By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor
Beautiful Feet is a ministry agency based in Choctaw, Okla. They train potential missionaries, and help send them overseas.
April 18, Dr. Bruce Carlton, a professor of Cross-Cultural Ministry, will host visitors from Beautiful Feet in the Gathering Place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“They’re just coming to meet and greet students who are interested and who, number one, may want some good solid missions training,” Carlton said.
Beautiful Feet’s website said that the agency works with local churches in Oklahoma to create new churches overseas.
“It must be understood that within our ranks exist a wide cross-section of the Church of Jesus and therefore many differences in many theological points,” according to their website’s doctrinal statement.
“We have Southern Baptist, Vineyard, Nazarene and other theological positions represented here.”
Dr. Carlton said the idea to do a meet in greet occurred when the agency’s campus mobilizer came to visit OBU.
“We’ve had lunch together in the cafeteria and he’s met some of the students,” Carlton said. “They asked about setting up a time where we could invite students who are interested, on a deeper level perhaps, to come and meet them and find out more about them.”
Carlton first came into contact with the agency through its director, Eric Guthrie.
“He and I had a mutual acquaintance, a local missionary in India, that I began working with in the year 2000 when I was serving in India,” Carlton said. “One day he told Eric that I was here at OBU, so Eric drove over to the campus and we met and we found out that we had this brother in common who has been involved in church planting in India among a couple tribal groups.”
Since then, Carlton has been involved in Beautiful Feet’s missions training.
“Another thing they do is primarily run a missionary boot camp, which is basicaically an eight week program that prepares people to serve overseas, sort of like an eight week orientation,” Carlton said.
“I taught there last summer at their boot camp for two weeks on adjusting to culture and looking cultural differences and church planting, and I did a session on Hinduism and Buddhism.”
Carlton said he recognizes that modern day mission work provides many avenues for students to get involved in the field.
“Even though we’re a Baptist university and the International Missions Board is our main avenue for this, the reality is our students do often go to the field through other groups,” Carlton said.
“Knowing that reality, I would want my students to be exposed to groups that I would consider healthy and in line theologically with our beliefs, and Beautiful Feet, I think, falls under that category.”
He said that he hopes students will be able to attend the meet and greet, and will develop an interest in the agency.
“Maybe students could walk away saying they know a place where they need to get some short term, intense mission training, that there’s a place here, in the heart of Oklahoma, that can offer that to them,” Carlton said. “If God so happens to bring a student and the organization to work together then that’s great.”