Bluefield College students recently completed a spring mission trip to Peru as part of Virginia Baptists’ greater effort to share the Gospel and to build churches in South America.
Armed with a slingshot, a soccer ball, candy, and the Good News, the BC missionaries spent five days in Matucana and Lima in communities where there are no Baptist churches.
“We went there with the express purpose of strengthening the work of the International Mission Board (IMB) in Peru,” said Campus Minister David Taylor, “to increase the Baptist faith and to build the foundation for Baptist churches in South America.”
Co-sponsored by the IMB and the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, the students used their soccer ball and candy to engage children in the town squares. They also used the slingshot to connect with kids and to share the story of David and Goliath and the God David served.
“We went all the way to South America with a story and a few simple tools, and we were able to share the Gospel with another part of the world,” said Taylor about BC’s mission to be in service to God and the global community, “but you don’t have to go abroad to share your faith. You can witness right here at home to a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker, or a family member. We’re all missionaries with a story to tell.”
The eight students and two faculty advisors — including Taylor and Professor Greg Kerr and students Melissa Kerr of Bluefield, Virginia; Devon Matthews of Gate City, Virginia; Evan Sherman of Newport, Pennsylvania; Ben Taylor of Bluefield, Virginia; J.D. Taylor of Bluefield, Virginia; Katie Warren of Princeton, West Virginia; Heather Wells of Tazewell, Virginia; and Emily Wingfield of Gloucester, Virginia — played soccer, volleyball and freeze tag with the local children, all for the purpose of later sharing testimonies and leading Bible studies with the locals.
“The kids just love you,” said Wells. “They’re not really sure why you’re there, but they don’t care. They just want to play and learn more about you.”
The BC group also visited local schools, taught English, and participated in other activities to support the cause of the International Mission Board and its career missionaries in Peru.
“That was one of the coolest things about the trip,” said Taylor, “to see how excited the other Christians were to see us there. They were very appreciative. All they kept saying was ‘God bless you.'”
The spring 2010 mission to Peru is just one of many ways the school strives to fulfill its mission of being a Christ-centered college in service to God and the global community. Last spring, BC students traveled on mission to China. In the spring of 2008, students served on mission in South Africa, and in 2007 at Graffiti Church in New York City. Other missions abroad have included trips to China in the summer of 2006, Brazil in the spring of 2006, and Europe in the summer of 2005.