Today's BP Ledger includes items from:
Charleston Southern University
Ouachita Baptist University
International Mission Board
Charleston Southern Opens Semester with Expectant Prayer
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Charleston Southern University)--Prayer with Expectancy kicked off spring semester at Charleston Southern in Lightsey Chapel Jan. 11.
Students, faculty, staff and coaches gathered to pray for the Lord to continue the work He started in fall semester with Grace Awakening.
Jon Davis, campus minister, said, "To impart and declare the power of God to the next generation is what gives me hope. What we've seen with Grace Awakening, God is doing something with this generation."
"We are praying for this to be the year of increase," said Tam Odom, director of women's ministry and creative arts. "First Corinthians 3:6 says, 'I planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase.' We challenge you to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you very clearly where you are to water and sow this semester as we prepare for the harvest," she said.
Prayers were lifted up by the Charleston Southern community for:
* the Holy Spirit to rain down on students
* God to allow us to embrace the opportunity we have to serve Him
* the influence of athletes and coaches to be positive
* the campus to stand united
* God to do something historic on campus
* no other name to be above His at Charleston Southern
Trey Barnett, a senior majoring in youth ministry and religion from Westminster, prayed that the faculty would "praise God's mighty acts to this generation."
In planning the semester, Odom said, "We believe the undertone of our worship experiences will be a freedom party full of celebration in expectancy. There has to be a celebration of the freedom we receive, and our hearts have to expect that the Holy Spirit is going to be present and move."
Campus ministries will specifically target sowing and watering through worship and service this semester, all while praying for the Lord's increase.
Judson College Librarian Returns to Guatemala for Children's Ministry
By Brittney Hall
MARION, Ala. (Judson College)--On a typical day one might find Judson College librarian Andrea Abernathy helping a student find sources for a paper, searching for books and articles to keep the library stock updated or working the late-night shift so students can get the most from their library time.
However, Abernathy took a break from her typical activities to return to Guatemala last fall where she'd completed a mission trip in 2009.
This first trip came about when a leader at the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham asked her small group Bible study to commit to a mission trip that year. She had a second opportunity last November when Brook Hills sent another team.
"I went back to continue the work; I knew there was still so much to be done," Abernathy said.
Abernathy's team conducted Vacation Bible Schools in several villages. Other team members taught native pastors about discipleship using materials developed by Dr. David Platt, pastor at Brook Hills.
The staff of Impacto Ministries, led by host pastor Luis Martinez, greeted the Birmingham team and other teams from across the country on their arrival.
According to Abernathy, the accommodations in Guatemala included lumpy beds, bugs, cold showers and water that would make Americans violently ill if they consumed even the smallest amount.
"You may want a hot shower sometimes, but you don't make a big deal out of it—it's just not important," Abernathy said.
"We live like the richest people in the world compared to ."
Abernathy said it was sad to see the living environments of the people they met: mud-brick houses with a tin roof and a dirt floor and several people sleeping in one bed or even on the dirt floor of their single-room in a tiny home.
"Ten or more people would live in a house the size of my office," she said.
Abernathy said she saw evidence in the community of the work they'd done two years earlier and was happy to continue ministry.
Abernathy's group travel to several villages and helped native believers conduct Vacation Bible Schools in their churches for the first time. Team members had opportunity to teach memory verses, to sing, pray and serve snacks to the children, just as American churches do in the summertime.
In an area where the oldest church congregation is only ten, this was a significant step for the community, she said.
Abernathy recalled one day in vivid detail when she encountered a few aggressive and ungrateful children during a day of crafts and activities. It was times like these that God used as humbling experiences for her and her team.
"That was a really hard day; it was hard to love the children and care for them," she said.
"It reminded me of the times when Christ had compassion on harassed multitudes. It was a stark reminder about how sin separates us from God, and he still has compassion on us."
One of Abernathy's favorite memories occurred on the last day of the trip as the team bid farewell to their new friends.
"We embraced and prayed for each other in our native tongues. It was the most amazing, indescribable Body of Christ moment," she said.
Abernathy said she's ready for another trip when the opportunity comes.
"I was so clearly reminded of the grandeur of my God, and that he is in charge of it all," she said.
Brittney Hall is a student writer at Judson College.
Francis McBeth, world-renowned composer
and longtime Ouachita professor, dies at 78
By Trennis Henderson
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (Ouachita Baptist University)--Dr. W. Francis McBeth, internationally acclaimed composer and conductor and longtime professor of music at Ouachita Baptist University, died Friday, Jan. 6, at age 78.
Dr. McBeth, who earned extensive accolades throughout his career, served as Ouachita's composer-in-residence, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and chair of the theory/composition department of the Division of Music. He also served as conductor of the Arkansas Symphony and as Arkansas' composer laureate, the first composer laureate named in the United States.
"How blessed we have been to have Dr. McBeth invest his life and work at Ouachita," said Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr. "This was the center for his creative work.
"Dr. McBeth lived as an example of one who touched the lives of unknown thousands and will continue to do so for many years to come," Dr. Horne added. "We are enriched by his service. We pray for Mrs. McBeth, their children and family. We also give gratitude to God for Dr. McBeth."
"There is no way to measure how much impact Dr. McBeth has had on Ouachita's music program over the years," said Dr. Scott Holsclaw, dean of Ouachita's School of Fine Arts. "It is amazing how many lives he touched both at Ouachita and throughout the world, including students, colleagues and music professionals. He is truly a Ouachita and Arkansas treasure."
McBeth, who joined the Ouachita faculty in 1957, was named Distinguished University Professor by the Ouachita Board of Trustees upon his retirement in 1996. Trustees also named the William Francis McBeth Recital Hall in Mabee Fine Arts Center in his honor.
President Emeritus Daniel Grant, who served as president of Ouachita from 1970 to 1988, recalled, "On becoming president of Ouachita Baptist University in 1970, I soon learned that W. Francis McBeth qualified as every university president's distinguished 'dream professor.' Everyone sang his praises - students, faculty, administrators, custodians, community leaders and professional peers literally around the world!"
Citing McBeth's recognition as Distinguished University Professor, Grant added that "he had already set an almost unreachable standard for measuring distinction."
"I studied freshman theory with Dr. McBeth at Ouachita," Dr. Charles Wright, professor emeritus of music, said at the time of McBeth's retirement. "He has meant a great deal to Ouachita and the field of music, generally. He has impacted many lives over the course of years and his students, peers and friends can testify to his dedication to quality music and to his positive attention to their individual lives and careers."
McBeth, who began playing trumpet in the second grade, earned degrees from Hardin-Simmons University and the University of Texas and also studied at the Eastman School of Music. He served from 1954-56 with the 101st Airborne Band at Fort Jackson, S.C., and the 98th Army Band at Fort Rucker, Ala. One of the most prolific composers of wind band music in the 20th century, he was a past president of the American Bandmasters Association. His "Double Pyramid Balance System" is a widely used pedagogical tool in the concert band world.
During a musical tribute titled "The Creative World of Francis McBeth," presented on the Ouachita campus in conjunction with his retirement, McBeth was invited to conduct several of his compositions as part of the two-night concert, including "Caccia, Opus 62," "The Dream Catcher, Opus 86" and "The Gathering of the Waters, Opus 76."
In a 2003 interview with Jim Newsom, McBeth said that "Through the Countless Halls of Air," a piece commissioned by and dedicated to the U.S. Air Force Band, best defined his work. "I just think it's the best piece I've ever done," he noted.
Reflecting on his musical legacy, McBeth told Newsom that his fondest desire was for his fellow musicians, students and music lovers everywhere to say of him, "I liked his music!"
"That's your whole lifetime's work. You want it accepted more than you want yourself accepted," McBeth explained. "The work is much more important - especially when you've spent your whole life just doing that."
Citing McBeth's lifelong commitment to instrumental music, Dr. George Keck, professor emeritus of music, related in an essay published in Ouachita Voices: Celebrating 125 Years of Academic & Christian Excellence that when McBeth first came to Ouachita in the 1950s, "there really was no marching band and no instrumental area." Keck wrote that at the beginning of the fall semester of McBeth's first year on campus, "he went through the dorms asking anyone he met, 'Have you ever played in the band?' If the student answered yes, he offered a scholarship there on the spot to play in the band. He managed to field a band that fall, and Ouachita has had a marching band ever since."
As a trumpet and bass violin player, McBeth performed in England, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy and Scotland. He also served as a conductor throughout Europe as well as Australia, Canada and Japan.
Among his many accomplishments, McBeth was a recipient of an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Special Award annually for more than 30 consecutive years. He also received the Howard Hanson Prize of the Eastman School of Music for his "Third Symphony," the American School Band Directors Association's Edwin Franko Goldman Award in 1983, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia's American Man of Music in 1988, Kappa Kappa Phi's National Service to Music Award in 1989, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic's Medal of Honor in 1993 and the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Medal of Honor in 2000.
Ouachita Chancellor Ben Elrod, who served as president from 1988 to 1998, said, "Mac was clearly among the top tier of composers of band music in the country. His works were performed country-wide and internationally. His identification with Ouachita gave added luster to the institution.
"Equal value issued from his life and career through the significant impact which his teaching had upon his students," Elrod emphasized. "Although a celebrity, he was very accessible to students, colleagues, audiences and friends. His life was well-lived and made great contributions to all."
Dr. Craig Hamilton, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands, described McBeth as "a wonderful colleague, mentor and friend. Through his composition, conducting and teaching, he impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. His sharp wit and engaging smile endeared him to everyone he met. We are all better musicians, teachers and people for having known Dr. Mac. His passing leaves a huge void."
Dr. McBeth is survived by his wife, Mary; sister, Laura Fay Thaxton; brother, Harold McBeth; daughter, Laura Murphy, and her husband, Todd; son, Matthew McBeth, and his wife, Susan; and three grandchildren: Kate, Joe and Carolyn.
His funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia. Family members will receive guests in the church fellowship hall following the service. Memorial gifts may be sent to Ouachita Baptist University, OBU Box 3754, Arkadelphia, AR 71998, or given online at www.obu.edu/give.
Trennis Henderson is OBU vice president for communications.
ASIA PRAYER REQUESTS
SOUTH ASIA (IMB)--Brief items reported by South Asia News (http://www.go2southasia.org) on Jan. 10 include:
BANGLADESH. The "Bishwa Ijtema" or World Gathering will take place this month in Dhaka. This is the second-largest Muslim gathering in the world and usually attracts more than 5 million attendees. It is not uncommon for Muslim-background believers to go to the area where the gathering takes place and distribute Scripture and tracts. Please pray that many who come to this gathering in search of Allah's blessing will find the truth of Christ.
BHUTAN. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck became the king of Bhutan in 2008 when his father stepped down from the throne. On October 31, 2011, Jigme married Jetsun Puma, a commoner, the daughter of an airline pilot. The people of Bhutan were thrilled. Pray that this young couple, who seek to identify with the Bhutanese people, would come to know the Savior who left his royal home in heaven to be born as a baby in a manger - among common folks. Pray that they would open the way for the Truth to be shared throughout Bhutan.
DIASPORA. A cross-cultural worker among South Asians in France writes, "We prayed for some time for a breakthrough in our Bengali community. Recently, we were in a marketplace distributing materials. We met a Bengali man who wanted to meet with us and learn more. He had some contact with churches and Christians in Bangladesh so after meeting with us for five or six times, he prayed to receive Christ. He then asked to be baptized, so last Sunday we blew up our swimming pool on our porch and baptized him. He now has a friend he is talking to about Jesus. Pray that this new believer will remain faithful to Jesus and boldly share his testimony throughout the Bengali community. Pray that many Bengalis in France will come to know Jesus in 2012.
INDIA. Last month, two American women completed an ethnography research paper about Ganak life and culture. This is some of the first information that has been collected in English about this group. Pray that God will send believing Hindu-background men and women into Ganak communities to testify about Jesus. Ganaks are very wary of outsiders, but seem willing to listen to others of a Hindu background. Pray also that the Lord will lift the veil from the eyes of Ganak astrologers who believe they can accurately predict any future event in human or earthly life. Ask that they will be able to see that God is the only one who knows their future and that He has good plans for the Ganak people.
MALDIVES. After Saudi Arabia, the Maldives is the only nation that claims that 100 percent of its inhabitants are Muslim. However there are 70,000 foreigners working on the islands and about 60,000 tourists who annually visit the islands. Pray that Father would open doors for followers of Jesus to impact the Maldivians with the Truth
NEPAL. Please pray that the spiritual strongholds that have held Nepal captive for hundreds of years will be broken this year. Ask that the truth of the Gospel will be widely spread, understood, and strongly followed and obeyed. Pray that those new believers will follow Christ's command to share His Truth and teach new believers "to obey" (Matthew 28:20).
PAKISTAN. Pray for harvest workers, both local church planters and those who have come from other places, to shine the light of Christ Jesus and work in His harvest fields in Karachi and southern Pakistan. Claim 2 Chronicles 16:9 on their behalf: "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."
SRI LANKA. One day a worker took one of those he was discipling on a "man-of-peace" (Luke 10:6) hunt to a local attraction in the capital city. J, a 69-year-old tour guide, and NK, a museum worker, both heard the Gospel that day. However, only one--J--came to know Christ as his personal Savior. NK listened, but when offered a Bible, he resisted, saying he wanted time to think about what was shared and to talk with his family. Since then, J has been discipled. While being taught one of the first lessons on prayer, he proclaimed, "God is alive!" This former Buddhist, who had spent his whole life worshiping an image of stone, recognized the reality of the God he now worships. Praise God for bringing J to work in the capital city so that he could hear this Good News and respond! Pray for him to share this truth with his Buddhist wife and children, who live in NR. Pray also for NK, who later did respond to the offer of a Bible, asking that he will read it and understand what is written and that he will choose to make Christ Jesus his Lord.
SOUTH ASIAN HINDU FESTIVALS. Hindus in South Asia (and worldwide) will celebrate Makar Sankranti (also known as Pongal) on January 14. Taking place 21 days after the winter solstice, it is one of the few festivals celebrated on the same day each year and based on a solar event, rather than a lunar event. It is of major spiritual significance for Hindus as it marks the transition from an inauspicious phase into a more auspicious time of the year. In some areas, it signifies the harvest season. Many believe this day is an auspicious day to start a journey or other major endeavor. A popular ritual is to fly colorful kites, symbolic of offering worship to the sun god, of trying to reach him. Please pray that Hindus will hear the Gospel this week, allowing them to embark on the only journey of true significance--that of eternal life with the Father who loves them and gave His Son to be their Savior. Pray that they will offer their hearts to Jesus, realizing that simple faith is the only way they can reach Him. Pray for a great harvest of souls among the Hindus of South Asia this year.
SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLES. In March, the Leadership Equipping and Development (LEAD) team plans to resume training with a tribal group in an area that has endured much persecution for the past three years. Please pave the way for this training week in prayer. Intercede for those who are translating the materials into their local language as well as those who will interpret during the week, for the coordinator, for the safety of the participants, and for the travel of the LEAD teachers.
SOUTH ASIAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES. The Bania people of South India lead a very religious life, adhering to a vegetarian diet and observing Hindu ceremonies. Ask the Lord to make the Bania people aware of their sin and their need for forgiveness. Also pray for Indian and international Christians to love the Bania people enough to share with them about the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ.
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