Texas students cross the world on faith
___By Orville Scott
___Texas Baptist Communications
___A record 214 Baptist student summer missionaries from Texas reported a total of 1,960 professions of faith in Jesus this summer around the world, said Brenda Sanders, student missions consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
___The student summer missionaries--almost twice as many as in previous years--served
in 11 states of the U.S. and a number of foreign countries including Australia, East Asia, Germany, Mexico, Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
|A TEAM OF TEXAS Baptist Student Ministry missionaries crosses a rickety bridge in Southeast Asia, where they spent the summer doing agricultural work and sharing the gospel.
___A group scheduled to serve in Cuba ironically did not receive their visas until two days before the summer was over. They served instead in Mexico City and Cancun, leading Bible clubs and Vacation Bible Schools and serving as translators for 250 volunteers in a World Changers project.
___Student missionaries performed a variety of ministries, but evangelism inevitably rose to the forefront.
___"On the first day of VBS, one of the children in my class went to her mother and asked her questions about being saved, which spurred her mom and the rest of the family to talk to the pastor," explained Kim Kittrell of Texas Tech University, who served in Alaska. As a result, all six members of the family became Christians.
___"It was awesome how God proved his power over and over again," added April Chaney of Amarillo College, who served in Germany. "We had over 130 youth at the church for a youth party, and eight were saved that night."
___The experiences also were life-changing for the student missionaries.
__"God has totally renewed my purpose for being here," said Kara Lowe of Howard Payne University, who served in San Antonio's inner city. "He showed me that it was more than getting by from day to day. It was serving him and loving these kids."
|A BACKYARD LAWN provides the perfect location for a Bible club in Erie, Pa., led by Texas student missionary Kim Kuykendall. Below at left, Texans serving on an agricultural team in Southeast Asia pose with homemade hoes they used in their work.
___"I got to pray with two different girls as they asked Christ to be their Savior. I also learned a lot about working with unchurched children," said Renee Daniel of the University of Texas at Arlington, who served in Corpus Christi Baptist Association.
___"I was able to witness to a guy who had never seen a Bible before. He had never heard of Christians," reported Nathan Bogue of the University of Texas at Arlington, who served in Southeast Asia. "It was so awesome to share the best thing in my life with a person who heard about God for the first time."
___Melissa Frazier of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor learned about spiritual and material blessings as she worked in Samoa.
___"I helped a lady wash clothes one day. We used a bar of soap and rubbed it up and down with the clothing together. It was hard work, but it really made me appreciate what we have in the States," she explained.
___Some student missionaries even got a taste of the peril under which believers in some parts of the world live every day. One Texas student missionary, whose name cannot be used in print, had such an experience in Southeast Asia while visiting in a home in a small village.
___"After dinner, they brought out instruments to play a little concert for us. We saw an open door and sang praise and worship songs with them. They were really responding, but then the police showed up. It was a real eye opener because they have to ask permission to sing in their own houses."
___For many students, the summer's events opened their own eyes to God's call to missions.
___Jimmy Mauldin of the University of Texas at Arlington said serving in Samoa confirmed God's calling on his life.
___"I want to go to the deepest parts of the world and proclaim the living God," he said. "All they know are dead gods, and I know that if they just get even a small taste of the God that I worship, lives will be won."
___To help support the summer missionaries, fellow students raised $332,119, including more than $158,000 by Baptist Student Ministries on 125 campuses in Texas and more than $173,816 by "Partners in Missions."
___"As the student missionaries return to their campuses and churches, their missions zeal will also impact the lives of their families and fellow students, and more lives will be transformed for Christ," said Tom Ruane, director of BGCT student ministry.
__For more about Texas Baptist Student Missions visit www.GoNowMissions.com.
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