Students, Professors Participate in Missions
Summer mission work is a widespread opportunity for OC students.
From a mission trip to Australia with OC Missionary in Residence Kent Hartman to a summer with Associate Professor of Youth Ministry Dudley Chancey in Honduras, around 20 different groups participate in summer missions.
For a month over the summer, Kent Hartman and his wife Nancy took a group of eight OC students to Macquarie and Campbelltown, Australia, to work with local congregations.
The purpose of this trip was outreach and fellowship with local teens and children in the communities of Macquarie and Campbelltown.
The group passed out fliers for upcoming events, had devotionals with the members, served breakfast three times a week to children from lower-income families, and helped out wherever needed.
A youth retreat hosted teens from as much as 14 hours away, plus teens from the local community.
Kent and Nancy Hartman lived in Australia as missionaries for 17½ years prior to coming back to Oklahoma Christian to become missionaries in residence. The trip was like going back home for the Hartmans.
“One thing I find beneficial to the students is staying in the homes of the families of the congregation,” Kent said. “This helps them truly understand the culture as well as daily living and struggles that a different culture can hold.”
Kent said mission trips can challenge and change a student. With many differences from home, struggles and adaptation can enlighten a student to a different way of living. Through this challenge, he enjoyed seeing his students become impacted and watching them grow in their faith.
OC senior Katy Clift decided on a whim to go on the mission trip because she had no summer plans. Katy said she learned an important life lesson.
“I took away the power of communicating,” Katy said. “Evangelizing is sometimes overlooked, not only because it seems kind of scary, but also because it can be uncomfortable at times. But I learned the importance of having deep conversations with people and the impact they can have.”
Dudley took a group to Honduras to host OC students and participants from other churches over the summer. A total of about 800 people worked with Chancey over the summer.
Dudley has taken the same trip to Honduras for around 15 years. These days, he helps OC grads Amber Foster and Bart and Melissa Dodson with projects. The mission group finished the carpentry shop at a local boys home, added room to the church in Mateo, and worked with Amber at the Breaking Chains Ministry.
They helped conduct Vacation Bible School, fed the homeless, and worked with prostitutes and drug addicts. Dudley performed wedding ceremonies for three young women he had seen rescued from the streets of prostitution and drug addiction.
“Watching the groups come down and change their perspectives on how others live is one of the best parts of being in Honduras the whole summer, as well as seeing so many form new relationships with people that can be called the scum of the earth,” Dudley said.
Missions make for a perfect summer project and will always be available at Oklahoma Christian University; they are part of our heritage and calling as a school.
“I definitely recommend taking a mission trip of any sort, just for the perspective it gives you,” Katy said. “It’s something I cherish and will remember forever.”
View more stories from the Fall 2011 issue of Vision magazine.