Distinguished Young Alumni - Ben and Adam Langford
They shared the same smile, mission, and dreams, so it seems only fitting that brothers Ben and Adam Langford share the honor of being named OC’s Young Alumni of the Year.
Asked when he knew he wanted to become a missionary, Ben Langford (98) laughs as he thinks back to his early years.
“I knew I didn’t want to be a missionary,” he said. “I thought it was a great thing, but it wasn’t for me.”
But as usually happens when God calls, the opportunities and experiences slowly changed Ben’s heart. Ben specifically cites his visit to the Jinga, Uganda, mission team as a transformative occasion.
“I realized that they were like me and my friends, and that if they could do this, then so could I,” Ben said.
So with that realization, Ben and his wife Kym moved to join a mission team in Africa.
Ben’s younger brother Adam (01) had the skills and personality to shine in any arena. Captain of OC’s soccer team, vice president of the Student Government Association, and rising star in the world of investment banking – the world truly was his oyster.
But Adam lived by the Warren Miller quote, “If you don’t do it today, you’ll just be one day older when you do it.”
That led him to put his career on hold and take his skills to Uganda.
Joining the mission team his brother was a part of, Adam specialized in working with Ugandans to start businesses that would provide economic health for the community and help the local church.
In fact, that is what Adam was doing when his life was tragically cut short. The OC family mourned in January 2007 when Adam and his friend, Moses Kimezi, died in a tragic automobile accident.
“We knew we wanted to follow this path together, but we didn’t get all that far,” Ben says. “But when you start seeking what God is doing in the world, you don’t usually get too far. You don’t always know what he’s doing, but it forces you to pay very close attention.”
Ben believes that Adam’s story goes on because it was a bigger part of the story God is creating.
He is part of instilling that mindset at Oklahoma Christian as the new director for the Center of Global Missions.
The questions that drive Ben’s mission are “What is God doing in the world?” and “How do we get in on it?”
Whether it is in our neighborhoods or across the world, this creates a culture where we think about missions as a fulltime vocation.
“I realize that the majority of people won’t become fulltime missionaries, but if we can help them use their abilities and giftedness, we can all join in with what God is doing in the world,” Ben said.
That message is exemplified in the life of these brothers. Ben felt the call to ministry and Adam to business. It was their love for each other that bound their paths together.
It was their love for the Father that drove them to live lives in glory to God.
View more stories from the Fall 2011 issue of Vision magazine.