A Passion for Missions

Think back to when you were a kid, when you were passionate about so many different things. You wanted to be like every super hero you saw—your dad, a firefighter, a police officer or maybe even an NBA or NFL star. This is what so many of us are passionate about; these are the people we looked up to and wanted to become. As a little kid, you would go outside and pretend to be those heroes: later on you wrote papers about them. But I was always different, not in the sense that I didn't look up to these people, because I did. I play college basketball as a result of those idols, but my dream was never to be a famous basketball player. I always dreamed of being a great preacher or leader.

I was different in other ways too. I was shy, and my home life wasn't exactly stable. So I was always looking in a different direction than most of the kids my age. For as long as I can remember my family went to church. This was my life; my mom worked at the church and volunteered with the youth all the time, so I was always there. Church became my haven. I had no father figure, so the men in the church became that for me. Because of their examples I accepted the Lord when I was in 3rd Grade, and everyone knew it.

It was crazy; my friends and I would play basketball all day long. It was what we did, what we lived for. But when we got tired we would set up chairs by my back porch, and I would stand there and preach to them. I remember sitting in my room memorizing scripture just to go outside and tell my friends about it. It was around that time that I told everyone I wanted to be a preacher when I grew up.

As I got older that decision never changed, that is, until the day a missionary came to church. He was showing slides and talking about missions. I was hooked; my heart just cried out for them, and I knew that was my calling. I never really had the chance to experience foreign missions until I came to Bluefield College. I was reading my emails one day, and I ran across one asking for students to go on the spring break mission's trip to Peru. I wanted to go as soon as I read it, until I saw the price. I had no clue how I was going to raise the funds, so I just ignored it. About a month later, when I was asked if I wanted to go, I said that I couldn't afford it. I was told, "Yeah, you can; just sign up." I wanted to go so badly that I didn't question; I just signed up. Through prayer and the grace of God, my home church provided the funds.

That trip changed my life. When we got there, the people were so excited that they just surrounded us. They wanted to hear what we had to say, mainly because we were Americans, and they held on to every word. I will always remember a man from the local church who came to us with tears in his eyes and saying the only English words that he knew: "God Bless you." That picture will stay with me and encourage me to gain the tools I need to go out and share the Word, to be that missionary who is equipped to go wherever God might send me. That is my drive, my passion, my reason for coming to Bluefield College.

Devon
Class of 2013