A Georgia Baptist Institution
|BAPTIST COLLEGIATE MINISTRIES|
By Tracy Batchelor
Passport – Got it.
Glancing over the packing list, she took a deep breath and re-read the trip description for the 50 th time. “Mission service is real life discipleship. It’s hard. It’s tiring. It takes a servant’s heart and a sacrificial spirit. It will be one of the greatest experiences of your life, but it is not about you .”
Had the time finally arrived? Was she ready? Did she really want to use her break to serve people in a foreign country?
Zipping her suitcase shut, she stepped out in faith and into a life of mission work.
No, this is not the story of one specific individual. Instead, many Shorter College students and alumni recall similar moments when they packed their bags for one of the college’s mission opportunities.
As one student describes it, “Sign up for a mission trip. The rest is history.”
“Our students loved on the people at the hospital. It’s amazing how balloon animals, pipe-cleaner glasses, songs and simple prayers can brighten a patient’s day.”
Erin Miller knows no stranger. Her addiction to missions began early in her time at Shorter when she traveled to Uruguay during spring break. Since that time, the Rockmart, Ga., native has served in six state-side mission posts and built relationships in India during the summer of 2007 through work with the Georgia Baptist Collegiate Missions Program.
“For some time, God had placed a yearning in my heart to know more about Asia,” Erin recalled. “While I worked in India, I met a girl named Sarah. Our conversation was a divine appointment that ended with her asking for my prayers for her to more fully know Jesus.”
Back on campus in Rome, Erin reflected, “I’m so blessed that the Lord has given me friends at Shorter who share my passion for missions. As I seek to understand how to minister here on campus, He has used our shared mission experiences to deepen our relationships so that we serve more effectively.”
Destination: New OrleansSpring Break is coming, and students will once again aid with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief in New Orleans, thanks to continued funding by many Georgia Baptist churches. Under the leadership of Dr. John Head (’87), vice president of enrollment management, and Whitney Moseley, student life coordinator, the Shorter team will partner with Mission Lab to continue rebuilding homes in the area.
“Fewer groups are going to New Orleans these days, but there are still so many people hurting,” explained the Rev. David Roland, BCM campus minister. “The need continues to be so great that Shorter will return to the city to help them, encourage them and rebuild lives for years to come.”
Destination: Western Canada
During the same week, other Shorter students will join the Rev. Roland and Dr. Alan Hix (’82), assistant professor of religion, to build relationships in western Canada. In addition to getting to know many area youth, the team will participate in prayer walks and campus activities at a local college.
“When my time in Prague concluded, I became very convicted that my calling to show love to people did not end when I got off the plane. I realized that my perspective on mission work had changed,” said the Ringgold, Ga., native. “As believers, we are supposed to show hope to those around us because our home is a mission field as well.”
December 2007 set a record for Shorter mission work in Covington, Ky. Campus minister David Roland has carried students to his home church of Southside Baptist since 2003, but the most recent visit was by far the largest. Eighteen volunteers including recent alumni Josh Pilgrim (’07) and Peter Faile (’07) helped the church’s inner-city ministries.
“This type of service builds on-going relationships,” said the Rev. Roland. “The church members know Shorter students very well.”
During their time at Southside, students helped distribute food and toys to the poor of the community. Some of the students assisted with a construction project renovating a daycare and a nearby ministry house. They also sorted clothes, led evening worship and ran a lock-in for the area youth.
Destination: The WorldAs for the summer of 2008, nine Shorter students have been placed across the globe to work with Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministries projects. This is a significant number to represent Shorter, and the Rev. David Roland, BCM campus minister, credits the high interest to the emphasis of Shorter’s BCM programs. “They don’t want to just go through the motions,” he said. “They are hearing about serving in worship, and our BCM is becoming very active in our faith. The students are concerned about justice so they want to be a part of changing people’s lives.”
Those assigned to Georgia Baptist positions this summer include Alex Compton serving in Indianapolis, Ind.; Renee Glenfield in Prague, Czech Republic; Bonnie McNulty in Nicaragua; Erin Miller in Thailand; Anna Peyton in Orlando, Fla.; Ashleigh Tatum in Helen, Ga.; Monique Watson in Alberta, Canada; Kaitlin Wood in British Columbia, Canada; and Lisa Yu in Hawaii.
“Missions is more than just a trip,” continued the Rev. Roland. “It’s about discipleship, God’s word, prayer and being involved with God’s people. It’s about sharing God’s love. As students see that it is a lifestyle instead of a single experience, they will reach people when they invest in their lives.”
Click here to see more photos from Shorter mission trips in the Mission Gallery.
| SHORTER UNIVERSITY • 315 Shorter Avenue • Rome, Georgia 30165 • Phone: 800-868-6980 • www.shorter.edu
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