April 21, 2009
Seven students and staff from OBU recently participated in two global outreach trips, one to South Central Mexico and another to Branson West, Mo., where the missions volunteers sought to share the love of God with local people.
Both destinations were organized through existing student connections, said the OBU global outreach coordinator.
The two main focuses for both March excursions involved church planting and prayer walking. In Branson West, students worked with a local church called Carpenters House to pass out flyers about upcoming events and pray with people in nearby neighborhoods.
"My favorite memory was seeing how this church is already involved in the community and how we now have been a part of what will happen in the future from our visit," said Jessica Herbert, an OBU junior from Greenville, Texas. "It was great to see all five of us come together with the same heart and motives."
OBU students kept the mission of the university in mind as they spent their spring break engaging a diverse world and living worthy of the high calling of God in Christ.
"Ministering to our fellow brothers and sisters is worth my time," Herbert said. "It wasn't about the location of the trip, but who we were able to reach out and give love to."
Students found that while serving others, they also reaped personal rewards for their efforts.
"I can't think of much else that is more humbling and worth more than working out my weaknesses to spread the relationship that God has graciously allowed me to have with him," said April Peters, an OBU junior from Oklahoma City.
Students involved on the Mexico mission spent time serving the people of Guadalajara, León and Guanajuato. Students prayed for specific needs in the community such as spiritual darkness, physical needs and protection, in addition to praying for the pastors and churches. In the evenings, they attended soccer games where they looked for ways to minister to other people.
"One of my favorite memories was a conversation I had with a woman name Marta while watching her husband play soccer," said Holly Hays, an OBU admissions counselor who participated in the Mexico mission trip. "I had the opportunity to just sit and chat with her about her life. She is continually on my mind as I have come back. I knew that the conversation with her was definitely ordained."
Although some participants on the trip had been to Mexico before, some had never been out of the United States. The opportunity to take part held special significance to each person involved.
"The trip greatly reminded me of the importance of being in the Word as well as being intentional with prayer," Hays said. "I continually prayed that the Lord would open my eyes to physical and spiritual needs around me. This was my first out of country mission trip, and I was really excited to get out of my comfort zone and serve others."
OBU has numerous trips scheduled throughout the year to fulfill the Great Commission and serve God in different parts of the world. For information regarding future trips and how to become involved, contact the global outreach coordinator.