OBU hosted a special Global Outreach Commissioning service Wednesday, April 29, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium. The university recognized and prayed for students, faculty and staff who will serve this summer in Oklahoma, across the United States and around the world.
Approximately 150 students were commissioned during the service. Trip locations sponsored by OBU's Global Outreach center include Bulgaria, Cameroon, Central Asia, China, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Thailand. Students will also serve inside the United States in Portland through Generation Send with the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
Four students will serve through the Hands On program with the International Mission Board. These students will serve for a full semester in Cote D'Ivorie (Ivory Coast), South America and Senegal. One student will serve through Semester Mission with the NAMB on a one year assignment in Hawaii.
Students serving through their local churches, as camp counselors, with the NAMB or other entities will serve in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina, Utah and Washington. Students will also serve internationally through other organizations in locations including Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico, Niger, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Uganda.
Odus Compton, director of student ministry, delivered a message from Isaiah 6. All students and staff serving this summer then gathered on the stage steps, each holding a sign which read, "I will go. Send me." Each sign also featured the location where they will serve. OBU President Dr. David W. Whitlock then prayed over and commissioned the students, seeking God's blessings on their service.
OBU is well-known for its emphasis on worldwide service. The university currently has more alumni serving in international missions through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention than any other university in the world.
Many of the endeavors represented in the service are facilitated by OBU's Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach. The "GO Center" unifies OBU's efforts to provide academic study and hands-on cross-cultural experience related to international ministry.