Collegians prepare for mission fields
May 23, 2011
By BARBARA DENMAN
Florida Baptist Convention

READY TO SERVE This year 44 of the students were commissioned to serve as summer missionaries during their student mission’s orientation and training weekend held at First Baptist Church of St. George Island. FBC photo
JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—While most young people spend summer vacation at the beach or finding jobs, many Florida Baptist college students will instead give of themselves and their time to serve as summer missionaries across the United States and the world.

This year, 104 students and leaders will represent Florida Baptists on short term and long-term mission trips, responding to a challenge by their Baptist Campus Ministry directors to explore avenues for sharing the Gospel.

In the effort coordinated by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Collegiate Ministries department, BCM recruits and enlists students to serve through the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board and International Mission Board.

Brad Crawford, BCM director for Orlando and University of Central Florida has recruited nearly a dozen students from UCF to go on a mission trip this summer. He will accompany a group to Central Asia working through the IMB.

“The great value in our summer missions program is what God does through those students and what God does in those students,” said Crawford.

“Students play such an important role in reaching the world for Christ. They often have the time to go on longer trips, they have great passion and energy, and they can go to places and people that are hard for others to reach. Many of our SBC missionaries rely on students as an important part of their overall ministry,” he added.

Furthermore, Crawford, noted, “What happens in those students’ lives is one of the great rewards of campus ministry. Time after time, those of us who work with college students see God use these trips as a way to open their eyes to see God’s heart for the world and God’s plans for them,”

For some, the trips are “a life-long calling to take the Gospel to an unreached nation,” Crawford said. “For others, it’s the realization that they can do the same types of things they do on trips right here at home, on campus and in their circles of influence. For all of them, it’s a chance for them to grow in their faith by experiencing new places, new food, new people, and new cultures.”

Among the 104 students and leaders serving this summer, 12 students will lead Vacation Bible Schools on the Florida mission field, helping churches unable to implement a VBS reach out to their community.

Funding for Florida’s students comes primarily from their participation in BCM fundraising efforts, scholarships from NAMB or IMB, and proceeds from the Maguire State Missions Offering.

Having sent hundreds on summer mission trips over the past few years, Crawford said all of them would “count missions experience as a highlight of their college career. Our summer missions program has helped extend the reach of Florida Baptists to the entire world as we continue to send students across the US and around the world year after year.”

All Florida Baptists are encouraged to pray for the summer missionaries listed below, along with their schools and places of service. 

Asia—Brandon Proctor (USF); Jesse Smith (USF); Rahul Agarwal (USF); Nadia Cassagnol (USF); Josh Hilton (USF)

Canada—Nick Black (UWF); Josh Cooper (UWF); Connor McMillon (UWF); John Barnard (UWF); James Cutler (UWF); Shannon Ramsdell (UWF); Rachel Moffett (UWF); Courtney Cook (UWF); Kristen Williams (UWF); Tony Olesky (UWF); Abby Hunter (UWF); Lana Outlaw (UWF); Jenna Holt (UWF)

Caribbean—Eddie Gilley (UF) Others to be added

Central Asia—Justin Hamil (UCF); Phillip Edward Yaz Heilman (UF); David Michael Salinas (UF); Peter Kelley (UF); Allyson Mason (UCF); Natalie Meeks (UF); Kasey Metzler (UF); Brad Crawford (UCF); Josh Leonard (UF); Jaci Maynard (UCF); Amanda Cornell (UCF); Kristen Miller (UCF); Caroline Mitchell (UCF); Lin Jackson (UCF); Jessica Flores (UCF); Stephanie Deen (UCF); Chris McCluskey (UCF); Zach Williams (UF); Jess Lopez (UF); Matt Seitz (UF)

Eastern Europe—Lacie Carter (BCF); Rachel Carlson (NSL)

Middle America—Cory Peadon (UWF); Brittany Loftin (BCC); Ashley Windham (UWF); Savannah Lynn Smith (UF); Kaitlyn Howe (UF)

New York—Stephanie Dietz (UM); Angie Petit-Frere (UM); Leann Taylor (UM); Ally Avozani (UM); Katie McDonald (UM)

North America—Thomas Turke (USF); Bethany Weiss (FSU); Betsy Sunny (USF); Ashley Williams (USF); Brian Williams (USF); Briana Foster (USF); Casey Fordyce (UCF); Matt Wofford (UM); Fabiana Barnabe (UM); AJ Connell (FSU); Travis Tong (UWF); Stevie Franks (NSL); Gerson Cerda (NSL); Julius Tennal (NSL); Justin Mason (NSL); Xavier Ortiz (NSL); Lauren Haley (NSL); Garrett Teal (NSL); Ryan Jackson (NSL); Andrew Simmons (NSL); Lori Montgomery (NSL); Jaylan Roan (NSL)

Pacific Rim—LaNelle Johnson (NSL)

South America—Matthew Jones, Peru (BCF)

South Asia—Nadia Cassengol (USF); Daniel Davis (FSU); Leandrea Stouffer (FSU); Sterling Griffin (FSU); Beth Pramschufer (FSU)

South Florida—Sydney Brimmer (JU); Stephen (Jash) Comstock (BCF); Edouardo Eugene (PBSC); Hannah Howington (BCF); Emily Mitchell (BCF); Delvin Padilla (FAU); Jessica Perkins (UF); Bethany Stockdale (SJRState); Jessica Vondette (UNF); Katelyn Williams (UWF)

Western Europe—Kaitlyn Toms (FSU); Amy Brown (FSU); Megan Bernat (FSU); Amanda Grobe (FSU); Alexxus Slocum (FSU); Holley Knight (FSU); Amanda Moulton (FSU); Kelly Johnson (BCF); Emily Rodriguez (NSL)

Not yet assigned: Kade Coates (UF); Andrew Moorehead (UWF); Dakota Finley (UWF); Chloe Stitt (UF); Soya Davis (UF)

Abbreviations: (BCF)—Baptist College of Florida; UWF—University of West Florida; (UF)—University of Florida; (UM)—University of Miami; (USF)—University of South Florida; (FSU)—Florida State University; (UCF)—University of Central Florida; (JU)—Jacksonville University; (PBSC)—Palm Beach State College; (FAU)—Florida Atlantic University; (SJRState)—St. Johns River State College; (NSL)—No School Listed

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