By Kelline Linton, Staff Writer
The attendees held their candles tightly as they listened to the global percentages rattled off by the keynote speaker-1.1 billion people lack access to clean water, every two seconds a child under the age of five dies, 227 million Bibles are in non-Christian nations.
Monte Cox led the “Whole New World” mixer event Thursday night as the opener of this year’s World Mission Workshop at Harding University in Searcy, Ark.
He concluded the night with a final statistic: the current global ratio dictates that if every attendee represented a large population who did not know of God its Savior, only one evangelist would come to them. While saying this, a girl stood up among the crowd holding her lit candle. Slowly, she passed the flame on, and the light spread across the darkened crowd, as she brought light to the world.
“He gave us a more global perspective,” Marcella Walker, freshman Biblical text major from Abilene, said. “It reminded us of the importance of spreading the gospel, so that when we return to our colleges, we can keep the energy and mission focus alive.”
The World Mission Workshop was at Harding University with the theme “If You say ‘Go.'” Almost 50 students from ACU attended the annual event, even though it took place during Homecoming Weekend.
The workshop was a three-day program consisting of keynote speakers, specialty classes and fellowship. Brittany McKinney attended primarily for fellowship.
“Anytime you go to something like this with people who have the same dream and desire for missions, it is encouraging and uplifting,” McKinney said. “You can find someone who has the same passion for a people or country and even form teams.”
The speakers this year brought perspectives from all over the world, from Japan to Ghana to South Carolina. The classes also presented many options on missionary work. Medical, motherhood and long-term missions were just a few topics hit in the more than 60 classes offered.
The theme this year stressed the will of God. If he says “go,” people should listen.
“This workshop is great if you are thinking of being a missionary, for it has a direct impact on your life,” Walker said.
The World Mission Workshop will be at Lubbock Christian University next year. ACU planned the Workshop in 2002, and will next house the event in 2011.