SHAWNEE — Participating in Global Outreach trips helps fulfill the mission of Oklahoma Baptist University students, faculty and staff on Bison Hill who seek to engage a diverse world.
An entire week of OBU's fall semester — called “GO Week” — is devoted to educating students about opportunities to serve through international missions experiences such as a Zambia trip, as well as local and regional venues.
In late May, seven OBU students and one staff member journeyed abroad to Zambia. Their objective was to offer the hope of eternal life in Jesus to the Zambian people.
The students' monthlong Global Outreach trip was split into two parts, the first half spent church-planting in the remote village of Isoka, and the second spent serving children at the New Day Orphanage in Mapanza.
With the help of his family and the Baptist Mission of Zambia, church planter and missionary Blake Kimbrough has been taking the gospel to many unreached villages for more than six years. Kimbrough is a representative of the International Mission Board and part of the Northern Evangelism Team in Zambia.
While many students are involved with ministry at OBU, in Shawnee's and in surrounding communities, few are privileged to experience hands-on ministry under the leadership of a church planter.
“I've had pastors pour into me, but never a church planter like this,” Hannah Burnett, a sophomore family and community services major from Richardson, Texas, said. “This was a completely different experience for me.”
With the experience of serving alongside a full-time church planter, students witnessed firsthand the challenges faced when planting seeds of hope with people who are unfamiliar with the Gospel. With barely more than 1,000 Baptist churches in Zambia today, servants such as Kimbrough and others in the Baptist Mission of Zambia hope to reach the “God-sized goal” of 10,000 churches.
During the first leg of the Global Outreach trip, the OBU group camped out in the Zambian bush, hiking miles to and from areas neighboring the village of Isoka. In the village, they spent time with local people to build relationships and, when possible, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.