As the new year begins and the Troy BCM Leadership Team works on details of the ministry plans for the semester ahead, I cannot help but reflect back on the blessings of 2014. Paul wrote in Philippians, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,” (1:3-4, NKJV). God has given me the joy of ministering to and with many different people – students, faculty, laypersons and ministers. In the process, I have been strengthened and blessed beyond measure!
Vicki and Malachi are two laypersons who contacted me and asked, “How can I get involved?” Both became involved in our discipleship program at different times, and they have done a tremendous work! I am thankful to say they are still on board and will be leading our study beginning this month.
A professor who has been dealing with some major health issues the past couple years has become a dear friend as God has allowed me to encourage him and pray with him. During this past semester, a tragic accident occurred and this professor lost his son. I am thankful I could be there for him. As I was able to walk through this time of grief with him, his joy in Christ was a true blessing for me.
Andrew and Bullen, from South Sudan, have been a joy to have around and are just two of the 800+ international students at Troy University. They are followers of Christ and have made a tremendous impact on this campus. Their desire is to return to their home and develop a school and some small businesses to help educate their people and raise their standard of living, all based on Christian principles. Students have been involved in fundraisers to help make this dream possible. It was great to celebrate with them on their graduation days (Andrew in May, Bullen in December) and now to pray with them on their next step of the journey. Their faithfulness has been a blessing as we have ministered together!
A Chinese student came to me in January and asked about studying the Bible in Chinese. God provided Luyang and Xifeng Yuan to come from Montgomery to begin to teach about His love. This couple has been a blessing along with the students/scholars who have been attending (and they make some awesome dumplings!). One of the scholars was baptized this semester at Old Lebanon Baptist Church. During the Christmas season, this scholar and some friends put together a Chinese choir and they sang “Silent Night, Holy Night” in Chinese at Old Lebanon’s Christmas celebration. What a blessing for me and my family to be a part of this time!
I am thankful for my student leaders that God has provided at BCM who are self-motivated and driven by their love for God and others. This has been a tremendous blessing for me and a benefit for this ministry. I am thankful for ministers, especially college ministers, who are supportive and encouraging in what BCM is about.
I hope this helps portray the joy I experience working with students and underlines the fact that BCM is students working together with local churches to accomplish the Great Commission! Speaking about Christ, Paul said it well in Ephesians: “… from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causing growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (4:16, NKJV).
As we work together, we prayerfully anticipate lives being changed by God’s grace as 2015 begins. Working as an Alabama Baptist state missionary at Troy University BCM is truly a blessing beyond measure!
State Missionary Brad Bensinger serves Alabama Baptists as Campus Minister at Troy University. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.