While most college students will be relaxing or vacationing during Spring Break this year, Bluefield College students will be working and serving on mission in Panama, and they’re asking for your help to support their cause.
As part of the college’s mission to teach service above self and to develop transformational servant leaders, BC students will be using time off from classes and studying during Spring Break 2018 to serve on mission, March 3-10, among the Kuna indigenous people in Panama. With a total population of just more than 50,000, the Kuna are the largest indigenous group in Panama. And from this population, a mere four percent profess to be Christians. The Kuna Baptist churches in Panama City are calling for short-term missionaries to help them reach out to Kuna youth and others in their “barrios” by sharing their testimonies to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.
“The traditional religion of the Kuna is similar to Voodoo, and even among fledgling churches there are many Biblical beliefs mixed with folk-religious elements,” said BC campus pastor Dr. Henry Clary, who will join students on the mission to Panama. “Thus, there is a great need for mature and growing Christians to interact with these young believers in Panama to help disciple them and invite others into a faith relationship with Christ.”
Working alongside members of the Kuna Baptist churches, the Bluefield College students will help facilitate worship services, share their testimonies in the churches, participate in door-to-door ministry, host Vacation Bible Schools, and spend time in public schools teaching English.
Right now, the students are currently in the midst of a variety of fundraising activities to pay for the cost of their travel. Among those is the planning of a gospel benefit concert, scheduled for Saturday, February 3 at 7 p.m. in Harman Chapel, featuring the Walls of Jasper trio. A love offering from the event, open to the public, will help cover the costs of the mission trip, but students are asking churches, alumni and other friends to consider giving in other ways.
“They are praying you will give financially,” said Dr. Clary. “It costs each student $1,500 to participate in this mission. Donations from friends will help us answer God’s call to travel to Panama to minister to the Kuna people. The students are raising funds through various activities, but those of you who walk with Christ know the joy and power of giving.”
Alumni and friends may give online by visiting bluefield.edu/giving, clicking “make a gift,” and following the instructions to give as a registered user or through the “quick give” option. Alumni and friends may also give by texting a donation amount to 276-451-7646, by calling 276-326-4208, or by mailing a check to Bluefield College, Panama Mission, 3000 College Drive, Bluefield, VA 24605.
Beyond supporting the mission through gifts, Dr. Clary said that alumni and friends can sustain the students through prayer.
“Please pray for our students who are taking a leap of faith in committing to this mission,” he said. “Pray for them as they plan and prepare. Pray for an individual team member each day from March 3-10 as they walk in the word of Christ. When God’s people step out on mission, they step onto the field of battle and claim the power of the Holy Spirit to help guide and protect them. You are invited to ‘hold the ropes’ for these young believers as they respond to God’s call to be on this mission.”