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Brister Announces OBU's Adoption of People Group

September 15, 2006

Oklahoma Baptist University publicly joined the global Finishing The Task evangelism effort Sept. 13, adopting one of the world's 639 people groups who have not been introduced to the gospel of Christ.

"Today, I am commissioning OBU to adopt the 'Kai' people," said OBU President Mark Brister during the university's weekly Chapel. "They number in population 2.4 million people, almost the population of Oklahoma, never having heard the gospel."

Finishing The Task is a strategic vision of partnering churches and missions organizations to see church planting movements in these people groups, said M.W., coordinator of OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach. Currently, OBU is the only university committed to this mission.

Brister said the 'Kai' people live primarily in the Calcutta region of India, as well as in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

"We will go and share the gospel with them," he said. "They are primarily fishermen by trade, but my prayer is that they will somehow learn to be fishers of men themselves.

"My passion is that by the year 2026 that on this very platform, on this soil in Shawnee, that there will be a person of the 'Kai' group that will be able to stand here in this chapel and testify how they came to Jesus Christ and how God used this university to change their lives and to change their people," Brister said.

He also announced a group from OBU will travel India in January 2007 to establish contact with the 'Kai' people.

Dr. Rebekah Naylor, who served with Southern Baptists' International Mission Board in Bangalore, India, was guest speaker in chapel service. For more than 30 years, Naylor served as the administrator and chief surgeon and physician of Bangalore Hospital.

Brister said there have been 900 churches started out of the work of Bangalore Hospital. He called Naylor the "Baptist Mother Theresa of India," as she has given her life to serving the people of India.

Naylor reported on the conditions of India, noting the country's population is 1.1 billion people, and the largest democracy in the world. Though India is predominantly Hindu in religion, she said there is a rapid influence of Christianity as churches are growing.

"In 2002 there were two churches," she said. "Today there are 1,377. God is very much at work in the country of India."

Naylor encouraged OBU students to participate in the cause of reaching the 'Kai' people, stressing that prayer is an "absolute, essential ingredient."

"Be ready to be used in any possible way to reach the 'Kai' people for Jesus Christ," she said.

The Chapel was part of OBU's Global Outreach Week, Sept. 11-15. Dr. Mike Cahill, a linguistics field worker serving in Ghana, was the featured speaker in a chapel service Sept. 11, kicking off the week's activities. The week included a medical missions panel discussion on Sept. 12.

M.W. was the final speaker of GO Week in a chapel service Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel.