Students Swing Hammers to Show God’s Love

Five Oklahoma Baptist University representatives traveled to the Show Me State for a missions endeavor during Spring Break, seizing the opportunity to show God's love to people in need through the tangible service of demolishing a church ridden with termites.

Sponsored by OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, the group working construction in Cape Fair, Mo., included Jonathan Chambers, a sophomore from Oklahoma City; Allen Burmeister, a senior from Peoria, Ariz.; Frank Snolis, a junior from Oklahoma City; Joe Keleher, a junior from Garden Grove, Calif.; and Dale Griffin, OBU dean of spiritual life.

OBU students Allen Burmeister (left) and Jonathan Chambers help reconstruct a church in Missouri during Spring Break 2010.

"I really have a heart to help anybody in need, and this was just another great opportunity to do that," said Chambers, who served as the student anchor for the trip. "So many times you see people just make donations to a cause, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we were able to be tangibly involved with this task, and it feels so great to get to help others like that."

Part of successful mission service is flexibility. While the team's original purpose for the trip was to assist in demolishing a church with termite damage, they discovered the demolition had been completed before they arrived.

"The reconstruction was well on its way," Griffin said. "We made a quick transition from tear down to build up. I was reminded of the power of remaining faithful to a task over the long haul."

The team also helped lead in worship services. Griffin provided accompaniment on the piano with help from his sons, Graeson and Graham, who also played piano. Chambers sang a solo while accompanying himself on the guitar.

At the close of each work day, the team would tell stories from the days' activities, drawing spiritual truths from those experiences. Griffin said he was very impressed with the depth of faith the men on the team possess.

"I loved being able to work with my roommates on a service project and see them be able to give back and grow closer to the Lord in their service," Chambers said. "Frank works construction when he's home from school, and after this trip he has really been encouraged to serve the Lord in a construction/missions capacity. Seeing him get really excited about that and want to serve in that capacity was probably my favorite thing about the trip."

OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach sponsors several trips annually, allowing students to gain a firsthand knowledge of missions work around the globe and to broaden their personal worldviews.

For more information about the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, visit