Each January, students at Oklahoma Baptist University have the opportunity to live out the university's mission statement and engage a diverse world. OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach plans trips around the world, encouraging students to participate in missions firsthand. One of the most recent trips was to OBU's adopted people group in India, the Kai.
Students who went on the trip spent time visiting local villages, hosting church services and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Each participant learned new things about the people and culture.
An Oklahoma Baptist University student (center) visits with Kai, members of OBU's adopted people group.
One team member said the Kai people are very hospitable and very giving, but at the same time have many needs, both spiritually and physically. He said while the spiritual need isn't as obvious walking around the streets, the team encountered a sense of hopelessness in some homes and in the temples.
Not only did they learn about the Kai, but the students were challenged in their personal relationship with Jesus.
"I learned a lot about sacrifice, and how hard it is when God calls us out of our comforts of home, and how resistant I am to that in a way I didn't think I would be," said Sarah Griffin, a junior nursing major from Bartlesville, Okla. "The believers in India were a huge challenge for me as well in the way they live out their faith, completely praise God, rely on Him and share Him with all the people they know."
Southern Baptist representatives walk along the banks of the Brahamaputra River with Kai friends.
OBU seeks to equip students to live out the Great Commission of Jesus as stated in Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
During GO Trips, students have the opportunity to take what they learn in the classroom and use it in a practical manner. The GO Center sends the student volunteers prepared and equipped, but team members said the best way to embrace missions is to experience it firsthand.
Griffin said the concerted effort of OBU's GO Center makes a difference to her.
"OBU's vision is not only for Shawnee, Okla., or America, but for the nations," Griffin said. "They believe in sending out students to impact the world, and I really appreciate that."
For more information about the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach, click here.