January 14, 2003
BOLIVAR — Kevin Hill likely will be leaving Bolivar after he is graduated from Southwest Baptist University this spring. But there’s something he wants to leave behind.
"The end vision is to present the Gospel to everyone in Bolivar so that everyone can have an opportunity to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior," Hill said.
A product of Loma Vista Baptist Church in Kansas City, the SBU senior started thinking about the evangelization project earlier this school year and have even given it a name – EBO, or Evangelization of Bolivar.
"Last semester my roommate (David Becker) and I were working with some students at Hannibal- LaGrange College on missions discipleship. I met a student while visiting H-LG who was trying to organize a campaign to evangelize the city of Hannibal. Dave and I kind of looked at each other and were wondering why we weren’t doing that in Bolivar," Hill said.
"We have more than enough potential here with the campus of Southwest Baptist University in the middle of the city plus the surrounding local evangelical churches. There was no reason why we shouldn’t be doing that or couldn’t be doing that. That is where the vision was born."
According to Hill, he and his friend have been bathing in prayer the desire to take the Gospel to all of Bolivar.
"But we are not just praying. This semester we have been trying to develop a strategy for seeing this come about. It has been hard, but we’ve learned a lot."
This is the current plan, subject to change as led by the Holy Spirit, Hill says.
Bolivar is being divided into sections depending on the number of homes in each section and the number of people who want to get involved. The EBO team now is working in a subdivision with about 130 houses. There are 20 teams that are assigned from three to eight houses each.
Each team, Hill explains, is responsible for two things – prayer and door-to-door ministry.
"We have about five different prayer walking teams that go out every week to cover the subdivision in prayer and drown out the enemy," Hill said. "Prayer is the major emphasis of all of this, but that is not all we are doing. We are acting in faith based on the prayers we pray in faith."
Each team is responsible for making contacts at every home they are assigned.
"I got the idea of the door-to-door ministry from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. It’s sad but true," Hill said. "We have both of these groups in Bolivar who are going door-to-door sharing their faith, but I have never had a Christian come to my door and tell me about Jesus. There’s something wrong with this picture."
According to Hill, the difference in the approaches is that EBO teams are not trying "to shove the Gospel down people’s throats."
"It is not our goal to get people to join a specific church or denomination. It is our goal to bring people to Christ for the worship and glory of the Father," Hill explained. "We are going to establish relationships by asking for prayer requests and finding out what kind of needs people have. We will take prayer requests and pray over every single one of them. We will also take whatever needs people might have and do everything with the power that God has given us to meet their needs."
Hill said the students realize that their ability to meet needs is limited.
"That is why we have partnered with many of the local churches. So that when we run into needs that we can’t meet we can go to the local church and see what we can do as a whole to meet the needs," Hill explained.
The SBU senior said he doesn’t want EBO to be only his vision.
"I don’t even want it to be an SBU thing. I want this to be a Bolivar thing," he stated. "I want to see the whole body of Christ come together in Bolivar and work for the same goal. That goal is to make disciples as Jesus commands us to.
"That can happen and will happen and is happening right now."