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College students give $3.5 million to missions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–College students from across the country gave $3.5 million to missions in 1999.

“That’s new money, money they raised or earned themselves,” said Bill Henry, director of the National Student Ministries Department of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. “That’s not money that moms and dads gave them.”

A check was presented Dec. 6 by Henry to LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr., and Morris H. Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Accepting the check, Chapman said, “I can promise you this money will be used to further God’s kingdom. We thank and appreciate all the college students for the work and sacrifice this represents.”

Students raised the money by bake sales and car washes, as well as more creative means. One Baptist Student group wrapped gifts at a local Wal-Mart store. Wal-Mart made a donation to the BSU for the students’ work instead of just hiring another worker. On another campus, students made pledges. One student pledged the money he had planned to use to eat out after church on Sunday. He ate in the campus cafeteria instead.

Thanking the group of state student work directors and assistant directors, Draper told them he believed the greatest mission field in America is the college campus. “Student ministry is not easy. You’ve got everyone involved with what you do. You’ve got LifeWay, the IMB [International Mission Board], NAMB [North American Mission Board], your state conventions and the churches.”

Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 5-7, the student work directors heard about two books being written for use in gender-specific ministry for college students.

“Virtuous Reality, becoming the ideal woman,” by Vicki Courtney, founder of Cross Roads Women’s Ministry, is directed toward college-age women. “My real passion is to get an accurate message out to these college women that God has a different definition of the ideal woman than what the world says is ideal.”

The book uses the woman cited in Proverbs 31 to show what God wants a woman to become.

“A woman is not the ‘ideal woman’ because she can bake the perfect biscuit and sew her own clothes, but she becomes ideal by putting God in the very center of her life,” Courtney said.

She said she hopes college women will use the book as a tool for finding what the ideal woman is in the eyes of God.

Student minister Gregg Matte has written “The Highest Education, becoming a godly man,” aimed toward college-age men.

Henry said Matte has an “amazing ministry” with college students. Each week Matte speaks to about 5,000 students at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

When the NSM staff approached Matte about writing a book for college men, Matte quickly agreed.

He quoted Matte as saying, “This is unbelievable. My wife and I have been praying for the last month about what God wants us to do next.”

Henry noted that Matte “already had a plan in mind for what he wanted to write.”

“College students are at a point in their lives when they are making lifestyle decisions that will follow them the rest of their lives. It’s exciting to know they are learning how to be disciples for Christ and are equipping themselves for a lifetime of service,” he said.

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  • Polly House