Howe Returns from Mission

Amy Lubenow

Staff Writer

The people at Wayland play a very crucial role in making this school what it is. Many students feel that seeing familiar faces around campus is very comforting and helps this campus truly feel like their home. To many, Steve Howe is one of those familiar faces that has come to stand out among others. But only recently have students begun to see Steve around Wayland again.

For much of the student body, Steve is recognized as a former BSM president and SGA cabinet member. To others, Steve is the guy who makes up funny names for all of his friends. Others, however, associate Steve with the Marsh, a guitar, and fun renditions of melodies such as “Brown Eyed Girl.” And, let’s not forget the “stylin’ ” blue mini-van that Steve drives as he paints the town.

But what is Steve most well known for by his peers? Many students would simply say that Steve is known as a servant.

Born in Rochester, Michigan and raised in Buda, Texas, Steve is in his senior year as a religion major at Wayland. Steve came to know the Lord when he was thirteen years old at Centrifuge in Glorietta, New Mexico.

During his high school experience, Steve knew that he wanted to go into ministry and that he wanted to go to a Christian university, but he wasn’t expecting to end up in West Texas. One of Steve’s buddies from home was attending Wayland and talked Steve into spending a weekend on campus to see what it was like at Wayland. Oddly enough, Steve ended up visiting on a parents’ weekend. The truth is, Steve planned his visit this way for a specific reason.

Not wanting to see a facade of “the perfect university,” Steve chose to see the campus on a weekend where things wouldn’t be prepared to impress him. Steve wanted a real, valid experience of Wayland life, so he visited on a weekend when all the attention would be given to the parents. This decision enabled Steve to interact with the Wayland students as they were conducting life on a typical weekend. The time he spent here let Steve appreciate the Wayland student body for being real. This was one of the largest contributing factors that led Steve to choose Wayland. Also, knowing that he had a heart for full-time ministry, Wayland caught Steve’s attention because of the ministry opportunities and Christian education that was offered.

Steve decided to go into full-time ministry because he believes that is what God desires, and because that is where his greatest passion lies. Within the Christian ministry, Steve’s desire is to pursue full-time collegiate ministry. In the past, Steve has spent time working with youth groups and high school students, but he has ultimately come to realize that his heart rests with college students. Through this experience, Steve came to believe that God simply wants his service and that there is no limit to how he should do that. Embracing God’s desire for Steve to be involved in full-time ministry will happen through his future ministry to college students.

As many Wayland students know, Steve spent last semester in Worcester, Massachusetts, doing mission work on and off college campuses. His ministry was forming relationships with college students for the purposes of evangelism and discipleship. He began this ministry by simply making himself visible to the students he was around. This began with sitting in high-traffic places on campus, where Steve would take his guitar and play as students trekked across campus.

“Sometimes students would stop and ask questions, and other times students would just walk right past me,” Steve said.

As the semester progressed, Steve was given an opportunity to lead a Bible study for some of the students he got to know, but was challenged by the often low turn out. As you can imagine, Texan culture is much different than the culture in New England. To Steve, when four students showed up, he was tempted to feel discouraged or even think that he was doing something wrong. To the Christians in Worcester, four students attending a Bible study was a remarkable turn out. Adjusting to this virtual culture shock was one of the greatest challenges that Steve faced as he learned to minister to the specific needs of Worcester students. However, experiences such as taking a trip with a new friend from Worcester encouraged Steve greatly in his ministry.

Steve believes that doing mission work for a semester is an incredible venue for college students to pursue fulfilling the Great Commission. There is a great misconception among college students and American Christians alike that fulfilling the call to be Christ’s ambassadors “to the ends of the earth” excludes the hometowns of believers. Acts 1:8 says, “… You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Steve believes that just as early Christians were called to witness to their own towns and their own country, so are Christians today called to evangelize right where they live, not just in the foreign tribes of “bangy-bangy land”.

Now that one of the familiar faces of Wayland has returned, you can count on seeing him around campus sharing God’s joy, making people laugh, using funny nicknames, and serenading students as he walks around the marsh or sits on the Caprock bench.

And though students are blessed that Steve was able to minister in a new place, most would agree that it’s a comfort to have him back.