More than 150 Alabama students were commissioned April 23 to serve across the globe this summer through One Mission Students.
This year’s REACH commissioning weekend, held April 22–23 at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, marked the 75th anniversary of student summer missions for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said Chris Mills, SBOM student missions strategist.
“Thousands of students have served throughout the years, and many people across the globe have heard the name of Jesus and turned to Him for salvation as a result of these Alabama student missionaries taking a step of obedience and giving a summer to serve,” Mills said.
Mills said many of the students who have served later followed God’s call to vocational ministry assignments, often in the geographical area where they served in summer missions.
Paul Worcester, national director of collegiate evangelism for the North American Mission Board, gave the missions challenge to the students. He spoke of the great need for individuals willing to share the gospel with unreached people. The problem is not with the harvest but with finding laborers, he said.
‘Give your life’
“God is calling some of [you] not to just give a summer, but to give [your] life to sharing the gospel,” Worcester said.
Sarah Farley-Beall, student mobilization associate for the International Mission Board, issued the missions challenge to families and friends. Farley-Beall encouraged parents to pray for their children and to “grab hold” of the fact their children are following in the footsteps of people who have fearlessly gone before them.
Jacob Freeman, Baptist Campus Ministries minister at the University of Montevallo, gave the commissioning charge to the students, and Scotty Goldman, SBOM director of global missions, led the commissioning prayer.
The students commissioned this year will serve in the United States, as well as in several countries, including Poland, England and Germany.
Answering the call
During REACH weekend, students are trained in safe travel, evangelism, cultural awareness, conflict resolution and other issues that might arise while serving.
This year marked the first full team of students since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic curtailed opportunities and plans in 2020 and 2021. Mills said he is excited to see so many students answer the call to serve.
“I was encouraged by my time with these students, celebrating being back in person and sending them to make the name of Jesus known across the globe,” he said. “I am prayerful and expecting the Lord to work in amazing ways as this class of student summer missionaries go across our state and across our world.”
One Mission Students provides multiple opportunities throughout the year, from Christmas and spring break trips to semester-long projects. To find out about missions opportunities for older high school students and college students, click here. (Reporting by Laurie Mullinax)