteer Action Committee. They shared in the chapel service how VAC connects students with the Shawnee area through short-term service projects each semester.
Wilkins, a 2003 graduate, is currently student pastor at The First Baptist Church of Newalla, where he has served for seven years. He is working on a master of theology degree at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Wilkins described VAC as “an opportunity to help engage Christian students that want to be ‘salt and light’ to the Shawnee community but don’t know how.”
Goff, also is a 2003 graduate, majored in exercise science. In 2006 she received her master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma’s School of Physical Therapy.
Currently, Goff works at Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital in Oklahoma City, where she is an aquatic physical therapist specializing in patients with stroke, spinal cord, or traumatic brain injuries.
She recalled the first VAC event.
“We went into the Dunbar Heights neighborhood in Shawnee and built a swing set and a playground,” she said. “We grilled hot dogs and had a play day in the park for the kids. We had a lot of OBU students participate and it was really a memorable day for all of us.”
Foresee graduated from OBU in 2005 with a degree in psychology. The Shawnee native said his hometown is “near and dear to my heart.”
Currently working as youth minister at a local church, Foresee also is a case manager for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Shawnee.
He encouraged OBU students to begin serving by taking advantage of the many opportunities within the Shawnee community.
“Our faith is not a means of dealing with the world. Our faith should be a means of healing the world,” said Foresee.
Tyler challenged students to be aware of needs in an area he described as “invisible” Shawnee.
“I can’t change an entire system that keeps the poor, poor,” he said. “I can’t keep a child from being born with every disadvantage known to man. However, I can do what Jesus did. I can provide hope.”
Tyler praised many of the service organizations involving members of the OBU community including Hope House, Mission Center, Harvest Farms, VAC, and Good Shepherd Chapel.
Area residents interested in coordinating work with the Volunteer Action Committee can contact OBU’s Student Government Association at 878-2421 for details.
The Stepping Stones series is based on Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline. Different speakers will address the spiritual disciplines throughout the academic year.