Madison Lawrence has thought a lot about her “Jerusalem” this summer.
Right now, it’s the University of Montevallo, where she’s in her last year of studies — the place where she heard the gospel for the first time.
Many on St. Vincent and the Grenadines — the island chain where Lawrence grew up — consider the southern Caribbean country to be a Christian nation, she said.
“Everyone kind of thinks they believe in God,” Lawrence noted. “That was me, but I didn’t know anything about the gospel. It wasn’t until I moved to America and got plugged into BCM [Baptist Collegiate Ministry] that I learned who God was.”
She was baptized in September 2020.
“When I moved to college in 2018, everything turned around,” Lawrence said.
‘Encouragement and challenge’
Now she wants to be on mission wherever she is, whether Montevallo, back in her home country or somewhere else entirely.
Chris Mills, SBOM student missions mobilizer, said the idea was born out of discussions about how to engage students in missions, as travel was more difficult than pre-COVID-19.
“What we wanted to do was challenge them to ‘live sent’ where they are and provide some encouragement and challenge in that regard,” he explained.
Starting in late June, Live Sent offered a six-week virtual study through the Book of Acts, led by Chuck Lawless, dean/vice president at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina; Emily Hamilton, compassion ministry director for Etowah Baptist Association and campus minister at Gadsden State Community College; Zach Beasley, campus minister at Alabama State University in Montgomery and Tuskegee University; and Fady Al-Hagal, multiplication and international minister at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood.
Lawrence said as a new Christian, it was one of the first times she had gone through Acts.
‘Engaging with the idea’
“It made me think of my life and how I’m pursuing my college campus, the way I’m pursuing my relationship with Christ and the people on my campus,” she said.
The study brought together students from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, and involved weekly challenges such as:
- Have a gospel conversation
- Prayer-walk your community
- Text five friends and pray specifically for them for the next five weeks
“From my perspective, some of the challenges and the way they were processing that was really encouraging,” Mills said. “We saw them engaging with the idea of what it means to ‘live sent.’”