BPC Student Takes Missions Experience to Mozambique

 

By Terry Gaston - BPC Public Relations

MOUNT VERNON -- Although just a junior at Brewton-Parker College, Keith Wade is already a well-engrained veteran of summer missions.

His third trip to the international mission field during the late spring and early summer took Wade on a venture into a primitive land, but one where Brewton-Parker had already left its footprints.

Wade joined two other Georgia-based college students as Georgia Baptist Student Union-sponsored summer missionaries for a six-week experience in the southern African nation of Mozambique -- generally regarded as one of the poorest countries in the world.

Many of Wade's duties were expansions of pioneer efforts established by current Brewton-Parker senior Mark Stokes in the summer of 2001.

Wade had performed missions work in Nicaragua and Jamaica, so he said "I kind of knew what to expect." Also helpful he said was an orientation session in which all three summer missionaries learned how lt live in the Mozambican culture and the "dos and don'ts" of traveling in the country.

Joining Wade, a Morven, Ga., native and son of Jerald and Verona Wade, on the trip were Sarah Farley, who attends North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega and grew up in the Asian nation of Bangladesh as the daughter of missionaries, and Jason Sims, who attends Southern Polytechnic College in Marietta.

The trio worked in Mozambique under the guidance of Katie Jackson, a journeyman originally from Carrollton, Ga.

From operations based in Nampula, in the east-central part of Mozambique, Wade and his BSU teammates shared the Gospel in an area being decimated by AIDS.

"Brewton-Parker College fulfills a part of its mission each time one of our fine students like Keith Wade transcends cultures, oceans and continents to share the Gospel," said Dr. David Smith, Brewton-Parker's president. "BPC's faculty and staff are people of the Gospel and pray regularly for opportunities to share our faith."

Wade, a sports and fitness major, incorporated his college studies to expand the True Love Waits campaign to Mozambique children. He and his teammates provided training at churches and schools in Nampula.

"Even though it may be too late to get them to wait until marriage, it is good to tell them all about the diseases they can get," the three summer missionaries said in their collaborative report of the trip. "This program also can be good if the youth will just go out and teach others."

Sports evangelism also was a means through which the American students could provide training. Relationships with Nampula children were built through the teaching of baseball, volleyball and soccer.

"We believe baseball has very good potential if there can be somebody that can stay with it and play with them every day and train them," the trio said in their report. "The youth love sports, and I believe once they catch on to the game of baseball they would love it.

"Some of the English students have a heart for God. Even though some of them were Muslim, I believe we planted a seed in their hearts by just taking and spending time with them. People just want to know what the truth is and how they can have eternal life. Many are coming to know the Lord, but they need direction where to go from there. He has opened our eyes to so much. He has saved a number of people."

In the trio's report on the trip, in which they responded to what their dreams for what God could do in Mozambique in the next 10 years, Wade wished "that everybody would come together as one and not have so much tension between them. That the government would step in and try to get Mozambique turned around and back to a path where it is not so dependent on everyone else.

"Other dreams, for churches to continue to grow and seek after His face and to allow God to use each of the members to reach out to the birous (villages) and to the people."

Wade returned home with a bundle of advice regarding mission opportunities for all Christians back home in Georgia and other states.

"I know we don't have to travel 9,000 miles to share the Gospel when we can share with our neighbors or friends at school," he said. "I want to reach out more to the community and give back and not take so much for granted. We already have so much and there are many in the world that don't have that."

As for advice he would share to someone considering a two-year commitment to working in Mozambique, Wade said: "Don't let Mozambique throw you off by hearing of all the sicknesses that you could get. Just allow God to use you in any way that He can. Take that first step and God will guide you and give you the direction He wants you to go. Just don't be afraid because He has some mighty plans there."

 

  Keith Wade, a junior at Brewton-Parker College from Morven, holds a baby girl whose named translated means "Mercy" with her mother, Natalia, at right during Wade's mission trip to Mozambique from late May to early July. (Photo courtesy of Keith Wade)