FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Reading a geography book for school at the age of 9, Sam Scott* learned about the people of India, and God set his heart on fire for taking the Gospel to India. Now a college student at Southwestern, Scott said the seminary’s International Church Planting (ICP) Week, Sept. 10-14, stirred once again his passion for sharing the message of Christ with the people of India.
Scott attended the College Pizza Night at the World Missions Center, Sept. 13, where he was able to speak with missionaries, who encouraged him and gave him a better sense of what it takes to serve on the mission field. He also learned more about the customs and culture of people in India and other areas of Asia.
“After I left,” Scott said, “I felt strongly in my heart, even more than before, that India is where God wants me to go.”
According to Art Savage, associate director for Global Mission Engagement at the World Missions Center, many students from the College at Southwestern, especially, expressed interest in missions during ICP Week.
“At all the events that we have had this year,” Savage said, “the number of college students that are coming and showing great interest in missions is just phenomenal.”
Even missionaries who visited campus for ICP Week noted the fantastic response of college and seminary students alike, Savage said.
“God is stirring up the hearts of our students to pray, ‘Does God want me to serve somewhere other than right here?’” Savage said. Some students have sensed a call to serve overseas, while others desired to be more faithful in evangelism even as they serve in the United States.
Throughout ICP Week, students had opportunities to learn about missions from people who are currently serving in the field. Many professors invited missionaries to speak in their classes, and missionaries gave testimony to the work of God around the world during the seminary’s chapel services. Additionally, the World Missions Center organized numerous events throughout the week.
The week began with a meeting where students learned about underground house churches in China. According to Savage, missionaries helped students understand that this movement “is a mile wide, but one inch deep.” Many people in China are professing faith in Christ, but “they have no one there to really help them know how to grow deeper and really become strong disciples of Christ.”
People in these churches, especially church leaders, need theological education. Recognizing this need, Savage said, students “have a new motivation for continuing their education.”
Later in the week, college students heard from missionaries at the College Pizza Night. Then, the World Missions Center hosted One Magnificent Obsession, Sept. 14, where students learned about and prayed for a Last Frontier people group in East Asia. On Sept. 15, the seminary hosted “East Asia One Day,” a bilingual—English and Korean—conference where students pray for and learn about the work of God throughout East Asia.
During chapel, Sept. 12, one missionary from East Asia urged students to follow Christ by having a heart for the lost and by faithfully proclaiming the Gospel.
“There is no greater joy in all the world than bringing lost souls into his kingdom,” he said. “Countless numbers of souls all around the world enter a Christless eternity every single day, having never heard the Gospel even one time. … Make a lifetime commitment to do everything possible to ‘rescue the perishing, care for the dying,’” and to “snatch lost souls” with the Gospel.
After this message, President Paige Patterson reminded students, faculty and staff members that sharing the Gospel should be the highest priority in life.
“The only thing that ultimately matters is our witness for Christ to the nations,” Patterson said. “If the Gospel is really true. If Jesus Christ died for all men, if it is the case that they must repent of their sin and place their faith in Christ in order to be saved, and if we don’t take that message to them, then we are responsible before God. … We claim that we serve Christ, and yet we don’t give ourselves (to reach the lost). Who will go? Will you go?”
*Name withheld for security purposes.