NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Darryl Meekins: Growing Cross-Culturally
Darryl Meekins is not only new to BBC, he is also new to the culture of the United States. Born into a British family in Zimbabwe, Darryl grew up in South Africa.
The new leader of BBC's Intercultural Studies program, Darryl's background allows him to combine his unique perspective of missions with his knowledge of cross-cultural settings.
As a young person, his life was greatly impacted by people with connections to BBC. He is pleased to have the opportunity to train students to have a similar impact across the world.
Shortly after I was born, my parents left the UK to live and work in Rhodesia, which later became Zimbabwe. They then moved down to South Africa. In early childhood I was not raised in a Christian home. My father had a background in Judaism, but he was not a staunch, practicing Jew. When I got to my teen years, my parents made a profession of faith.
It was through a missionary that I heard the gospel. Christ found me. John Jackson was a missionary to Cape Town, South Africa and I attended high school with his son, Jason. John was the first person that I heard the gospel message from, which eventually led to my salvation. We went to their church plant for a few years until John left South Africa in 1995 and came back to BBC in 2004.
Dr. Jim Lytle was my mentor and I interned under him at his church. I originally wanted to go into sports journalism and be a commentator. My direction changed when Dr. Lytle intervened and suggested I go to his college in Durban. While there, I was involved youth ministry, some preaching, and led a small group as a student. After that, I interned with Jim and went on to be a pastor for three years. I later took over Jim's position at Baptist Bible College of KwaZulu Natal when we returned to South Africa as missionaries with ABWE. I did that for five years while also working with a church in Phoenix, north of Durban.
My wife, Casey, a New Jersey native, was an ABWE missionary. She eventually came to Durban to serve. I was part of a network of churches that wanted to help the incoming missionaries get acclimated and find the best approach to dealing with the HIV epidemic in South Africa. So the missionaries and our network worked together with this and she and I happened to be the only single people in this group. We were married and we now have two girls, Emma and Elise.
Casey and I have always wanted to help the next-level church by helping to form their thinking. We look at it as being missionaries to the Unites States. We can be involved in a culture that is not our own where we can actually help provide a different perspective and possibly help formulate some of the thinking in the next-generation leaders.
Since arriving at BBC in September I have noticed that there is a very motivated student body. People seem to be quite desirous to make a difference with their lives. The students I have interacted with want to do something significant, and there seems to be a lot of opportunities for that. If you marry passion and opportunity then stuff happens. The students seem to come here for more than the education.
We are looking to broaden the traditional focus from being only missions to intercultural studies as well. This is a change from only missions as a missionary to recognizing that missions is part of the Christian experience and everybody. No matter where you end up in your career you will be involved in some kind of cross-cultural environment.
I want to help create an Intercultural Studies program that will equip students to be able to move in various environments around the world, using their passion as a Christian to see lives transformed for Christ, combined with their vocational passion. Hopefully the classes in this program will be more than just classes but a transformation in the way of thinking about their vocation and passion. My contribution is not to help students answer questions but to ask better questions. If they can ask better questions about themselves, the text, and about life, then they will be better people.
I like to watch, play, and referee rugby. I don't play as much anymore. At this stage in life I don't want to tangle with those massive guys. Next spring, I am hoping to do some refereeing in the Philadelphia area.
This program will help make international connections for people who are similarly passionate in making a difference, but happen to look and speak differently. There are other people all over the world who are like the motivated BBC students - imagine if all those people connected and worked together for the cause of the gospel.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 12/18/2013 4:33:27 PM