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OBU students plant seeds of hope during African mission trip

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.
BY ALEX SHIRLEY Modified: October 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm •  Published: October 13, 2012

Dayla Rowland, who serves as student ministry associate of evangelism and mobilization at OBU, led the trip. She said one of her favorite things in the African bush was the night sky. With no nearby cities or bright light sources, the Zambian sky is free of light pollution, allowing the stars to shine brighter than most people probably have seen. Viewing the countless stars and Milky Way system each night before bed was “an incredible reminder that the Lord is Creator God,” Rowland said.

Following their two weeks building relationships in Isoka, the OBU students traveled 14 hours by truck to the town of Mapanza. In this location, the students spent 10 days serving children at New Day Orphanage, working alongside missionaries Blu and Darbi Tidwell.

The vision of the New Day Orphanage (NDO) is to give Zambian orphans hope for the future by fusing together three necessary elements to success in this third-world country: A Christian worldview, Zambian culture and a quality education. OBU students assisted in the “Christian worldview” aspect of the orphanage's mission.

Students connected with the children by teaching electives at school, visiting the local clinic and conducting a soccer camp for the kids. In addition to ministering to the children, the students also assisted in the construction of a cheese cave to serve the orphanage's practical needs of food preservation storage. The students' impact at the orphanage proved not only significant and meaningful to the Zambian children, but also to the OBU students themselves.

Burnett said, “You learn things when you go somewhere unfamiliar. It changes you. Challenges you. Deepens your faith.”