By Anna Dellinger, Editor-in-chief (Photo: The Bison/Jacob Factor)
Students that have served around the state and the globe came together for one day to promote their passions. The spring GO/Local Ministry Fair was held Tuesday, Feb. 13 in the lower GC. Students set up booths to represent the local ministries they are involved in weekly, the GO trips they had attended over J-term or the upcoming GO trips in the summer of 2018 (within the U.S.) and January 2019.
Taylor McLaughlin, logistics coordinator of global mobilization, made many of the preparations for the GO/Local Ministry Fair.
“I really love walking around to different tables and connecting with students, and connecting with students that come by and check it out,” McLaughlin said. “I love to see the pictures of trips, and they always do a really good job of decorating the tables.”
The local ministries include The Spero Project, Prayer for the Nations, Age to Age, Mission Center, Cargo Ranch, Hope House, On the Ground and Reach Shawnee.
The Spero Project involves working with and building relationships with refugees in Oklahoma City.
“You can go on a mini mission trip every week,” senior communications major Zoya Timoshenko said.
“You overcome the fear of refugees. You see how they really are, not just how the media portrays them.”
Katy Brannen, a junior psychology and pre-counseling major drives to Oklahoma City weekly to be involved in The Spero Project.
“It makes you communicate with people with language barriers, culture barriers… it gives you those basic skills you would need in another country,” Brannen said.
Prayer for the Nations occurs on campus every night at 10 p.m., in the prayer room in the GC.
“It’s a cool opportunity to learn cultural context and how we can be better stewards of praying for other countries,” senior psychology and pre-counseling major Alexa Rutledge said. “It’s really cool for people who are interested in other cultures and also for those who want to know how to better pray for God’s people.”
Freshman psychology pre-counseling Destinie Vincent volunteers with Age to Age, serving and spending time with elderly at an elderly care facility.
“I go mostly because it’s cool to fellowship with people that have been in past generations. It’s also a really good experience to have if one of your family members goes through that. Most of them Alzheimer’s,” Vincent said.
Mission Center is a program created to serve inner-city youth in Oklahoma City, loving them, playing games, eating snacks and sharing the light of Christ.
“I’m a senior now and I’ve been working with the same kids since I’ve been a freshman. I think it’s an awesome ministry, a way to look into the needs of our own area,” senior history major Ezra Pratt said.
Cargo Ranch is a mentorship program with horses and disadvantaged youth in Shawnee. Hope House allows volunteers to spend time with children and youth waiting on foster placement in downtown Shawnee, in a temporary living situation/emergency shelter.
On the Ground is focused on homeless ministry in Shawnee. Reach Shawnee is a ministry that does evangelism and other activities to “reach Shawnee.”
One table held information for a study abroad and international missions opportunity through Veritas. Charlie Harrisberger, the director of Veritas, said students should go abroad to make their faith more real.
“[Students] can get college credit, and longer-term cross cultural ministry experience than they would on a short term one or two week mission trip,” Harrisberger said.
“Because they recognize that we live in a global world, we have a responsibility as Christians to be concerned about the spread of the gospel everywhere.”
For more information, contact Harrisberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fair was held in the third week of the semester to give people time to get into the swing of the semester and then look to what else they can be involved in.
J-term 2019 GO Trips include Brazil, China, Ghana, Greece, Hawaii, Nepal, North Africa, Panama and South Asia.
“Over the next several weeks, students will have the opportunity to hear about trips, pray about them, and apply,” McLaughlin said.
Sophomore family and community services major Reagan Meadows traveled to Greece during this year’s J-term.
“It really allowed me to see views outside of mind and to see gods plan outside my world, outside my American mindset…. And the people of Greece are so welcoming and loving,” Meadows said.
The deadline for J-term 2019 Go trips is March 29th.
Even though the fair is over, there is still ample opportunity to participate in local ministries and upcoming GO Trips. Contact any of the students mentioned above through their OBU email addresses.