Each fall Southwestern Adventist University presents an internationally-flavored “missions” vesper program highlighting student missionary opportunities. Students dress in cultural clothes from the country where they served as a missionary, or even from their own country. They line the church stage with flags from around the world during the annual flag procession. In different languages prayers are prayed and worship songs are sung. Students who have served as missionaries always inspire listeners with their testimonies. And every year at missions vespers, God shows up and convicts His next student missionaries in interesting ways, like He did the student missionaries featured this year.
On Friday night, Student Chaplain Kyle Barrow coordinated a question-and-answer session between the audience and an on-stage panel of former student missionaries. Shania Ramirez-Robles, who served in Palau, spoke up first and told listeners that she wasn’t considering being a student missionary. But after attending missions vespers her freshman year, she went to the Office of Spiritual Life and Development and asked a few questions about being one. A few days later a friend congratulated her on her decision to be a student missionary, which surprised and inspired her. She said, “So I decided to give it a shot, and I just did it!”
Amy Curo, who served with Shania in Palau, explained that her decision to be a student missionary came after a missions vespers too. Miraculously, she lived through a situation in which she was expected to die when she was 14 years old. It left her thinking that her life needed to fulfill a purpose. “By going as a student missionary, I thought I was going to start to find out what that purpose was,” she told the audience.
Others on the panel, including Spiritual Life and Development Assistant Chaplain Kent Rufo, told exciting stories about their time as student missionaries, but Amy left the audience with this impactful thought at the close of the program: “If you’re going to take one thing from here tonight, you will not regret going. It will be the best experience of your life. It will change you, and you will want to keep serving. It’s amazing.”
If God is calling you to serve as a student missionary, as Shania did, go to the Spiritual Life and Development Office. You can also reach out to Assistant Chaplain Kent Rufo at email@example.com or by calling 817-202-6462. Make your conviction a reality!