News Articles

BP Ledger: Jan. 4 edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger, a new Baptist Press feature launched in mid-December, carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities. The items are published as received.

Today’s BP Ledger includes items from:
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
North Greenville University
Campbellsville University

Supporter of Southwestern’s
women’s programs passes away
By Keith Collier
DALLAS, Texas (SWBTS)–Joan Horner, co-founder of Premier Designs and faithful supporter of women’s programs at Southwestern Seminary, died Dec. 5. She was 85.

Horner co-founded the Dallas-based direct sales jewelry company with her husband, Andy, in 1985. Over the past 25 years, the company has grown to more than 180,000 independent jewelers, with profits supporting Christian missions and ministries in 63 countries.

“Joan Horner exemplified the life of a godly Christian woman of unshakeable faith,” Southwestern president Paige Patterson said. “No matter how dire the circumstances nor foreboding the moment, Joan knew that her providential God would handle it all.”

Patterson’s wife, Dorothy, was a friend of Horner.

“Joan Horner has been my godly mentor and precious friend for almost four decades,” Dorothy Patterson said.

“We were kindred spirits in our love for and commitment to our families and homes as well as to the Lord Jesus. Truly Joan understood and wove into her life the fear of the Lord and gentle and quiet spirit of biblical womanhood. Not only did she impact my life personally but she also served as an example of the paradigm of biblical womanhood in my woman-to-woman lectures and writings. Heaven is sweeter with her presence. I will miss her tender heart and encouraging words, but she will remain an inspiration to me and my students.”

At Southwestern, Joan and Andy Horner have supported women’s programs, including the primary financial gift for the construction of the Horner Homemaking House on campus. Additionally, Premier Designs provides free jewelry to female graduates and wives of graduates as part of the seminary’s Dressed For Service ministry.

Horner oversaw design and jewelry selection of Premier’s product line. She also encouraged and inspired others through writing and public speaking. Prior to co-founding Premier, she worked for Home Interiors and Gifts, assisting Mary Crowley, the company’s founder.

Horner was known for her personal touch in addition to her executive leadership. According to the Premier Designs website, Joan said, “My mission in life is very simple: to keep it personal. That’s also my mission for the Premier Designs family. So much of modern living is high tech and high speed, yet our culture is lacking in the social graces and relational touches. The corporate world is high tech, too, with the end goal of making a profit as fast as you can and as efficiently as you can. Our purpose at Premier Designs is to influence people’s lives, not just their pocketbooks, and to build relationships. People are always more important than profits. People are our greatest asset!”

Horner is survived by her husband of 64 years, Andy, five children, 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
NGU helps missionary kids
adjust to college life
By Currie Dickerson
TIGERVILLE, S.C. (NGU)–Separated from family, some hundreds and even thousands of miles away, “missionary kids” at North Greenville University have to face the newness of college life without the support of a nearby place to call home.

Desiring to aid in this transition, NGU faculty and staff come together twice a year to provide for these students. The campus is home to 60 MK’s this year, and each will receive a gift card in the upcoming weeks before the semester is over.

As a whole, NGU provides many opportunities for MK’s throughout the year, most headed up by Allen McWhite, Campus Ministry Director. Some events have included special dinners and get-togethers at the McWhite home, all to make MK’s feel more at home in their new surroundings.

“Some students lacked funds to purchase personal items,” said Marianne Holland, professor/co-ordinator for music education, who started the program. She knows the needs that most students have if their parents are not getting paid directly for their missionary efforts, especially those who are located overseas. When Holland was faculty chair a few years ago, she suggested to the faculty and staff the idea of showing support for the MK’s twice a year with gift cards. The response was positive, and, ever since her suggestion, all working members of NGU have participated.

“I appreciate the care put forth through the gift cards. Since my parents are so far away, it is nice to have the faculty and staff look after us and be that support,” said Hannah Harvell, junior interdisciplinary studies. The gift card can vary in amount, but it can usually be redeemed at a store like Wal-Mart for convenience to students. It is given in the fall of each year as well as the spring.

Other organizations who also provide help are First Baptist Church of Taylors and the NGU Ladies Auxiliary Club. Both helped freshman MK’s with the move-in process and purchased items like bedspreads, towels and cleaning supplies to jumpstart their time at NGU.

“I know since my parents aren’t here, others are able to substitute that support. I am so grateful,” said Christina Yoon, freshman business. With almost no local support, children of missionaries are left with no immediate and local provision from parents. The kindness of our staff and faculty provides these students with the resources and love they need to transition well from their life in the mission field to life on a college campus.
Life after
the World Race
By Christina Miller
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (CU)–“What can you say when … you walk into a mud walled church with no electricity and see 80 people sitting there, then the pastor says, ‘All these people have AIDS, you encourage and prepare them for eternity.'”

That is exactly what John Blair, a 2005 graduate of Campbellsville University, faced on the World Race, an 11-month mission trip to more than 11 countries.

Casondra Radford (’07) and Charity Powell (’07) and Rachael Hurt (a ’06) also traveled on the World Race. They all returned to the United States in November 2010.

Radford said through the race she has seen a lot of change in herself, “It’s interesting how you go on mission trips thinking you will save the world but instead God saves you.”

“God has allowed me to go through many tests and trials this year in order to bring about character in my life,” Radford said.

“I came on the race a girl with walls up, holding on to past hurts and unforgiveness. I used to cover up how I was really feeling with makeup and cute hair styles. God took me all the way around the world to learn to accept his love. As I learned who I was in Him, those walls started crashing down and I learned to truly forgive and love others the way God loves me. I shaved my hair and stopped wearing makeup for several months until it really sunk in that my identity is in Christ alone.”

Radford now keeps a photo on top of her makeup case of her teammates shaving her head to remind her to “Never forget your identity is in Christ, not in anything you put on.”

Powell said the race “gave me a whole new view of what life is about. I was reminded over and over again that it’s not about me. It’s about God’s glory. Everything that I experienced was meant to bring glory to God. I learned that being comfortable and ‘happy’ isn’t what we’re here to do, God gave us life so that we could live for Him, and that isn’t always comfortable.”

Many of the team members realized how blessed they truly are and learned simplicity should be more important in life.

Returning to the U.S. during the holiday season made that even harder.

Powell said, “When you look into the eyes of a child who has a big belly because he is malnourished or watch a little girl get water from a mud puddle filled with trash, it’s hard to watch people spend hundreds of dollars on things that don’t matter.”

Blair said, “It’s this in Matthew 25 Jesus teaches us he will judge us over. We literally have a responsibility, and now when you can put names and faces to it, the statistics become more real. The poverty is real, and it could be changed if we literally stopped and changed the way we lived. Live simply, give generously in time, money and love so others can simply live, and find the true hope of the kingdom of God in their own lives.”

Blair’s solution is balance. “God intends for us to enjoy life, spend time with friends and family, and do fun things. But, if I am willing to spend $8 on a movie ticket with friends, not a basic need in life, but not as willing without hesitation give $8 to a person in need of necessities to survive or that someone would hear the gospel, then it’s a serious issue and I think that’s where we have to really start with ourselves.

“This trip has really changed my view on generosity. Why are we hesitant to give up things for the better lives of others? Why does it not really disturb the American church that to solve hunger it costs $35 billion, but we spend 11 times that on military defense each year? Where is the balance?”

Powell said, “I’m trying to live a life that is focused on God’s glory and not my own comfort, because at the end of the day God’s presence is much better than temporary comfort.”

Blair became more aware of his Christian duties. “I’ve come to know that I am given a responsibility in my life that as I continue to love God and give Him everything and I recognize how ‘lucky’ I am to be born here; it’s all been for the sake that my life would be used as a vessel for other people who aren’t as blessed.”

Blair said no one should come back the same after 11 months. He saw the whole World Race not as an experience but as a movement. “It’s a serious movement of seeing the incredible things that God did and what He can do in you and through you. It was a movement of truly seeing what His heart beats for in this world and how I should respond to it.”

Back in the U.S. their lives are not the same as when they left.

Radford is writing a book about her World Race experience. She plans to attend graduate school at Asbury Theological Seminary to student Cross Cultural Studies. She said, “If it’s the Lord’s will I will be traveling to Kisumu, Kenya this summer to build more and strengthen relationships with the orphans and widows of Deliverance Church. While in Kisumu, God gave me a huge passion for those people. I knew then that I would one day call Kisumu my home.”

Powell, who served as a youth minister in Northern Kentucky before the race, is trying to figure out what comes next. “My goal is to do ministry in any way I can. I’m not looking for a title that will let people know I’m a Christian; I just want to live my life in such a way that people see Jesus. I want to serve and love people, and introduce them to the God that I saw moving all over the world this year. I can’t go back to the way I lived before. My life is not my own. I’m waiting on the Lord and relying on Him for my next step.”

Blair is also trying to find his next step. “Before I left for the World Race I had always had a dual call to missions and worship. I had always considered a career in missions but wanted to understand more cultures to see if I was drawn to any more places other than China and if I could make it away from home for a while. In the end neither was a problem for me; I quickly adapted to each culture well and really didn’t miss America much.

“So I am in the process of learning how the last 11 months will affect the rest of my life. Will I go back to the mission field full-time and serve with the poor, or will I stay in America? And if I do [stay], how will I continue to bless the ministries and poor not just across the world, but in my community? What in my life will change?”

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