Students Go Around The Globe for Summer Missions
This summer, Oral Roberts University sent out 32 mission teams to the various corners of the globe. Each team had a different focus but all working under the same vision. Founder and Chancellor Oral Roberts' commission from God was:
"Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased."
The countries visited by ORU missions wee Kenya, Togo, Tanzania, Belize, Guatemala, Zambia, Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, Uganda, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cambodia, China, Fuji, Thailand, Germany Poland, Romania and Russia.
ORU students continue under this precept in the different aspects of campus life, including missions. Here is a look at 7 of the teams that went out.
A team of nine students and one theology professor went to the country of Togo located on the coast of West Africa. They were able to help drill two water wells, plant churches and train pastors.
"We had one night where we presented the gospel and showed some videos to a village," recalled junior Rebecca Knight. "There was a man who had been known as the village sorcerer, and he decided to give his life to the Lord. He said he felt like burdens were lifted off his shoulders and he felt free. Later, we had the privilege of walking down to the river in the jungle with many villagers, including the man who had given his life to God, and helped baptize them and see their lives changed. It was an honor and a blessing to be a part of."
Six male students served in Tanzania by building off of a previous ORU mission project. These men built a brick church to also be used as a community center for the village of Rubalezi.
"In order to get to Rubalisi village, we had to take a plane ride to a small city, drive in a car 10, take a boat the next day for 14 hours through the night and then hike 22 miles with our 40 pound packs right after the boat ride to get to the village," said senior Philip Nelson. "While this seemed hard at the time it was well worth the sacrifice because we were bringing them the Gospel of Jesus Christ which brings restoration and life to a lost and hurting people."
Three different groups of students traveled to Kenya for missions. The Kenya Dominion Farms group consisted of seven students who assembled detailed, lengthy operations guides for aquaculture curriculum, rice farming, rice mill, security, guest house, community farming operations, created and installed a bio-digester, and helped guide development of a baby food formula.
The Disciples of Mercy group was made up of five students who developed economic opportunities for AIDS victims. The team created two chicken farms and one bee-hive in the local village, impacting 60 members of the community.
Media Africa was a mission group working with Dominion Farms and Disciples of Mercy capturing 20 hours of footage and more than 2500 photos. Media Africa was able to provide Dominion Farms with high-quality media content that can be given to editors and developed into various promotional materials. Disciples of Mercy was given 36 completed videos for their orphan sponsor program, showing the individual students at their schools and homes, as well as a selection of photos for promotional use and assistance with the development of an overview video for the ministry.
"We worked alongside those who the community looked down upon, HIV victims," said sophomore Katie Barnett. "We could not have lived more different lives, yet we worked together for the same purpose. We used the same tools, and relieved each other when someone needed a break. Day after day the work of our hands progressed, and there was a tangible difference. When we left each evening, there was more than when we arrived. It was invaluable for me to do the work instead of just understanding its process."
Six students had the opportunity to build a three bedroom house for a single mother of four in the village of Unitedville in Belize. The team also built an addition to the mother's personal business and gave her a propane fridge.
"We were able to show the love of Christ to a family through the building of a house," said freshman Ashley Powell. "They taught us a lesson in faith and trust in God through her ever present positive attitude, even in the face of such terrible circumstances."
Eight students served in the Ixcan Jungle building water filters that helped 75 families, a total of 600 people. In Santa Maria de Jesus, 3 stoves were installed and 1 water cistern was completed, as well as aid provided to a family devastated by a hurricane.
"A volcano erupted, a hurricane blew through, and the mountains around us had several mud slides collapse," said Junior Jeremy Ferguson. "God definitely kept us safe because the mudslides should had ran right through the town we were in were somehow diverted around us. The next day we were able to bring aid to those who were affected most by the mudslides. We brought comfort to this one family near the edge of the town and helped them gather their belongings from the wreckage. When we left they said that they felt the love of god because he sent us to help them. They said, 'God hasn't forgotten about us.'"
Four students were able to build 60 Bio-Sand Water Filters which resulted in more than enough to have one installed in each home in the Sekute Village. Students also helped train women for agricultural business and hosted other training workshops.
"The team had expected to do Vacation Bible School in the villages for the majority of the time," said senior Mark Reyes. "However, this quickly changed to classes on water sanitation and the building of water filters for the village of Sekute. This just shows that God works in many other avenues of life. It was not the team who supplied the money for the building of the water filters, it was God working through the faithful giving of others within the Church."
Five senior students helped farmers in Senegal learn business tactics and helped them get an approval for a loan to go towards research and help break poverty in this area.
"I was challenged to move out of the confines of my comfort zone by empathizing with the people that we encountered," said junior Kudzai Shereni. "I gained a greater appreciation of my team as we worked on our assigned projects, and the love and support they expressed to me is a memory I will always cherish."