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Seminarian doubles as caseworker to increasing tide of refugees

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hear the words all the time: “Touch the World … Impact Eternity.”

While many students plan to put the seminary slogan into action after graduation, Stephanie Carreon lives it out every day of her seminary career through World Relief’s ministry of settling refugees from across the globe. Carreon, a master of divinity (soon to be master of arts in missiology) student from Dallas, serves as a medical caseworker in the ministry located just a few blocks south of the seminary’s campus in Fort Worth, Texas.

“They come here fleeing for their life, and our goal is to minister to them physically and spiritually,” Carreon says.

Whether it is taking baby clothing to a couple from Africa who arrived a few months ago and are expecting a child or sharing the love of Christ with Middle Eastern refugees who come from battle-torn countries and are mired in hopelessness, Carreon sees her ministry as a calling from God to reach the world.

Her ministry was highlighted during Southwestern’s annual International Day. More than two dozen of the seminary’s 244 international students — a seminary record — led chapel Oct. 17. The seminary family traveled around the globe the next day by visiting an international bazaar held in the seminary student center.

Visitors to the “Touch the World … Impact Eternity” bazaar enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of a global village. International students put together displays from their home countries, offering samples of international cuisine and providing music and dance reflective of their diverse cultures.

Visitors also could learn about ministry opportunities in the Fort Worth area by visiting with Carreon and representatives of other organizations.

Carreon tells of a refugee who found out she had cancer shortly after arriving. She was by her side as the refugee experienced her first chemotherapy treatment and was able to comfort and encourage this fellow believer.

“It was a very touching time for both of us,” Carreon says, “and I will never forget that. I was able to remind her of her purpose in life and the need to get through.”

Refugees come streaming through World Relief in greater and greater numbers each day, many of whom have never heard the gospel and are desperately seeking peace in their lives. Carreon urged seminarians to take advantage of this ministry located just a few blocks from campus.

“World Relief is always looking for Christians who are willing to take time to reach out to families in need,” she says, “and at the same time live the life of a follower of Christ and share the good news of Jesus.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: REFUGE FOR REFUGEES.

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  • Jan Johnsonius