PLAINVIEW – Over the next few years, students at Wayland Baptist University will have the opportunity to visit several different regions of the world doing missions work, based on a plan unveiled by the Baptist Student Ministries program.
BSM director Donnie Brown said the long-range missions plan allows the program to prepare better for coming trips and to formulate a strategy for missions experiences for Wayland students and staff alike.
“Instead of just doing whatever sounded good at the moment, we wanted to have a plan to give some direction and order to the missions program,” Brown said. “Students have different interests and gifts, so this will provide different opportunities to use those gifts.”
The plan calls for a Wayland group to visit each of the five world regions, as designated by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, within a 10-year period or less. Each year’s plan includes trips to at least two of the regions as well as opportunities within the United States and the West Texas area. (The regions are defined as the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Pacific Rim.)
“We wanted to provide an opportunity for students to be involved in various types of ministries: urban and rural, children and adults, evangelism and prayerwalking, and others,” Brown added.
The strategy includes weekly missions projects that are already in place through the BSM, such as apartment ministry to children, prison ministry and servant evangelism experiences. Mission Emphasis Week will involve a campus focus on missions with special speakers planned, panel discussions and a missions fair. Students will continue to be encouraged to pursue missions service through the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Go Now Missions program over the summer or for a semester. In the past, many Wayland students have participated in such ventures.
Major mission trips will involve two-year partnerships with Wayland contacts in various regions of the world. Brown said he wants to partner with alums who may be serving in various countries in order to plan mission work.
For the coming two years, for example, Brown has planned a summer trip to Budapest, Hungary, to assist WBU alums Mark Aderholt and Shanna Buck, both of whom are currently serving there. Brown is also planning a summer trip to Australia, where Wayland alums Clinton and Jennifer Staj, Salem Posey and Greg and Sara Howle are serving as the band Zuigia. A trip to Asia is set for 2007-08.
Domestically, mission trips to South Padre Island for spring break’s Beach Reach evangelism effort will continue, with First Baptist Church in Plainview leading that trip. Other projects on tap include a return to North Dakota, where students helped lead a Disciple Now weekend over spring break in March, and return visits to El Paso and Mexico. Short weekend service projects will be offered at various community agencies in the Plainview area and in Lubbock and Amarillo.
Brown said he hopes the long-range plan will allow for greater involvement by Wayland faculty and staff in missions with students, both on major trips and in area service projects. He also hopes churches will get involved by helping to sponsor trips or provide resources.
Brown is seeking support from Wayland alums and others who would be willing to partner with the BSM in this endeavor in the following areas: