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BPC students take gospel to
By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations
In three months’ time, Lyons native Kara
Mixon has visited two countries to share the gospel ministry that she has felt
called to study at Brewton-Parker College.
Mixon, the daughter of Emory and Monique Mixon of Lyons, and Brewton-Parker
junior Stephen Sweezey of Lindale spent one month in the southeast African
nation of Mozambique, which is considered one of the world’s poorest
countries but trying to recover from years of civil war.
|Kara Mixon, a Brewton-Parker
College senior from Lyons, teaches an English as a Second Language class
to students in Mozambique during a four-week mission trip in June that
was sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Student Union. Stephen Sweezey, a
Brewton-Parker junior from Lindale, also participated in the mission trip.
Mixon and Sweezey spent two weeks each with two
couples of missionaries assigned to Mozambique through the International Mission
Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Their trip was sponsored by the Georgia
Baptist Student Union and included two other Georgia students, Benjamin Long
of Armstrong Atlantic State University and Jennifer Sellers of the University
“Students from BSU’s around the state
of Georgia raise money to send other students through the summer missions program
of the Collegiate Ministry Department at the GBC,” said Glenn Wallace,
campus minister and BSU director at Brewton-Parker.
“It is a blessing to be a part of working
with students, like Kara and Stephen, who are willing to sacrifice their summer
break in order to the follow the call of our Lord, even if it takes them as
far away from home as Mozambique.”
In March, Mixon was one of Brewton-Parker six
students who went to the former Soviet republic of Belarus, where they worked
side-by-side with Belarusian students.
The Belarus trip was arranged through Bob Hartman
International Ministries and organized at Brewton-Parker through an Apologetics
Practicum course led by Dr. Hal Ostrander, chair of Brewton-Parker’s
Division of Religion and Philosophy.
Mixon and Sweezey – who spent his spring
break on a Brewton-Parker BSU-sponsored mission trip to Nicaragua – are
the fourth and fifth Brewton-Parker students since 2001 to serve as Georgia
Baptist summer missionaries to Mozambique.
They and their two other Georgia companions stayed
the first two weeks with Brian and Becky Harrell in Nacala, which is just a
few miles from the coast of the Mozambique Channel, and the second two weeks
they were based in the coastal village of Angoche with missionaries Harvey
and Jenifer Sparks.
In Nacala, Mixon assisted Brian Harrell, whose
job with the IMB is to develop leadership in the village and the province,
by organizing a children’s program that included playing soccer in the
morning and teaching the youngsters tug-of-war. They also introduced the Mozambicans
to bowling and Frisbee.
“We had 300 people, mostly children and
youth, but we also had some adults who attended,” said Mixon, adding
that they had a youth program one time each week. “Steven and I did ours
on purity, which they really don’t value,” she said, noting that
youth could be classified as anyone age 13 and up, even to 27 in some cases.
Mixon and Sweezey’s activities with the
Harrells were not restricted to staying in Nacala, however, as they ventured
into the bush lands. They made a three-day trip to the village of Memba, where
they shared Bible stories to about 25 leaders from eight churches in the province.
Farther south, they visited the village of Larde,
where a new church had been built in one month’s time. While there, Mixon
and Sweezey shared the plan of salvation and taught the basics of the Bible,
including God and the creation, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
When they joined the Sparks in Angoche, Mixon
and Sweezey taught English classes four days each week along with Bible stories.
They again shared basic biblical standards, to one certain family in one situation
and to a bigger group of families in another.
“When we taught them English, we had to
tell them why we say things the way we do, and that made it very hard,” said
Mixon, who, in addition to the church leader, had Muslims, pagans and those
who practiced witchcraft attending the sessions. “The leaders were really
Mixon said they ate with the families about five
times and were received very well, but dealing with the larger group situations
was harder to handle. “The people in the bush lands were more cooperative
than in the cities,” she said.
“The people of Mozambique are very fearful
all the time and are scared of bettering themselves,” Mixon said. “They
want to be better, but they are scared of being better because of what someone
will have the witch doctor might do to them. They are a very envious people
and steal a lot to have more. But there are way too few jobs. We had to minister
to them that there is a safe God, or a loving being anywhere.”
Mixon is working on a bachelor of ministry degree
at Brewton-Parker and participated in summer missions in New Mexico in 2004.
In comparing her two international ventures this
year, she said both the Mozambican and Belarusian cultures live in a constant
state of fear but for different reasons.
“In Belarus, the fear comes from the government,
and in Mozambique the fear comes from the pagan religion, so there are two
different strategies from which missionaries have to work,” she said.
Mixon noted that the Mozambican government was
much more receptive in allowing those to enter under the auspices of Christian
influence than in Belarus, where the Brewton-Parker delegation had to enter
primarily as teachers of English as a Second Language.
“We need to show them that there is hope,” Mixon
said, “that if they can change their spiritual focus, they can see God
for who He is and that He will not condemn them of who they are.”