Bekah Gulledge first sensed a call to missions as an 18-year-old. She believed that meant she would get the training she needed then head overseas to start her missionary work. Little did she know that her involvement in international missions would start right on her college campus in Little Rock.
As Bekah transitioned from high school to college, she quickly got plugged into Metro BCM, working with the leadership team. She was excited about the opportunities that opened for her to go on short-term missions trips, believing that she needed to go overseas in order to engage in international missions. But over time, Bekah’s eyes were opened to the large number of internationals who lived right there in Little Rock, many of them on her very own college campus. Through these fellow students, Bekah had access to people from 62 countries, including some from unreached people groups.
Because of the short-term missions trips Bekah had taken, she knew how it felt to be an international in a strange, new place. This ignited in her a passion to start getting to know incoming international students, seeking to meet their needs in whatever way she could. She began to strike up friendships, helping new students with transportation and offering them tips on how to engage in this strange culture. Above all, she offered them friendship that helped stave off the loneliness of being in a strange place away from the familiarity of home, family, and friends.
Bekah once believed that her calling wouldn’t start until she graduated from college and moved overseas. Instead, she has discovered that God was working through her the moment she surrendered to Him as Lord of her life. And for this season of life, she is a missionary on her college campus.
Sometimes this happens in a Bible study where she shares truths or stories from the Bible, then challenges her fellow students to share what they have learned with someone else. Some of these students haven’t yet become Christians, but they still call their parents back home to share what they are learning from the Bible. Bekah is often amazed by the reality that a Bible study group in Little Rock, Arkansas, is resulting in the Gospel being spread around the world.
Other times, being a missionary looks like going out for coffee, taking a hike, hosting a party, teaching friends how to cook, or going skating. Many times, Bekah participates in activities in which she is the only American in the group, even though geographically she is only a few miles from where she grew up.
All of this has been made possible because Arkansas Baptists willingly give to the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering. Every year, these offerings fuel college ministries all over the state, equipping them to connect with students like Bekah who have a passion for ministry. While Christian students are nourished, fed, and encouraged to grow personally with Christ, they are also provided with avenues for reaching non-Christians with the Gospel. They are shown how to build relationships and meet needs.
In this way, Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions efforts become a strategic open door for reaching our entire world with the saving message of the Gospel.