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Southern to send to send 50 on summer mission trips
May 04, 2004
By David Roach

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Students taking summer mission trips filled the front of Alumni Memorial Chapel during an April 22 commissioning service.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will send more than 50 people on mission trips to five countries in three continents this summer.

The trips, which will be lead by Southern professors, are scheduled for Kenya May 17-31, Tanzania May 17-31, Southern Sudan May 17-31, Ecuador May 15-26 and East Asia July 24-August 9.

The seminary held a commissioning service for the summer mission teams during chapel April 22.

“This is the day in which we know the church faces unprecedented opportunities,” Southern president R. Albert Mohler Jr. said during the service.

“The real issue is whether we’re going to be faithful to meet those opportunities with the measure of resolve and commitment that it’s going to take in order to see the Gospel taken to every tongue and tribe and people and nation, every spot on the earth.

“I’m thankful that Southern Seminary, as represented by these here before us, is going to make an impact on eternity on the mission field even this summer.”

The trips to Kenya, Tanzania and Southern Sudan will occur as a part of Southern’s partnership with the Eastern Africa region of the International Mission Board. The Southern Sudan team will face temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit as they do evangelism in cities and remote villages.

The teams traveling to Ecuador and East Asia will participate in evangelistic campaigns and teach chronological Bible storying, a method of evangelism that explains redemptive history to people unfamiliar with the Christian worldview.

“I am convinced that if we can get our students actually doing missions while they’re here on our campus, they will be more open to missions themselves and will lead churches that are more mission-minded,” said Chuck Lawless, senior associate dean of Southern’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth.

“In fact, my prayer is that God would provide enough funding that we could actually require our students to take an international missions trip as part of their training here. Our faculty who lead these trips will also be more sensitive to connecting their own disciplines and classes to fulfilling the Great Commission,” he said.

Professors scheduled to lead the trips include David Sills, associate professor of Christian missions and cultural anthropology; George Martin, M. Theron Rankin Professor of Christian Missions; Daniel Hatfield, vice president for Student Services; Larry Purcell, professor of Leadership and Church ministry; Timothy Beougher, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth; and Brad Waggoner, dean of the School of Leadership and Church Ministry.

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