Editors Note: This article was written by Jared Farley, BCM campus minister at Henderson State University, his alma mater. Mary (his wife) and Jared have been married for 5 years and love discipling college students to know and love God more fully.
Reach the campus, and you can reach the world for Christ. Does that seem like an exaggeration? I was convinced that God was willing to do just that through our obedience at Henderson State University. Going to make disciples of all nations needed to start with reaching and discipling students right here on the local campus.
“This fall I will be traveling with the IMB to minister to high school and college students through ESL, sports, and music” said Christine, a graduating senior from Monticello, Arkansas. Christine is committed to be a missionary and fulfill God’s call to reach those in other countries with little to no access to the Gospel. Through intentional efforts at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM), she came to understand God’s heart for the nations and the fact that every Christian has a role to play in the great commission.
“The BCM has helped me grow so much. Throughout my four years I came to better understand the importance of daily Bible reading, memorizing scripture, fasting, and discipleship.” Christine led a small group on campus sharing the Gospel with her peers every year while she was in school. She excelled at building relationships and was a model student.
“In the past, this would have been the peak of our discipleship at BCM” said Jared Farley, “But God was convicting us that he was raising up students not only to reach the local campus, but to be sent into all the nations. We needed to expand our vision!” There are an abundance of students willing to be workers in the harvest if presented with the urgent need for the Gospel around the world. We started to mobilize students to this great need by three avenues: knowledge, experience, and discipleship.
“God has been developing my love for overseas missions for awhile now,” shares Christine. “My freshman year I participated in a class called Perspectives and later, a small discipleship group with material focused on missions (Xplore study)!” Perspectives is a 15-week course that focuses on God’s global purpose in the world. Former and current missionaries share tremendous stories of how God is actively using willing Christians around the world to bring the Gospel to people in need.
Another pivotal moment in Christine’s journey was a short-term summer mission trip to a very unreached country “and ever since then I knew that the Lord was calling me to serve overseas.” She is excited about this new journey to learn a new culture and practice her Spanish. However, she knows there will still be challenges. “I am probably most nervous about being in a big city. I’ve lived in small town Arkansas for most of my life. Going to a city with 5.6 million people is very different than what I’m used to!”
Will you continue to pray for Christine and other students like her to be reached and discipled on an Arkansas campus and sent to reach the world for Christ?