Man on a mission: Langford leads new OC program OC alumnus expands OC's mission field
If they don’t go, they won’t go back.
There’s power in the statement and you will hear it more and more through OC’s Center for Global Missions.
The Center for Global Missions is a new program led by alumnus Ben Langford (98) who knows a thing or two about going and going back when it comes to missions. He spent a summer in Kenya as a student and went back to Africa as a fulltime missionary in 2004.
“Our hope is that during their time here, students will get a sense of what God is doing in the world and will be influenced to form mission teams who will answer God’s call by participating with Him in sharing the good news somewhere in the world,” Ben said.
He and his family returned to OC this summer after serving the Basoga tribe in Uganda for six years.
Whether it is as full-time missionaries or as a vocational minister anywhere in the world, near or far, Ben says the center will help equip believers to GO.
Future plans also include offering services to churches such as resources, seminars and counseling for those who support and send missionaries.
One of the first to-do items for the Center for Global Missions is to send out short-term mission teams to serve as interns. During those internships, students will walk a mile in the shoes of missionaries who are on the ground – from sunup to sundown – through language study, Bible classes, service projects and even writing the newsletters that go home to supporters.
Ben and his wife Kym (whom he met while working at Cascade College), Ben’s brother Adam (01), and four other families made up the team that worked in rural church planting, leadership development and theological and ministerial training (among other things) in Uganda. Adam tragically died in a vehicle accident there in 2006.
Adam majored in business at Oklahoma Christian and had a promising future as a financial planner. Ben explains that Adam would say, ‘What am I doing? I just make rich people richer!’ before he gave up his job to join the mission field.
“In view of how he understood God and what he did in Jesus Christ, he gave himself that the poor might become rich,” Ben said about his brother.
Ben’s passion for missions brings him back to OC with his experiences, wisdom and energy to lead the Global Center for Missions. He also brings back a new perspective on time, and how it is used.
“Everything moves so fast in the U.S., and there is so much at stake in time here in terms of productivity,” he said. “Americans have very high expectations of what they can do in a small amount of time.”
Still, the work to do at the Center for Global Missions certainly is work worth doing.
“There is no greater time to think about what God is doing and about your future life and vocation than in college,” Ben said. “OC is the perfect place to think about a life of mission and giving yourself to God’s mission in the world.”
By Dawn Shelton (89)