Showing Love Through Missions
BC student Natasha Wood talks about preparations for her upcoming mission trip to South Africa.
November 29, 2011
Students from Bluefield College and Radford University are working together to raise funds for a missions trip to South Africa in January.
Natasha Wood, a senior at BC from Wytheville, Va., will join a group of RU students who will leave Jan. 1 on a trip sponsored by the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. Wood and the RU students, members of RU’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM), will work at an orphanage called Doors of Hope, where their primary job will be to hold babies who are never held.
They’ll also spend time in the Free State province of South Africa, where they’ll be starting a church that’s already been planted.
Wood has already been to South Africa.
BC Student Natasha Wood
“I feel like God is calling me into full-time missions so I’m really hoping this will help me to see exactly where he wants me to go and what he wants me to do,” she said.
Wood has been involved with the RU BCM for several years now.
“Jenifer, the RU BCM leader, knew I had been to South Africa before and she asked me if I wanted to go again,” said Wood, “And I said yes!”
Students at RU and BC have been actively involved in missions and feel strongly about it.
“It’s just showing love,” said Wood. “I know a lot of people go into missions with the idea of telling people about Jesus, but if you’re just showing them love, then they’re going to see something is different about you.”
Preparing for these trips takes months of planning and fundraising. Students who go write support letters asking for money and prayers. They also organize fundraising events. The RU BCM sold T-shirts and held a benefit concert and a flag football tournament to raise funds for South Africa.
Christine Evans, a sophomore at RU from Martinsville, Va., is a member of RU’s BCM council and helped organize the benefit concert.
“Our goal is $34,000 and we’re at $23, 000,” said Evans. “So we’re looking to raise $9,000 in the next few weeks for this trip.”
While some students have found it hard to raise the $2,500 to go to South Africa, Wood has found it to be quite easy.
“I’ve been extremely blessed,” said Wood. “I have been every time that I fundraise. That’s part of the reason I know this is where God wants me to go because doors open everywhere. I have an amazing church that supports me and God has poured out blessings left and right.”
The benefit concert was in Bondurant Auditorium on Sat., Nov. 12. Three bands played at the concert including one of BC’s own, “Becoming More.”
“Becoming More” band members are Grant Thomas, a sophomore from Chesapeake, Va. (vocals and guitar); Zach Breland, a junior from Laguna Niguel, Ca. (lead guitar); J.D. Taylor, a sophomore from Bluefield, Va. (guitar); Bryce Laxton, a sophomore from Fairfax County, Va. (bass); and Josh King, a sophomore from Spotsylvania, Va. (drums).
King and Laxton weren’t able to make it to the concert on Saturday, so Cody McCarty, a freshman from Buchanan, Va., and Kristen Slade, a sophomore from North Tazewell, Va., filled in for them.
Slade said it meant a lot to her to go and support students who have a passion for missions.
“Anytime I hear of anyone going on a mission trip, I just want to help them anyway I can,” said Slade. “I’ve always wanted to go to Africa, so I thought it was cool to play at a benefit concert that supported a trip there.”
“Becoming More” was excited to play at this concert because it was the band’s first time playing at RU.
“It was cool to be with different bands who also share a passion for worship and leading others to Christ through worship,” said Thomas.
Students from BC attended the concert to support those going to Africa and their friends who were playing in the band.
“It really meant a lot to me to see groups from different areas coming together to support their fellow sisters and brothers in Christ,” said Amanda Heller, a sophomore from Chesapeake, Va. “It was a great reminder that we need to support one another in all that we do for Christ.”
Bobby Courtney, a sophomore from Henrico, Va., said his favorite part was worshiping and spending time with his friends.
If you’re interested in supporting the RU BCM trip to South Africa through prayers or donations, you can add its page: “RU BCM South Africa Mission Team SUPPORT” on Facebook.