Missions abroad and at home are a big part of the Christian faith. Faulkner University students, faculty, staff and VP Black College of Biblical Studies are doing their part to spread the good news of the Gospel to all nations.
From a small fishing town in southern Alabama to Mexico and Jamaica, to the plains of Tanzania, Faulkner students have been the hands and feet of Jesus around the world this summer.
Earlier this year, Zorn scholars at the VP Black College of Biblical Studies faithfully helped a small church in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. The congregation lost their minister so the Faulkner Bible majors drove 2-3 hours to the financially stressed community to take care of their spiritual needs, provide preaching and fellowship and prayer. and singing.
Additionally, many Faulkner faculty, staff, alumni and current students partnered with Growing Faithful Children last June to share God’s love with the children of Jamaica. They held more than 15 Vacation Bible Schools, reaching more than 4,000 children. Three playgrounds were built in Santa Cruz schools. Saints from the church of Santa Cruz are encouraged through nightly activities. This life-changing experience is a first for many Faulkner attendees.
A separate group of members from the Vaughn Park Church of Christ congregation, including Faulkner University employees and alumni, flew to Mexico June 10-16, 2023 to assist with Baja Missions in and around LaMision. . Joining the group are Dr. Terry Brown, Loye Moorer, and Eliza Rillion; alumni Ben Brown and David Brown; and so on. The group built an addition to the church building, repaired and painted a widow’s house, and prepared food for elementary school children, police officers, firefighters and farm workers.
Faulkner’s Bible professor, Dr. Rick Trull and his wife Marinda helped organize the May mission trip to Tanzania. They left on May 26 and spent two weeks there working with Tanzanian Christians in an outreach to the communities around the churches in Arusha, Tanzania.
While there, they stayed in the dorms at the Andrew Connelly School of Preaching while the preaching school students were on summer break. Faulkner students conduct multiple Bible studies five days a week with the youth in their homes. The two-week outreach saw many studies done by many people resulting in eight baptisms. “Our students conducted Bible studies with four of those who were baptized,” Trull said. “It’s not very often that we get to see the direct results of our mission work while we’re there so it’s special for our students to be a part of these eternal decisions.”
In addition to outreach, Faulkner’s team visited more than 60 children in schools and orphanages. They also spent time visiting Tanzanian Christians in their homes and attending two churches.
A typical day for the group involves going with a translator and driving to villages around Arusha to teach Bible studies in people’s homes. They will do that all morning and return to Connelly School for lunch. They go out again after lunch to do the same. Fridays include a free day and church is held on Sundays in two different churches. They end the days by visiting Tanzanian Christians in their homes for dinner. They kept in touch with the translators they met there. By encouraging the church and the people there with the Gospel, they are also encouraging themselves.
Trull said, “Over the years, my wife Marinda and I have taken groups of students to Kenya and now Tanzania to work with mission efforts. What we noticed is that these trips give students experiences of how Christians live in other parts of the world. They see that those who are useless still have joy and hope that can only come through Christ. When our students go back to the states, they have a greater appreciation for the little things.
Trull and his wife have been traveling in Kenya and now Tanzania since 1998 and previously lived in Kenya for ten years and Uganda for four years preaching and teaching the Gospel message. He began working at Faulkner in 1995 and encouraged students to pursue missionary work. Students who accompany them on their journeys over the years make missions part of their vocation, whether they decide to pursue ministry, mission or nonprofit work as a vocation or pursue entrepreneurship or giving health care.
“It becomes a part of them wherever they are taken. These trips have a lasting impact on their lives,” Trull said.