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Missions Emphasis Week a 50-year tradition at LeTourneau

By Reese Gordon rgordon@tnews-journal.com
Jan. 27, 2014 at 11 p.m.

Flags from nations around the world were displayed Monday on a LeTourneau University stage, representing the university's international flavor and global opportunities for Christian evangelism.

The event marked the 50th anniversary of Missions Emphasis Week at LeTourneau, a series of events designed to focus student attention on global mission work.

Rachelle Warfel, a junior nursing student, said the mission field has been a big part of her life. Warfel was born in Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa where she spent the first 10 years of her life.

"I grew up in a small village of maybe 700 people," she said. "They are an animistic culture and believe in worshipping spirits. But when we went into that people group, there was already a Christian church there. My parents went in to do bible translation."

Monday's kickoff chapel service featured guest speaker Hudson Smith of The Traveling Team, a group that travels the nation talking to college students about world evangelization.

"Our goal is to raise up the next 100,000 goers and senders," he said. "There are people all over the world as a result of The Traveling Team."

Smith singled out the so-called 10/40 window, an area that includes North Africa, the Middle East and Asia between 10 and 40 degrees latitude. The 10/40 window, Smith said, is considered to be the area of the world in which people are least likely to know about Christianity.

Warfel said she enjoyed hearing Smith speak about "God's worship being known in every nation and language."

"It's very easy to go into the mission field and think I'm doing this and I'm going to make things better for them and they're going to find God," she said. "But it's so much bigger than that. God has a right to be glorified and deserves that worship. That's why we're going out."

LeTourneau University Chaplain Harold Carl said Missions Emphasis Week is at the core of what the university stands for.

"Our mission statement says that we claim every workplace in every nation as a mission field, a place to take the gospel of Jesus Christ," he said.

Carl said he had never done mission work outside of the United States before coming to LeTourneau University 12 years ago.

"I've been every year since I came here with spring break mission trips," he said. "One of the greatest things in the world is I've been all over Mexico and a half dozen other places. God's story is that he wants to be glorified in all nations and that's what we're about."

Missions Emphasis Week will continue at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, with a message from Dale Rhoton of Operation Mobilization.

Rhoton promotes the ship ministry in North America and Asia.

Kemtal Glasgow, executive director for Acquire the Fire, is set to speak at 10:50 a.m. Friday.

Acquire the Fire is a ministry program of Teen Mania Ministries, one of the largest Christian Youth Ministries in the United States.



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