News Articles

12 commit to Christian service after Activators mission trips

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–Thanks to Activators, 12 members of Oklahoma City’s Quail Springs Baptist Church have been activated to full-time Christian service.

The Quail Springs’ youth group has taken five Acteens Activator trips — to Salt Lake City; Birmingham, Ala.; Henderson, Nev.; Carver, Mass.; and Albuquerque, N.M. — birthing a sense of call among 11 members of the youth group, along with Van Greenwood, a coach at Putnam City North High School.

Acteens Activators is the volunteer program sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC, for teenage girls who are members of Acteens, the WMU organization for girls in grades seven through 12. Members of Youth on Mission, WMU’s coed youth organization, also participate in the Activators program.

Acteens Activators is designed to give teens the chance to go out as a team and do missions work with Southern Baptist missions personnel in the United States and Canada. Acteens Activators Abroad provides an opportunity for the teens to work with international missionaries.

Quail Springs participants “were exposed to the needs of people and exposed to hands on ministry,” said Marty Odom, Activator leader at the church.

“Last summer in Albuquerque, they had the privilege of leading 33 children in the inner city to Jesus.”

Odom said she knows of no other reason so many have committed to full-time ministry other than the fact they have seen and done ministry firsthand.

Activator teams do Backyard Bible Clubs, mission Vacation Bible Schools, community surveys, drama, music, puppets and food and clothing distribution, for example. Most teams serve between one and two weeks, in addition to travel time to and from the field.

Bryce Hantla, a senior, said he got into the Activators group when it was “introduced to the guys.” He’s gone on all of Quail Springs’ trips.

“The last one in Albuquerque meant the most to me because I felt God used our whole group in amazing ways,” Hantla said. “We worked with inner-city kids who were hard to deal with, but God gave us patience and a love for them.”

Hantla said the group stopped at the Glorieta (N.M.) LifeWay conference center on the way back from Albuquerque, and there in the prayer garden is where he committed his life to full-time Christian ministry.

“That whole week, God was preparing me and teaching me, and I realized I couldn’t do anything else and feel fulfilled,” he said. “It was coming off a mission trip, having been on four others, having awesome experiences with God that led me to the realization that full-time ministry is what I need to be doing the rest of my life.”

Hantla said after the group returned from Massachusetts the year before, he felt the calling into ministry but was scared to make a commitment because he wasn’t sure that was what God wanted him to do.

“But in Albuquerque, I experienced more of God than I ever experienced, and I was ready to make that commitment.”

“Activators is a life-changing experience,” said Lawana Roberts, children and youth in missions specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Roberts said the main reason she likes the Activator program over many other mission trips is that participants are required to go through training before they leave.

“Missionaries, both home and international, request Activators because they know they will come prepared,” Roberts said. “Activators work alongside missionaries, and in doing so, their hearts become sensitive to the people around them.”

In addition to Hantla, others at Quail Springs who have committed to full-time Christian service following the Activators trips are Amber Harville; Hantla’s brother, Chris; Kevin Charney; Becky Hume; Christina Porter; Amanda Tate; Erin Donnelly; Sara Biddy; Jack Kent Jaggers; Calvin Rush; and Greenwood.

The Quail Springs group will go to Sterling, Colo., this summer.

    About the Author

  • Dana Williamson