Free of the bustle and distractions that school brings, summer break provided many opportunities for Mississippi College students to share Christ’s love and help fulfill the Great Commission. Through the Baptist Student Union’s summer missions program 16 MC students served as missionaries this summer.
There, she said, she was able to “form relationships with teachers in order to connect them to the career missionaries serving there permanently.”
After teaching, she and a partner would head straight for the surrounding villages to prayer walk and pass out gospel tracts. In all of this, Izzard found the language barrier to be the hardest part of her work.
“Know[ing] the cure, the salvation for these people, and being unable to tell them was the biggest challenge,” she said. “Having faith that God will open up doors, which He did, was a lesson we had to learn.”
One opportunity was to go to a remote mountain village where, as of now, only two people are believers.
“It was hard not getting to see the fruit of our labor,” Izzard admitted, but she acknowledged that obedience to God in fulfilling the Great Commission is our duty, trusting that He will change hearts.
“The results and the full picture are for His sake, not our own,” she added
Also serving abroad was senior Jeremy Wooten, who traveled to the island of Mindanao in the Philippines to work with Habitat for Humanity. There he helped build houses for victims of the typhoon Sendong, and he and his team had the opportunity to share the gospel with native workers.
Wooten explained that this was especially difficult because they were working with a deadline to complete the houses, and he noted, “it was a big challenge to figure out how [they] could minister without disrupting the work.”
Upon hearing the gospel, nine workers professed to accept Christ, but Wooten expressed that they “were unsure if [they] had communicated clearly to [the workers] about what they had decided to do.”
However, Wooten said that God provided another opportunity to share, and this time, one man named Jojo demonstrated that he truly understood the message he had heard.
“Fifteen minutes later, I saw him sharing [the gospel] with some of the other workers,” Wooten said. “That truly blessed my heart.”
While there were numerous opportunities for mission work overseas, some student served state side. Sophomore Jordan Berry spent 10 weeks in Orlando, Florida, working with a local ministry called Reaching Orlando through Compassion and Kindness.
There she shared Christ’s love with terminally ill children at Give Kids the World, a resort that provided them and their families with a free weeklong vacation. Since the staff was very small, volunteers are the heart and soul of this organization, Berry said.
“I got to work at this resort and completely spoil the kids,” Berry added. “I got to serve them meals, sing and dance with them, throw parties, and have a blast!”
In addition to working at the resort, she and her team also helped with a local benevolence ministry and served a few weeks with vacation Bible schools.
“We basically did it all!” she laughed, adding that it was challenging at times to work with so many different people, each with different ideas for handling situations.
She explained that by trusting in God’s plan and purpose, she “learned to swallow [her] pride and learn ways to do things [from others].”
“God has shown me that his plan is always staring us in the face,” Wooten expressed. “We just have to humble ourselves and be quiet long enough not to ignore it.”
Izzard added, “Obedience isn’t always easy, but God commands us to go. Reaching the nations is going to require people laying down their lives to serve the Lord.” BSU summer missions provided MC students with opportunities to do just that, and thankfully, students were willing to go.
– Sherree Rayner, Contributing Writer