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South Africa trip expands global vision of students
Students from Baptist Bible College & Seminary recently experienced two and a half weeks of hands-on missions work in South Africa.
The May 13-31 trip included opportunities to lead youth rallies, construct buildings, visit orphanages, encourage missionaries, and share the Gospel in churches and government schools.
John Jackson, a Professor of Missions and Director of Short-Term Ministries at BBC, directed the team of 19 students. The group was joined by peers from Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA.
The students were privileged to take part in three ministries:
-- Peseo Baptist Church and Evangelical Baptist Missions missionaries Chris and Sheriffa Martin.
-- Bethesda Outreach/Orphanage Ministries.
-- First Baptist Church in Kokstad, where they stayed in the homes of residents in South Africa.
Making a difference
Jackson and the students went to South Africa with several specific goals:
-- To physically assist in the construction of camp buildings, initiative games, and activity-learning facilities.
-- To spiritually admonish and encourage, from the Bible, the missionaries and their national co-workers.
-- To impact as many local residents as possible with the Gospel in South Africa and to witness while traveling to and from the country.
-- To absorb and assimilate South Africa's culture and customs.
-- To grow spiritually and be strengthened in their faith.
-- To bring glory to God by their actions, witness, and words.
The Gospel was presented to over 300 people during the trip. According to Jackson, the trip "revolutionized the Christian worldview of the students."
"It made them more serious and determined about how God would use them," he said.
The students were amazed by the number of opportunities to share the Gospel in such a short time. They walked away from their time in South Africa with a greater compassion for people and an intensified gratefulness for that with which God has blessed them.
Alicia Cooper, a junior in BBC's Teacher Education Program, was profoundly influenced by working with orphans, many of whom are suffering from AIDS.
"They have no parents, no medical supplies. Some will not even live past childhood," she said. Not only was she forced to consider how blessed she is, but she was impressed by "how much these children need the Gospel." As a result of this trip, Alicia wants to go back to the mission field. She is open to serving God full-time in South Africa.
Click here for details on BBC's Missions Program.
Having served God as a full-time missionary for 14 years, Mr. Jackson's passion for the people of South Africa and his commitment to assisting national pastors motivated his return to his former place of ministry.
While living in South Africa as a church planter, he began four Baptist churches, three of which now have South African pastors. He worked to place new missionaries as EBM's Director of South Africa Ministries, and he also helped found Cape Baptist Bible College.
For Jackson, one of the greatest personal blessings of leading this trip was to see leadership qualities emerge in students as they put into practice what they have learned in the classroom. The vision of students was expanded to a global capacity as they saw the gospel being spread and the body of Christ at work in a new place.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers 38 academic programs, from a one-year Bible Certificate to PhDs. Programs are available through the Clarks Summit, PA campus and several distance learning options. To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 6/12/2008 1:24:53 PM
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