SBU students share Christ worldwide
By Jana Harrelson
September 16, 2004
BOLIVAR – It was a busy summer for nearly 100 Southwest Baptist University students as they traveled the world to share Christ’s love through missions. Trips were taken to India, London, Southwest China, San Diego/Mexico, Athens and Nepal.
The Nepal team spent most of their time prayer walking and even helped a village with their wheat harvest. “While building relationships and covering the village with materials, we ended up spending a good amount of time in a small teashop,” shared David Ginnings, a senior history major from Camdenton.
The owner of the teashop was an older lady who was very interested in having her children become more educated in English. Ginnings and the team translator volunteered to teach the English lessons.
“The Lord’s plan was revealed immediately, by the student’s interest in Jesus,” said Ginnings. The two showed the Jesus film in the shop the next evening.
“Word traveled fast in the small village and many people in addition to our students showed up,” shared Ginnings. The film was a success as questions were answered and testimonies were shared.
“Not only did the word of Christian teachers travel fast in the village, but it traversed the valley and found its way to the neighboring village,” said Ginnings. That village was the home of the military training center and the regional government. The following day, Nepali army officials were sent to investigate the situation.
Word was sent to the group that two Nepalese army officers were waiting in front of the teashop with some of the materials that were distributed, and they wanted to talk to group. The contact that the team was working with in Nepal suggested that only two Americans and two Nepalese go, so the team leader, Kevin Hill, Ginning and two translators prepared for the two-hour trek.
The group decided that if the four members had not returned by 6 p.m., then the team should “figure something out.” “Our pace was brisk, but the conversation still — the scripture that I had meditated on that morning, Isaiah 7:9, repeated firmly in my mind, ‘If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all’,” said Ginnings.
The army officers met with two students from the Bible Institute and the four team members and eventually escorted them all to the neighboring village.
“As we entered the government confines, the streets were laced with men and automatic weapons. This was the location where the law was established, although not followed,” remarked Ginnings.
While the two translators went to speak with the high-ranking official, the two team members were lead into holding cells surrounded by concrete walls and barbwire. After awhile, one of the translators returned and told them that the students from the Bible Institute would have to leave the village and return to home. The team from SBU would be able to stay but they would have to give them all of their materials and were no longer allowed to preach the Gospel.
The group was released and as they began to prepare for the trip back, they prayed that the Lord would reveal His purpose for this obstacle. The officials escorted the group back and on the way, they began to visit with the officers. “Both of them spoke a fair amount of English and were eager to engage in small talk,” said Ginnings. As they approached the teashop, the team members asked if the officers wanted to stop for some tea, which is a very common practice in Nepal.
As they were drinking the tea, the translators began sharing their testimonies with the Nepali officers. “We were in the teashop for over an hour, and the officers were obviously moved and sincerely prayed with us. When we were finished they proclaimed, ‘Your God is the one true God!’ I could not believe what I was seeing,” remarkd Ginnings.
The officers subsequently told the team that they were free to go and that they would only take the materials they had already confiscated back.
“They told us to continue to preach this message, but be very cautious with the materials,” said Ginnings. The team thanked the officers, “walked on clouds praising the Lord jubilantly” and made it back to the other team members at exactly 5:59:59 p.m.