SOUTHEAST ASIA COLLEGE OUTREACH
After engaging in a Gospel conversation with a Hindu, Arkansas volunteer missionary Drew Talbert thought, “I just told someone the Gospel who never knew about Jesus, and it wasn’t hard.”
Talbert was one of 10 Arkansans to engage college students on a Southeast Asia campus by prayerwalking, initiating Gospel conversations and inviting students to three Christ-centered events. They joined 10 volunteers from Louisiana.
“On that campus, 62 countries were represented,” said team leader Lee Woodmansee, Baptist campus minister at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. The first event featured a couples’ night emphasizing Christian marriage, the second encouraged singles to find their satisfaction in Christ, and the last event highlighted American culture including the team singing four southern Gospel songs. About 160 total people came.
One Buddhist young lady who attended an event told her Christian friend Emily Duncan that when believers got together, it felt “different.” She also told Duncan, “I am not ready to become a Christian yet, but I really see God’s love and feel His love.” Duncan, College + Young Leaders Team Assistant Missions Consultant and International Mission Board mobilizer, said, “I went to this campus two years ago, and I got the opportunity to go back and spend time with some of the same people. It was really encouraging.”
Talbert, who led worship at the first event, said the trip changed him. “It opens your eyes when you go on campus with college students,” said the youth minister at Bayou Meto Baptist Church who also works in law enforcement. “You realize people are the same. They may be in a different culture, but they’re just people making money, having fun, enjoying their family. They just don’t have the living hope or the Gospel.”
“God taught me to step out of my comfort zone, to be more willing to go out and share what God has done in my life,” said Emily Cannon, an Ecclesia College student in Elm Springs. “Another thing I learned was to serve the people that are around me in any way I can. I would be willing to go on another mission trip if God asked me to.”