Student missionaries learn to trust God in hard places

Go Now semester missionaries from Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 join for a weekend retreat at the University of Texas at Arlington BSM.  (Photo by Kalie Lowrie)

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ARLINGTON—Nine student missionaries who returned to Texas after a semester of service around the world and eight students preparing to leave for their semester-long assignments joined in a panel discussion at a Baptist Student Ministries retreat.

go now prayer circle400Go Now semester missionaries pray for one another during their commissioning service.  (Photo courtesy of Brenda Sanders) One thing united the veteran Go Now student missionaries and those about to be commissioned—a heartfelt desire to share the message of Christ with the world.

The novices asked their peers what to expect on the mission field, what were some of the hardest challenges they faced, and what did learned from their time of service.

“I learned that gardening is important, but people are the most important,” Allyson Polman from the University of Texas at Arlington said after working for a semester at the World Hunger Farm near Waco.

Sharing over coffee

Sharel Gaskey from Texas Woman’s University and Wayne Garman, from Texas A&M University in Kingsville spent a semester working at a coffee shop church in London. As they served coffee to Londoners, they also found ways to share the gospel.

“The name of God is being preached on Brick Lane through this coffee shop,” Garman said. “We could see God move in the lives of those in this café.”

Morgan Young from West Texas A&M served in Central Asia, where she developed a friendship with a young Muslim girl named Ali. Through their time getting acquainted, each shared about her faith.


Young prayed many times for Ali to understand the importance of salvation. Toward the end of her time in Asia, she traveled across the country to visit Ali and brought a New Testament with her. At times, she questioned why she was traveling to see Ali again, but when she gave her the Bible, Young realized the importance of the trip.

“Because we went out there, she now has God’s word in her language,” she said.

Brenda Sanders, director of Go Now Missions with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, asked the recently returned semester missionaries how many people they led to faith in Christ. Most responded, “None.”

“Did you hear that?” Sanders asked. “We are sending semester missionaries to hard places where it takes longer to share the gospel. These students faithfully shared and carried on, even when it was hard.”

Hard places

She urged the newly commissioned semester missionaries: “Go and faithfully share. … Whatever happens, it is God’s timing and his plan. You may see fruit while you are there. It may be in the semesters to come. Or it might be 30 years from now. … God is trusting you with the hard places.”  

At the end of the worship service, the new semester missionaries gathered around the student missionaries who had returned. They prayed for gospel seeds planted and the people the students had encountered.

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