The hall of the Student Union Building was packed Tuesday and Wednesday with students and vendors for the Missions and Ministry Expo sponsored by the office of University Ministries.
The expo brought 11 organizations from across the region to campus in hopes of connecting students with opportunities available to them both regionally and internationally.
Melanie Taylor, ministry coordinator for the office of University Ministries, said she hopes the expo will draw students to the need to serve.
“I hope that this expo will open students’ eyes to the varied opportunities they have to use their gifts and talents in kingdom work,” she said.
In the past, the expo was held in conjunction with GO Week, which combined local and international vendors in one service fair. However, ministry leaders felt that students were overwhelmed and decided to take a more focused approach by breaking down the GO Week fair into three fairs, the Serve Jackson Expo, Summer Camp Expo and Missions and Ministry Expo, all held in the fall.
One of the participants in this year’s fair was Network of International Christian Schools, which set out to recruit teachers. The Memphis-based Women of Hope International was also on site. The organization works with women who have disabilities to give them tools and resources to generate income. The organization is based in the states but also has offices in Sierra Leon, West Africa.
Also present at the expo was Campus Crusade International and the Christian Appalachian Project. Both organizations offer long term and shorter missions opportunities. Julianna O’Brien, volunteer recruitment and alumni coordinator, said it was her first time at the expo, but she was excited to meet students and to provide them with information about the project.
“The Christian Appalachian project services the most poverty-stricken people in the region,” she said. “We provide families with a wide range of services including a thrift store and food pantry.”
O’Brien missions opportunities range from long term, one-year assignments to short term, one-week missions. Students would not be charged any fees associated with the missions and the project provides room and boards for the workers.