Students had the chance to speak with representatives of nearly 30 organizations about service opportunities at this semester’s Ministry and Missions Expo.
The expo, which was held from 11-2 p.m. in Brewer Dining Hall Oct. 28-29, offered opportunities for the summer, semester and after graduation.
“Regardless of what their calling is, [students] need to find the place where God is working and plug themselves in,” said Wally Bryson, who works with Nehemiah Teams and Project 52.
These organizations partner with the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board, both of which were present. The goal of Nehemiah Teams and Project 52 is to aid reaching every nation with Christianity through an eight week summer program. Students start training during the week of Memorial Day and return around the last days of July. They coordinate with IMB and NAMB teams to provide people to meet ministry needs.
“They can do anything from play basketball in the Philippines to teach English in South Korea,” Bryson said.
A booth for the IMB contained materials on summer programs for students as well as the two-year Journeyman Program, which is for recent college graduates.
Not only were their opportunities for students to serve internationally, but many tables represented U.S. organizations.
Ashley Carswell, a May graduate, spent the summer working with the Southern Wisconsin Baptist Association, which she represented Tuesday.
She worked with international college students, many of whom were in the area because of the University of Wisconsin.
“There’s all these students that are coming from other countries that have never heard the Gospel,” she said. “They come to America and if we can share the Gospel with them and make disciples while they’re here in America, then they’re going to go back to their countries and get to share Christ back in their communities in a way that we could never do.”
Carswell said in the entire Southern Wisconsin Baptist Association there are only about 28 churches—roughly the equivalent of the amount of churches in Madison County.
Another worker in the association lives in a town of 65,000 people without a single church.
“It’s just a lot different than the south,” Carswell said. “They need believers to come and just be a presence, be a light there. They need church planters. The harvest is plentiful, but there’s not a church in this city of 65,000 people in America.”
Ashley Akerson, junior art major, represented WinShape after working there for the last two summers.
“We use the term ‘summer of a lifetime,’ and I don’t think it could be described any other way,” she said.
During her summers, Akerson worked sound and lighting, taught drawing and painting and set up events.
“I definitely say go to the website and just apply,” she said. “I just say go for it, no hesitations.”
The other organizations present included Africa Inland Mission, Crossings, Dawson McAllister Association, English Language Institute China, First Baptist Church in Sudbury, Greater Europe Mission, Habitat for Hope, Indigenous Outreach International, Infinity Sports, Kentucky Mountain Mission, Kontaktmission, Love Thy Neighborhood, Network of International Christian Schools, Project Transformation Tennessee, Service Over Self Memphis, Show Hope/Red Bus Project, World Changers/P2 Missions, World Relief Memphis, Wycliffe Bible Translators and Youth Haven Bible Camp.