April 2, 2019
East Texas Baptist University held a series of events as a part of the annual ETBU Global Missions Week on Monday, March 25 through Thursday, March 28. To highlight both international and local missions, the week consisted of Mission Marketplace, a Mission Interest Lunch, Go Now Missions Run, and special guests for chapel services.
“Global Missions Week is designed to help our students develop a fuller understanding of the call of Christians to missions and give them access to available opportunities for them to serve locally, nationally and globally,” ETBU Director of Global Education and the Great Commission Center (GCC) Lisa Seeley shared. “The University’s emphasis on serving the community is itself an emphasis on missions. The most rewarding part of my ministry is encouraging students to love the Lord with all they are and, out of that, develop an overwhelming desire to love their neighbors.”
The University invited Hub Urban Ministries Founder Cassie Hammett as a guest speaker for Monday’s chapel service. The organization provides access to a restored life through two efforts including The Lovewell Center, an outreach to the homeless, and Purchased: Not for Sale, a ministry for victims of human trafficking. Teaching from Luke 5, Hammett urged the ETBU community to realize that the Great Commission is a command to all believers.
“We are all called to make disciples, specifically among the broken, sick, orphaned, widowed, and stranger,” Hammett explained. “We exist to reach out to and stand up for all of society’s outcasts. Our mission is to help them encounter Jesus, that their lives may be radically transformed forever. If you want to see the Gospel come alive, walk in the trenches with people. Your daily bread will no longer seem stale to you. Deconstruct the box around missions and commit every square inch of your life to building His Kingdom.”
Buckner International President and CEO Albert L. Reyes also spoke during ETBU’s Global Missions Week. Buckner is a ministry dedicated to transform lives through foster care and adoption, retirement services, and family centers. Dr. Reyes, focusing on Luke 10, discussed the power of a question.
“Of the 307 questions Jesus was asked, He only answered three. He asked 167 questions himself. I think we can learn from His example to ask the right questions,” Dr. Reyes said. “It was actually a question that led to the formation of Buckner International. In 1877, Robert Cook Buckner raised a question following the Civil War: ‘If it was you who died and left your family behind, what would you want the church to do?’ Now, Buckner is in its 140th year of building the Kingdom of God. What does that look like? The Kingdom of God is a place where Jesus shows up and makes things right, where His disciples bring peace, healing, and justice.”
Global Missions Week allowed ETBU faculty, staff, and students to learn about practical ways to build the Kingdom of God. Mission Marketplace provided an opportunity for students to network and connect with believers living to fulfill the Great Commission. With more than 40 organizations represented, the exposition provided students with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse avenues to be involved in mission work. Designed for students seriously considering missions, the Mission Interest Lunch featured five ministries to allow more in-depth conversation.
“I spoke to Michelle Spencer, the Marshall Pregnancy Resource Center Director. I loved getting to hear her story,” ETBU senior Religion major Jessica Gann shared. “It was inspiring to see how God prepared her for the ministry. I attended Global Missions Week because I feel a pull to the mission field, and I wanted to be equipped to fulfill that call on my life. I want to help people physically, mentally, and spiritually, and I need to be ready at all times to share the Gospel of Christ with others.”
To raise funds to send Texas Baptist university students around the world to share the Gospel, the ETBU Baptist Student Ministry hosted the Wacky Tacky Missions Run. Students, faculty, and staff ran the 3K course around campus, yielding more than $550 for Go Now Missions.
“The ETBU BSM provides opportunities, such as the Global Missions Week, for students to become involved with missions through giving, praying, and serving,” ETBU BSM Director David Griffin said. “My advice to students considering a call to missions is to focus on personal spiritual growth, find a mentor, serve locally, and take a Go Now mission trip. In my opinion, the best way to explore your calling is jumping into the mission field. Following graduation, I would also recommend the Journeyman program and Network of International Christian Schools (NICS). Jesus left the Church His commission to make disciples. We are all His missionaries, regardless of our career.”
To learn more about how to be involved in missions, visit www.etbu.edu/gcc.