June 16, 1999

First all African-American
team going to Ghana

___CHICAGO (BP)--Eight students from Chicago State University are about to become trailblazers.
___When they set foot in Ghana this summer, they will become Southern Baptists' first all-African-American team to participate in an overseas mission trip, said Mike Lopez, director of the International Mission Board's student mobilization team.
___"We have African-American students who have gone along with other teams," Lopez said. "But as far as I know, through the International Mission Board this is the first team" to be comprised entirely of African-American students. "We're really excited about this team and want to continue to develop that relationship and nurture those students who have gone on this team. We're glad they're doing this."
___Tony Banks, campus minister at Chicago State, will be leading the team.
___"We're just doing what we thought the Lord wanted us to do," Banks said. "I think that will make a statement about the Lord being able to use college students and African-Americans."
___Banks told his Baptist student group about his plans for the mission trip late last year. Of the 15 students in the group, eight volunteered to go.
___"I was surprised that many students came forward and at some of the students who did come forward," Banks said. "I was pleased they would be willing to lay their lives out there."
___The Chicago State team will be in Ghana June 24-July 16. The group will work with university students in Ghana and will be involved in evangelism and ministry opportunities.
___"I think it's going to be interesting and kind of exciting," said team member Michelle Turnbough. "I wanted to be used by the Lord."
___Lopez said he hopes this team will encourage other African-Americans to be involved in mission efforts.


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