BP Ledger, May 9 Edition

Baptist Press
|
Posted: May 09, 2011 5:52 PM
BP Ledger, May 9 Edition
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each Monday from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today's BP Ledger includes items from:

Compass Direct News

National Religious Broadcasters

Association of Baptists for Scouting

Campbellsville University

International Mission Boa

World Congress of Families

Bluefield College

Nigerian Church Leaders Call for Probe into Election Violence

Islamic attacks on churches reflected religious dimension of political conflict, Christians say.

By Lekan Otufodunrin

LAGOS, Nigeria (Compass Direct News)--Christian leaders have called for an investigation into political violence that targeted churches and Christian homes, with at least one clergyman saying yesterday that Islamic attacks following the election of a Christian president were premeditated.

Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure of Throneroom Trust Ministry based in Kafanchan in Kaduna state, reportedly said at a press briefing there that the religious component of the political violence should not be discounted.

"How would you explain a spontaneous call to prayer on most of the loudspeakers of the mosques across the city at the same time, at 9 p.m. or thereabout in the night, with a shout of 'Allah Akbar' as Muslims began to troop towards the mosques and designated areas, to be followed at 10 p.m. with another call on loudspeakers - this time with a spontaneous shout of "Allah Akbar" from the mosques and most of the streets occupied by Muslims and the burst of gunfire sound that shook the whole city?" Pastor Kure said. "This was repeated a few times, and the killings and burnings began."

Christians suffered many casualties in the north-central state of Kaduna after supporters of Muslim presidential candidate Muhammudu Buhari lost the April 16 federal election to Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian. Primarily Muslim rioters claimed vote fraud, although international observers praised the polls as the fairest since 1999.

"How come the Muslim fighters ... were neatly surrounding the walls of the Anglican Cathedral and the Yoruba Baptist pastor's house and setting them on fire while shooting, without any resistance, if it was not premeditated and planned?" Pastor Kure reportedly said.

As many as 300 Christians were reportedly slain in Kaduna, with 14,000 fleeing their homes after Islamic attacks.

Over the weekend Christian leaders in northern Nigeria called for a federal probe into the post-election violence, saying more than 200 church buildings were burned.

"The violence was both political and religious, because Christians, our churches and property, were the main targets for the destruction by the perpetrators of the violence," the chairman and secretary of the northern branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Peter Jatau and Saidu Dogo respectively, said in a press statement on Saturday (April 30).

The violence broke out in some northern states when protesting Muslim youths went on a rampage, attacking mainly Christians, many of whom retaliated with counter offensives. No reliable figure of the total of Christians killed has emerged as church leaders were still trying to make determinations; some assumed dead have shown up later at resettlement camps.

"CAN in 19 northern states feel that the time has come for the federal government to take decisive steps to put the persistent carnage in the north under the guise of religious fanaticism to a stop and bring the perpetrators to justice," the CAN leaders said their statement.

Bishop Jonas Katung, national vice president of the North Central Zone of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, said in a statement released on Friday (April 29) that the post-election attacks were "a descent into barbarism" in which northern Christians were targeted and subjected to horrendous and relentless acts.

In Katsina - Buhari's home state - 65 churches were either burned or damaged, Katung said, and more than 100 Christian men, women and children from the border town of Jiba have fled to the neighboring Niger Republic.

"Seven Christians were left dead, several people have been wounded and many others have fled to their respective states of origin," he said.

Katung added that 28 Christians in Bauchi state, including the Rev. Isman Dogari of the Evangelical Chruch of West Africa were killed, while 78 church buildings and other properties were set ablaze between April 16 and 19. In Gombe state, he added, 38 Christians were killed, 17 church buildings and 27 houses were burned. The assailants also set 11 cars on fire. In Zamfara state, five church buildings and one pastor's house were burned; in Jigawa state, 17 churches were burnt in Hadeija and seven in Jahun, he said.

While Christians do not call for vengeance, Katung said there was a need to identify those who instigated the attacks on Christians to prevent them from occurring anew.

"We refuse to accept the subterfuge of 'spontaneous combustion,'" he said. "If we are to curb the repeated propensity to instigate violence, those holding the bellows to the flames of intemperance must be held to account for the logical and expected consequences of their excesses."

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's (USCIRF) 2011 Annual Report, released on Thursday (April 28), recommended Nigeria be placed on the U.S. Department of State's list of worst violators of religious freedom. It cited the Nigerian government as "tolerating systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom by failing to respond adequately and effectively to prevent and contain acts of religiously-related violence, prevent reprisal attacks, and bring those responsible for such violence to justice."

USCIRF has recommended that Nigeria be designated as a Country of Particular Concern, or CPC, since 2009.

"Years of inaction by Nigeria's federal and state governments have created a climate of impunity, resulting in thousands of death," the report states. "Other religious freedom concerns in Nigeria include the expansion of sharia (Islamic law) into the criminal codes of several northern Nigerian states and discrimination against minority communities of Christians and Muslims."

Northern Nigeria climbed to 23rd place in 2010 from 27th in 2009 on Christian support organization Open Doors' World Watch List of nations with the worst persecution.

"Persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria originates from the non-equality between Muslims and non-Muslims based upon certain interpretations of the holy scriptures of Islam," the organization said in its rankings, released in January. "In the history of the region, the Hausa-Fulani Muslims of north Nigeria applied this notion of non-equality to all non-Muslims they conquered in their 19-century jihad."

Nigeria's population of more than 158.2 million is almost evenly divided between Christians, who make up 51.3 percent of the population and live mainly in the south, and Muslims, who account for 45 percent of the population and live mainly in the north. The percentages may be less, however, as those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World.

www.compassdirect.org

**********

A New Face in NRB's Mission

MANASSAS, Va. (National Religious Broadcasters) -- NRB is delighted to announce the important addition of Aaron Mercer to our Capitol Hill office. "Aaron has joined NRB this week to fill the key position of Vice President of Government Relations," said Dr. Frank Wright, President and CEO. "He was chosen from an extensive list of possible candidates and clearly delineated himself as the person most prepared to run point on the issues of importance to our association. He will add depth and dimension to NRB's advocacy team."

As the association's primary lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Mercer will work in tandem with the Office of the General Counsel to spearhead NRB's efforts to protect and promote our cherished First Amendment rights to free religious speech and expression. Most recently, he directed the Generation Forum of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), an important pro-life project to explore ways evangelical Christians can reduce the number of abortions in their congregations and communities. Prior to that, Mercer served as a key staffer to Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), where he was the organizer of the Senate Values Action Team (VAT). In that role, Mercer became a leading voice among Congressional staff to find creative ways to respect the sanctity of human life, promote the development of healthy families, and ensure America's continued religious freedom.

About NRB

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to keep the doors of electronic media open for the spread of the Gospel. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.

**********

Baptists Place Fourth in Number of Scout Units, Sixth in Total Youth Served

IRVING, Texas (Association of Baptists for Scouting)--In terms of total congregations in the United States, Baptists are far and away the largest Protestant group with over 100,000 local churches in all fifty states, and yet Baptists rank fourth in the number of Scouting units (Cub pack, Boy Scout troop, Venture crew) sponsored by faith based organizations and sixth in the total number of youth served. In 2011 Baptist churches were chartered partners for 3,874 units serving 79,072 youth, down from March of 2010, when we had 4,079 units serving 79,980 youth.

At this time the Boy Scouts of America is actively seeking to partner with more faith based organizations to charter Scouting units. It is a great opportunity for your church to have an impact proportionate to our numbers. Our goal at ABS is to encourage more Baptist churches to engage in Scouting as an evangelistic tool for reaching communities with the Gospel and impacting the moral values of young people who will be tomorrow's leaders.

Baptists span the theological, political, and social landscape. Many churches are quite conservative, even fundamentalist, while others are more progressive in their social views. Some tend more toward an Arminian (Freewill) theology while others are more Reformed (emphasis on God's sovereignty). Many churches are located in the inner city where a Scouting ministry can have a great impact on social conditions by emphasizing self-reliance, hard work, and making the Gospel available to Scouts and their families. Others are located in suburbia, where a Scouting ministry can help counter the rampant materialism and self-centeredness of middle class America by teaching Scouting values of service along with the Gospel.

All Baptists have some things in common that make us uniquely Baptist. We believe that the new birth and faith in Christ is essential to salvation. We all believe in the autonomy of the local congregation under the Lordship of Christ. We affirm believer's baptism by immersion as the New Testament form and proper mode of this Christian rite of initiation into the visible church. We regard the Bible as God's word to us. And we believe that God has mandated that we take the Gospel to every creature. We plant churches to fulfill that mandate. Within the context of those churches there are many tools we use to reach people with the Gospel. One often overlooked tool that is available is a Scouting ministry.

According to the March 2011 BSA report on "National Chartered Organizations Using the Traditional Scouting Program", the top five faith groups with Scouting units are as follows: (1) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with 35,749 units serving 341,245 youth; (2) the United Methodist Church with 10,685 units serving 279,671 youth; (3) the Roman Catholic Church with 8,340 units serving 227,038 youth, (4) Baptists with 3,874 units serving 79,072 youth; and (5) the Lutheran Church with 3,844 units serving 97,241 youth.

The Association of Baptists for Scouting is on the Web at www.baptistscouters.org.

**********

Campbellsville University Japanese students help relieve their homeland, raise $2,400 for KBC

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University)--In response to the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March, the Japanese students at Campbellsville University united and formed their own relief team. A total of $2,420 was raised for Campbellsville University's Japanese Relief Fund for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

For several weeks the native students set up a table outside of the cafeteria and accepted donations for their country's relief fund. Also, they promoted their relief-related Japanese Cultural Night. They sold meal tickets, $2 for students and $5 for adults, so that they could cook traditional food from their country and serve it during the cultural night festival.

"We held the event to raise more money to support Japan, I think more than 250 people came and they seemed to have enjoyed themselves," Yumiko Oga, a student from Onga-gun, Fukuoka, Japan, said.

At the Japanese Cultural Night event, the essence of the culture was on full display. Admission to the event was free, but to eat some of the traditional Japanese dishes you had to have previously purchased a meal ticket.

According to Mauricio Arias, a junior from Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela, "The food was great. I never tasted anything like it, I'm glad I came."

The Campbellsville community watched on as the students performed a traditional Japanese dance.

"The dance was amazing, I thought it was interesting and an experience within itself," Tiana Benjamin, a freshman from Campbellsville, said.

Japanese student and dance performer at the event, Masayuki Susuki of Fukuoka, Japan, said, "I was happy to show a little of my culture to the people of Campbellsville. I haven't danced like this since elementary school, so it was nice to know I could still do it."

Also, the people in attendance were taught how to make origami, a traditional way of folding paper into figurines; and how to write their names in Japanese. The Japanese students also sold many of their possessions from their homeland to raise additional money for the relief of their country.

Through generous donations, meal tickets, and the sale of Japanese souvenirs at the festival, the Japanese students raised over $2,400.

The students are thankful to every person who has helped support Japan in every way. They realize that without the help of Campbellsville University and the surrounding community they would not have been able to do anything for their country.

"Seeing the campus and the community as a whole care about Japan and pray for us made us feel comfortable," Oga said. "On behalf of the Japanese students at Campbellsville University, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who helped support us during this time of need."

Due to the number of aftershocks, a damaged electric system, and the degree of radiation it will take Japan a while to recover. Oga has prayed every night asking God to help her country. She asks Him to give strength and hope to those who lost their family, loved ones, and property. Though Oga knows that most of the population of her country are not Christian and do not know Jesus Christ, she still insists that God will shed His healing light on Japan.

"God will show his power and take this darkness from us with His amazing light," Oga said.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master's degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

**********

South Asia News Prayer Requests (International Mission Board), February 2011, http://www.go2southasia.org

BANGLADESH. "Wars and rumors of wars, global unrest, earthquakes, flooding and other natural calamities claim the headlines these days. They bring me back to God's Word in Matthew 24:6-8, where our current world condition is laid out. The end is coming; of this we can be sure--maybe not this week or next year or even in my lifetime, but history is proceeding to the return of Christ. I remember growing up in church and singing songs about being eager to get to heaven with Jesus. I cannot wait to be with my Lord, but my heart aches for the millions around me who would spend an eternity in hell if the Lord returned now. Please pray for the people of Bangladesh to have an opportunity to hear the Good News of Christ. Pray that an ever-unstable world will birth in them a desire to know truly the one unchanging God. Pray that one day, millions of Bangladeshis will be around God's throne, worshipping the Savior."

BHUTAN. Pray for national believers who received training in how to share their faith, disciple new believers and form new churches across Bhutan. Pray that they would be obedient with what God has asked them to do and be bold in their faith against strong persecution.

DIASPORA. RS is a young Punjabi/Sikh (diaspora) who is disillusioned with his religion. He says he has now accepted Jesus, but still does not "feel" sure of his salvation. RS expects some "emotional feeling" of assurance. Please pray that he will be confident in his new-found faith in Christ, and that he will be properly discipled as he grows in his relationship with Jesus.

INDIA. Traditionally the Maruthuvar (also known as Navithar) people of southern India have been known as barbers and midwives. Today, as the country of India moves toward modern advancement, many of the Maruthuvar people are leaving behind the professions of their parents and pursuing careers in education, engineering and medicine. However, what this new generation is not leaving behind is their religious tradition and heritage. The Maruthuvar people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, who number more than 650,000, worship all Hindu gods, but their main deity is Muneeswarar. Today and throughout history, Munesswarar has been worshipped as either a fierce god or a peaceful god. Pray for the Maruthuvar people, who have no Christian witness among them. Pray for the one, true, living God to soften the hearts of the Maruthuvar people and graciously send someone to share the Good News with them.

MALDIVES. Although statistics vary, it is estimated that some 30-60 percent of Maldivian teens and young adults use illegal drugs, with perhaps half of these addicted. "Young people have to have hope. Until we are able to give them hope, this is not going to go away," said Vice President Mohammed Wahid Hasaan, a former UNICEF Representative." Ask God to break the bondage of addictions with physical, emotional, and spiritual healing and the hope that only Jesus can give. Give thanks that some of the addicts from the Maldives have "broken free" from drugs by attending faith-based programs in the neighboring countries. Pray that the government will be open to faith-based ways of treatment and rehabilitation.

NEPAL. The monsoon season is coming soon. Along with heavy rains come many, many landslides. These landslides block major roads and sometimes wipe out whole villages. Please pray that as workers make plans to share the Gospel and train during this season, they will be able to get to their destinations safely and teach/share those with whom God has arranged "divine appointments."

PAKISTAN. The recent murder of Pakistan's Federal Minister for Miniorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, has been a severe blow to the Christian community in Pakistan. Shahbaz was a man who had committed his life to fighting for the rights of the minorities of Pakistan, and he ultimately laid down his life on their behalf. Before his death, he was quoted as saying, "But I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ, who has given His own life for us. I know what is the meaning of (the) cross and I'm following . . . the cross." As painful as it is to lose such a prominent member of the Christian community in Pakistan, the Spirit is using painful experiences to refine local believers as gold is refined in fire. Please pray that the overwhelming response of Pakistani Christians to these increasing frequent experiences will be to overcome evil with good, and to overcome hatred with love.

SRI LANKA. God is answering prayers! The event in the south, in which believers made prayer lists of unbelieving family and friends, saw 375 people come to Christ! One particularly amazing story was of a team visiting an older woman. She did not choose to follow Jesus, so the team went and visited elsewhere. As they were walking down the road, however, this woman came after them, wanting them to come back to her house. She wanted Jesus! Thank God for national believers who prayed faithfully for their lost friends by name. Pray for the many who heard but did not receive the gift of salvation, asking that God will reveal Himself to them as the truth. Pray for those who accepted Christ to grow in the Word and to share Him with their family and friends. Pray for those who have received training to start discipling!

BANGALORE HOSPITAL. Please pray for a college volunteer team that will be visiting the hospital early this month. They will be involved with students on the hospital campus, while leading Bible studies and retreats and doing discipleship training for 10 days. Pray for unanticipated opportunities of witness. Ask that this experience will make the team members sensitive to God's direction for their lives.

MUSIC, ART AND STORYTELLING MINISTRIES TO SOUTH ASIANS. A cross-cultural worker in South Asia shares an answer to prayer. "About two years ago, I made a demo recording for a pastor I know of songs he had written. He took the demo and persuaded a CD company to produce a recording professionally. It has since become the top-selling Christian recording in Kannada ever released. One auto rickshaw driver, the only believer in his family, played that CD while driving around. His parents, who persecuted him, discovered that he had left the CD at home one day, and they decided to listen to it. When the driver came home, his parents said, 'We want to know more. This is beautiful.' Now that driver has two believing parents!" Praise the Lord for these new believers. Pray that this CD will bring many more people into the Father's kingdom and that His name will be praised with indigenous music throughout South Asia.

SOUTH ASIAN FESTIVALS. Hindus place great value on "auspicious" dates for many of life's rites of passage. Friday, May 6, is one such date. Known as Akshaya Tritiya, it is supposed to be a good day to begin a new venture, such as a marriage or a business opening. The word "Akshaya" means "that which never diminishes," something that is eternal and imperishable. As the ultimate symbol of wealth, gold and gold jewelry bought and worn on that day is a wish for a never-diminishing fortune. Will you pray for South Asia's Hindus this week? Ask God to reveal Himself to them as the only hope for eternal life, the only thing that is of true, "never-diminishing" value. Pray that they will see beyond the lure of wealth to recognize their need for salvation. Pray that they will be like the merchant seeking fine pearls, who "upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it" (see Matthew 13:45-46).

SOUTH ASIAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES. Imagine 25 countries, each with 62 million people (the population of the United Kingdom). Imagine all those people without even one Christian. Imagine three of those countries without any harvest workers. That would be nearly 200 million people with no access to the Gospel. The countries of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives make up the homelands of the South Asian peoples: The greatest concentration of lostness on earth. The people of South Asia have fewer cross-cultural workers than all the other areas of the world, and there are more people in South Asia who need to hear the Gospel than anywhere else in the world. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His fields. Ask Him if He wants you to go. Be ready to say with Isaiah, "Here am I! Send me."

**********

World Congress of Families Proud to Co-Sponsor Anti-Euthanasia Symposium

ROCKFORD, Ill. (Christian Newswire)--World Congress is proud to be a co-sponsor of the Third - International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Vancouver, BC - June 3 - 4, 2011 at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel. The Symposium has been officially designated a WCF Regional event.

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs observed: "The World Congress of Families has always stood for the right to life from conception to natural death. As such, we strongly oppose euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide on ethical as well as practical grounds. We're delighted to endorse this major international symposium dealing with issues so important to families and society."

Jacobs also noted that the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the Symposium's Sponsor, is a World Congress of Families Partner.

Speakers at the Symposium include: Linda Couture - Vivre dans la Dignité (Life With Dignity), Quebec; Gordon MacDonald - Care Not Killing, Scotland; Dr. Christopher Ryan - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of British Columbia; Dr. Peter Saunders - Care Not Killing, UK; Paul Russell - Hope, Australia; Alex Schadenberg - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Canada; Henk Rietsma - Cry For Life, Netherlands; Marilyn Golden - Disability Research Defense Education Fund, California; Krista Flint - Inclusive Humanity, Canada; Steven Passmore - Canadian disability activist; Ronda Wiebe - Council of Canadians with Disabilities; Dr. Margaret Cottle - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Canada; Margaret Dore - Elder Law Attorney, Seattle; Hugh Scher - constitutional lawyer; Nick Goiran - MLC, Western Australia; Montana State Senator Greg Hinckle and the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care - Harold Albrecht, MP, Joe Comartin, MP; and Michelle Simpson, MP.

Besides World Congress of Families, Co-Sponsors include: Care Not Killing Alliance (UK), Physicians for Compassionate Care (US) and Human Life International (also a WCF Partner). A full list of Co-Sponsors is on Symposium brochure (link below).

Speakers will address such timely topics as disability rights, palliative care, legal consequences and political considerations, as well as national and regional efforts prevent euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the Symposium Chairman urges: "Society is facing a continuous onslaught of attacks on the vulnerable under the veneer of freedom and choice. Learn how others have successfully defeated the euthanasia lobby politically and how we are effectively working together to defeat it internationally at the Third International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, in Vancouver, Canada, June 3-4."

Click here to see event brochure and registration form or go to: www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/symposium.pdf. The registration fee is: $199 regular or $149 for a student or a person with a disability (does not include banquet fee).

The Friday night banquet is $50.00. Special room rates available at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel.

The Vancouver Symposium is one of six regional events World Congress of Families is sponsoring or co-sponsoring this year. Click here for April 29 press release, "World Congress of Families to Hold Regional Events in Riga, Sydney, Vancouver, London, Moscow and Lagos in Next Three Months."

To learn more about World Congress of Families, click here or go to: www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs contact Don Feder at dfeder@rcn.com or call 508-405-1337.

**********

BLUEFIELD, Va. (Bluefield College)--While most college students were using their Spring Break to relax, get away or bask in the sun, Bluefield College students were serving, working and fulfilling a call on mission in Italy, March 5-12.

As part of the school's efforts to support the ministry of Virginia Baptists and the International Mission Board, 10 Bluefield College students participated in the spring mission, designed to give them an opportunity to experience a different culture, while fulfilling the Great Commission.

"We wanted this to be an opportunity for our students to step out of their comfort zones," said BC's Kelly Somers, director of residence life. "They did, and they really grew in confidence and in their ability to share the Gospel, even with those who didn't even speak the same language."

The students spent nearly a week in Italy, primarily in Naples, leading street ministry projects, completing prayer walks, and conducting street evangelism.

"Italy was an incredible experience in every aspect," said senior Emily Wingfield from Gloucester, Virginia. "The culture is rich, and the people are beautiful. It warmed my heart to be able to worship alongside fellow believers from different languages and cultures. It's a glimpse of what Heaven will be like."

Working with missionaries and journeymen who are employed with the International Mission Board, the BC students also led a praise and worship service in the city square and attended a Gospel concert and evening church service. In fact, during the praise in the piazza, five locals made professions of faith.

"There were so many memorable experiences," said Somers. "The most moving was watching the Italian believers lead a new brother in Christ in the salvation prayer. The man played the accordion on the streets. He heard our singing, and it got his attention, and the Italians were able to witness to him and lead him to Christ."

The BC students not only shared the Gospel, but also experienced the history and culture of Italy with a trip to the Spine of Naples, the second oldest Baptistery; the Church of the Dead; the Pozzuoli shore where the Apostle Paul landed on his journey to Rome; Christmas Avenue, the site of the first Nativity scene; and Sorbillo's, a 200-year-old pizzeria.

"It was amazing to see and be in such Biblically historical cities," said Somers, "knowing you were walking in the same footprints as Paul and Peter."

As part of the cultural experience, the students also visited Rome, where they toured the Colosseum, ancient ruins, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, St. Peters Square, and St. Peters Basilica.

"It was neat to see how our students wanted to bring back what they learned in Italy, back to the states, back to Bluefield," said Somers. "They came home with a desire to be as bold in their faith in America as they were in Italy."

Joining Wingfield and Somers on the mission to Italy were BC Campus Minister David Taylor and students Julia Austin of Rockville, Virginia; Shannon Denton of Tazewell, Virginia; Dawnn Fletcher of Locust Grove, Virginia; Rae Linkous of North Tazewell, Virginia; Cortney Pattison of Radford, Virginia; Kristen Slade of North Tazewell, Virginia; J.D. Taylor of Bluefield, Virginia; Katie Warren of Princeton, West Virginia; and Summer Wilding of Sandusky, Ohio.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net