July 12, 2013
For Immediate Release
|Bethany Thomaston, a sophomore from Auburn, Ky., traveled to Niger for her first mission trip.|
By Christina L. Kern
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University students are being world changers for Christ this summer, spreading the gospel in Niger, the Philippines and Honduras.
Trent Creason, a 2008 alumnus from Campbellsville, Ky., went on his second trip to Niger, Africa in May. The group worked health clinics and shared the gospel through a process called C2C, Creation to Christ.
Many of the people in Niger have never been introduced to the gospel, Creason said, so in order to share the gospel with “someone who has little to no background of the Bible, it is important to provide the full picture of God’s story from beginning to end, from creation to Christ.”
For CU freshman Bethany Thomaston of Auburn, Ky. this was her first mission trip to Niger. She said many of the villages they visited had “zero known believers and zero evangelical witnesses. It was amazing to see five men from one village come to Christ!”
Creason said, “God opened opportunities to speak and share the gospel with all ages. Many times we started with a small group and ended with a large crowd gathered around. One time we had over 80 people gathered around us.”
During a time of sharing, one man asked, “How were we supposed to know if you had not come and told us?” Creason thought, “How will they know unless we go?”
Thanks to many Women’s Missionary Union members in Kentucky, the team was able to provide and leave much-needed supplies at the health clinics including nutria-mix, formula, soap and vitamins. “I was amazed that each clinic had one cabinet for medical supplies, but they were always empty,” Creason said.
In the Philippines, the team painted an entire school, three floors of classrooms and lobbies, during their two-week stay in Manila working with Kids International Missions (KIM).
The team also worked with New Faith Family Children’s Home; the Jazz Home, a home exclusively for girls who have been victims of abuse; and Journey of Hope, a single mom who invites street kids into her home, feeds them dinner and shares the gospel with them.
The young people at Journey of Hope range from elementary to college age. The mom who runs Journey of Hope wants to buy a plot of land to build a children’s home so she can help more children.
|Katie Johnson, right, a May graduate
from Leitchfield, Ky., made friends
with Aldrin in the Philippines.
While painting at the school with KIM, Katie Johnson of Leitchfield, Ky., who graduated in May, connected with a boy who had been sold by his mother to pay a debt. The boy, Aldrin, was watching Johnson paint, and he just smiled at her. “No one’s smile has ever made me that happy,” she said.
Even though they couldn’t understand each other, Johnson said they “just clicked.” The team agreed there was “something different” about this boy… “he was respectful, a hard worker, he just showed up and immediately wanted to help.”
Later Johnson found out Aldrin’s mom had sold him to her boss to pay off her debt so he just lives wherever he can. Before she left, Johnson bought a Bible for Aldrin in his language and wrote a note in it, translated so he could understand it.
Johnson was sad to leave the Philippines because it meant she wouldn’t be able to keep track of her “little brother” and see how he is doing. Since Johnson returned from the trip, however, she learned he went back to live with his siblings (in an area that isn’t as safe as Manila).
Johnson said, “There is no keeping up with his whereabouts now. But even though he has been lost to me, he has not been lost to God… my prayer is that when I get to heaven, I will see Aldrin, and I will get to hug him and spend an eternity with the only little brother I ever had.”
In Honduras, the team worked on a missionary house in Saba to mix concrete and build onto it. They gave out food, flip-flops and shirts at a landfill, and clothes and snacks to children at a school in La Cieba.
|Jordan Johnson of Russellville, Ky. and Melanie Jones of Albany, Ky., both
of whom graduated in May, were on a mission trip in Niger.
CU alumna Makayla Jessie of Edmonton, Ky., who graduated in 2012, said, “We really worked as servants, which was helpful because I learned that we can spread the gospel in many ways.”
Jessie said an 18-year-old man named Javier gave his life to Christ during the trip.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.