ETBU Missions Fair Attracts 150 Area Childrenby Joe Holloway News Messenger
This Article has a Photo Gallery
MARSHALL NEWS MESSENGER (2/15/13) - Over 150 children from area churches descended on the East Texas Baptist University campus Wednesday evening for an International Missions Fair in the school’s Ornelas Spiritual Life Center.
The event was a joint endeavor between ETBU’s International Education Department, which recruits international students and facilitates study abroad programs, and the Great Commission Center, which promotes missions and ministries in the local community and abroad.
"We have student missionaries who have served in a number of different locations,” said Dr. Melody Maxwell, ETBU’s Director of the Great Commission Center. "As well as many of our international students from our International Education Office.”
She said 18 different countries were represented by students who have lived in or done mission work in those countries.
"We have like 18 different booths lead by our student missionaries and international students who are here from other countries,” said Maxwell. "It’s a great opportunity for the children to come out and learn about other cultures and what God’s doing around the world.”
Alan Huesing, Director of the International Education Department, said his department has been putting on some sort of international event every year since he joined ETBU in 1991.
"It’s always something different,” he said. "Some years it’s for adults and some years it’s for kids.
"This year it’s for children.”
ETBU freshman Cassie Brown shared her experiences from the past two summers working in Guatemala.
"I worked with Fellowship Guatemala,” she said. "They train pastors to plant churches throughout the country.”
The theatre arts major said going on the trips was "so much fun” and changed her life, but that she really enjoyed telling others about her journey at the international fair as well.
"I love it,” she said. "I love kids and I love telling people about Guatemala so it’s going well.”
ETBU senior Shelby Upton told the visiting kids of her "underground” trip to Bangladesh where she taught English to underprivileged girls.
"It’s becoming increasingly difficult to go to Bangladesh as an American,” she said. "The government is getting tired of Americans going there and adopting all their kids. There’s also a lot of oil there so there’s a lot of American involvement in that as well.”
Upton said working in the country was scary at times, but that she definitely would want to go back.
"It was awesome,” she said. "I want to go back and visit soon.”
Fellow ETBU senior Tania Albuja is actually an international student from Ecuador who was on hand to tell kids about her home country.
"Not too many people know about Ecuador,” she said. "Probably because it’s a small country in South America, but I’d love for them to find out about it.”
One of the kids who learned about Ecuador was 11-year-old Alexis Cole.
"I learned the colors of the Ecuador flag in Spanish,” she said, adding that she was having an all around good time at the fair. "I’m having a lot of fun.”
(used by permission www.marshallnewsmessenger.com)
Photo gallery photos by Ryan Perry/ETBU