From SBU Life magazine: A Heart for Missions in Africa

This week, we have shared stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit http://www.sbuniv.edu/Alumni/SBULife/index.html.


Jason ’95, ’97 and Dorothea ’97 (McGlaughlin) Lee

Jason: B.S. in History and Political Science, M.S. in Education

Dorothea: B.M. in Church Music

By Charlotte Highsmith Marsch ’97

 

With hearts for ministry and a call to international missions, Jason and Dorothea Lee’s ministry has taken hold in Africa. Currently in Kenya, where they have been since 2012, the Lees previously served in Senegal, West Africa.

Jason and Dorothea met at SBU, and after they both graduated in 1997, they headed to Fort Worth, Texas, where Jason taught and coached in area school districts while Dorothea completed a master of music degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. They served in ministry positions — Jason as youth minister and Dorothea as minister of music — at First Baptist Church, Highlands, Texas, before moving overseas, where they are fulfilling God’s call on their lives and raising their three children: Janet, 16; Jacqueline, 15; and Jacob, 10.

Dorothea - in Kenya teaching at a church music  workshopAs an ethnomusicologist, Dorothea studies the music of African culture.

“Using music as a strategy for church planting, I help Africans determine what music can be redeemed from the culture and used in the church for worship, discipleship and evangelism,” Dorothea said. “I do this by hosting songwriting workshops. National musicians study certain scripture passages and then create new songs based on their own rhythms, melodies, dances that are based on that scripture.”

Jason is teaching in Nairobi at Rosslyn Academy, a Christian international school with students from more than 60 countries. Though it was originally started as a school for missionary kids, it now hosts students from all over the world from nearly every religious background.

“It is an exciting ministry opportunity for teachers who wish to freely incorporate their faith in Christ with students who may very well only hear the Gospel while living in Kenya,” Dorothea said.

International mission trips and revival teams had the greatest impact on her life, Dorothea said, teaching her about the sacrifice of time and finances for serving the Lord. God began opening her heart to missions after a trip to China with the SBU Chorale in 1994.

“It was during a Chorale tour that God called me to international missions,” she said. “Surrounded by students who were following Christ and professors who both taught and lived out the lordship of Christ, SBU was the ideal place for me to begin to take hold of my own faith. I look at what many of my college mates are doing now and see that SBU was foundational — even essential — in laying the groundwork for those basic habits of discipline and service to Christ.”

Jason said he learned servant leadership through service and leadership opportunities such as serving in Student Government Association, leading a Bible study and being a resident assistant in a residence hall.

“All of those opportunities helped me develop a servant heart and a desire to live out a lifestyle that honors God,” he said. “SBU is full of people who live a servant lifestyle as an example for students to follow.”

The opportunity that changed his life forever, though, was international trips.

“Growing up in a small Texas town, my worldview was limited and definitely didn’t include a heart for the nations,” he said. “SBU University Missions was the catalyst that allowed me to dream what God could do if I allow him to lead me.”


Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at sbenoit@sbuniv.edu.

From SBU Life magazine: A Full-Circle Calling

This week, we continue sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit http://www.sbuniv.edu/Alumni/SBULife/index.html.


Ina York ’82

B.S. Elementary Education and currently serving as project facilitator of The Cercadillo Project, Dominican Republic (cercadillo.org)

By Stephanie Benoit

When Ina York, 55, describes her role at The Cercadillo Project, the ministry she founded in the Dominican Republic in 2007, she hesitates to call herself its director or administrator.

“I guess I do a little bit of everything,” Ina said. “I’m here to serve these people, whether that means planning or picking up trash. I think leading just happens to be how God’s using me now.”

Ina York, the project facilitator of The Cercadillo Project in the Dominican Republic.

Ina York, the project facilitator of The Cercadillo Project in the Dominican Republic.

The path that brought Ina to the Dominican Republic included two years at Hannibal-LaGrange University, followed by two at Southwest Baptist University, where she studied education. Afterward, she taught in a variety of settings, including at a South Korean school for missionaries’ children, and shortly thereafter earned a master’s in education at University of Iowa.

Ina taught for several more years, and at the close of each one felt a tug on her heart to embrace full-time missions. “I would think, ‘Should I renew my contract, or is this the year that I go somewhere and do missions,’” Ina said. “I felt very torn between the two worlds.”

It was around this time that a mission trip led by a friend first brought Ina to the Dominican Republic. “I was overwhelmed by the poverty, [but] also the opportunities to do ministry,” Ina explained. “There seemed to be a real hunger.”

Not long after, Ina was called to the town of Cercadillo, where she began a ministry offering everything from Bible studies to health programs to educational activities emphasizing literacy and assisting nearby schools. “[We] help people learn to read so they can read the Bible as much as possible,” Ina said. “We do a lot to encourage education and support the local public school.”

Ina was equipped well for the work by SBU’s education department and its instructors like Dr. Twila Smith. “I remember her saying, ‘We’re not teachers who happen to be Christians; we’re Christians who happen to be teachers,’” Ina said. “So wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, we have opportunities to influence those around us.”

In the coming years, Ina hopes to continue caring for Cercadillo, a community that God prepared her long in advance to serve. “God gave me the vision for this ministry,” she said. “I believe I was born for this time, this place and this village.”


Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at sbenoit@sbuniv.edu.

From SBU Life magazine: A ‘God-Sized’ Story

This week, we continue sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit http://www.sbuniv.edu/Alumni/SBULife/index.html.


Paul May ’96

B.A. Religious Education

Student Life Director at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. and founder of Clear Vision Ministry (www.clearvisiondrama.com)

By Charlotte Highsmith Marsch ’97

 

Paul May had no plans to attend college, especially not at SBU. He calls his journey to SBU a “God-sized story.”

“It was a divine appointment,” Paul said. “I didn’t orchestrate or plan any of it.”

Paul grew up in the small town of Weaubleau, Mo., about 30 minutes north of Bolivar, where he attended church and had become a Christian, but did not grow up in a Christian home.

One week before classes were to start for the fall semester, he was at SBU with a friend who was completing some paperwork when Rob Harris, the current vice president of student development, who worked in admissions at that time, shared with him how he could attend college at SBU. A week later, Paul began classes.

A skit performed during Welcome Week by a student-led group called TEAM (Theatrical Evangelism and Missions) made him want to be a part of the traveling drama troupe.

“I knew nothing about drama and didn’t make the team,” he said of his first audition during his freshman year. “But the next semester, I auditioned again and made it. I was the only guy who tried out, and they needed a guy.”

The group’s leader graduated and Paul took over leadership during his sophomore year.

Through that group, Paul witnessed Christian conversions within his family when the group performed at his home church. His sister, who was in middle school, and his mother both attended the service.

“I got to lead out in the invitation. My sister raised her hand, and I got to lead her to the Lord,” Paul said. “I also got to lead my mom to the Lord. That was the stamp that what I was doing with drama ministry is what God was leading me to do with my life.”

Paul also went on three mission trips while at SBU to Jamaica, India and Haiti. It was during the Haiti trip that he met his wife, Christy Ward ’96. They now have two sons, ages 12 and 8.

Paul May ’96, the Student Life Director at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. and founder of Clear Vision Ministry.

Paul May ’96, the Student Life Director at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. and founder of Clear Vision Ministry.

After they graduated from SBU, Paul wanted to continue drama ministry, but the Lord directed him first to attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and complete a master’s degree in communications to lay the groundwork for what would become a full-time drama ministry called Clear Vision Drama Co.

Formed in 1999 and based out of Springfield, Mo., to be in a central U.S. location near family, the original Clear Vision Drama team was all SBU graduates who had been part of TEAM at SBU. Paul and Christy began substitute teaching to help subsidize the ministry and give them the flexibility to travel the country using drama as a tool for evangelism and discipleship. By the third year, the Mays were in full-time drama ministry.

As children came along, they continued their ministry, traveling more than 200 days a year as a family in a conversion van, eventually upgrading to a tour bus. The team ministers at events such as conventions, conferences and camps.

Once their children started school, they started to scale back the ministry, but it still continues on a part-time basis. Paul’s job as Student Life Director at Baptist Bible College in Springfield is flexible enough to allow him to continue occasional travel for events. The majority of the drama ministry now is at summer youth camps, with the kids traveling, too, thanks to God’s calling for him to attend SBU and join a drama ministry.

“The number of opportunities available at SBU was key for me,” he said. “SBU was pivotal for my spiritual pilgrimage.”


Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at sbenoit@sbuniv.edu.

C. Pat Run 5K is April 16; community welcome

The Southwest Baptist University Student Association is hosting the third annual C. Pat Run 5K at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16. The race begins and ends on the SBU campus.

Participants can choose between a 5K and a 1-mile walk/run. Both races start at 6:30 p.m., with check-in beginning at 6 p.m. at SBU’s Meyer Wellness and Sports Center.

C.Pat RunPre-registration for the race is $15, which includes a T-shirt and race participation and can be completed online at www.sbuniv.edu/5k. Pre-registration, which will guarantee a T-shirt, ends April 1.

“Anyone is welcome to join us in this community-wide event,” said SBU senior and Student Association President Julie McGlaughlin. “All proceeds from the race will go to campus improvement projects at SBU to make the campus a safer and more enjoyable place for both students and the community.”

Student Association is an organization that seeks to make an impact at SBU and in the community through sponsoring clubs and organizations and working on campus improvement projects to continue shaping SBU into a better place for students to thrive.

“The C. Pat Run is a great opportunity for students and communities to come together, have fun and support projects that improve the beauty of our campus and, in turn, our city,” McGlaughlin said. “I’m excited to see what we can accomplish when we all come together!”

For more information, contact Nathan Penland, director of student activities, at (417) 328-1828 or npenland@SBUniv.edu.

SBU Chorale to present spring concert  

The Chorale of Southwest Baptist University will present its spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 7 in Pike Auditorium on the SBU Campus.

Under the direction of Dr. James R. Tarrant, director of choral studies and professor of music, the selectively auditioned choir will present a program of a cappella choral music spanning more than four centuries.

In the past decade, the Chorale has performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention, the Missouri Baptist Convention, and numerous churches and high schools across the state.  Since 2005, the Chorale has also performed in cathedrals and other historic venues in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany, including a rare performance in the “Singers Room” in the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.  The Chorale is currently planning its 2016 Bavarian concert tour, which will feature performances in Ulm, Augsburg and Munich.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.

From SBU Life magazine: Fulfilling a Long-Held Dream

This week, we continue sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit http://www.sbuniv.edu/Alumni/SBULife/index.html.


Angela (Parker) Collins, M.D. ’99

B.S. Biology and Chemistry, and currently serving as a pediatrician at Butterfield Park Pediatrics, Bolivar, Mo.

By Charlotte Highsmith Marsch ’97

Having grown up in the small town of Raymondville, Mo., (population 362), Angela (Parker) Collins had big aspirations — to become a pediatrician — but also a desire to work in a smaller community.

“I’ve always loved science and always loved learning,” Angela said. “When I took the ASVAB test, it suggested physician as a possible field. My dad suggested I would make a good pediatrician.” The idea stuck, and Angela started down that career path.

Angela Collins, M.D., an SBU alum and current pediatrician in Bolivar

Angela Collins, M.D., an SBU alum and current pediatrician in Bolivar

Nearly 20 years later, Angela Collins, M.D., is a pediatrician in Bolivar, just minutes from the SBU campus where she completed a double major in biology and chemistry in 1999 before attending medical school at the University of Missouri.

After completing her medical degree in 2003 and residency in 2006, Angela returned close to home, working at the Family Walk-In Clinic in Mountain Grove, Mo., where she was the only pediatrician in the county.

When Angela saw a job posting last year for a pediatrician in Bolivar, she and her husband, Ken, already knew the community and knew it would be a good fit for them and their three children: Aubrey, 10; Ashlyn, 7; and Zachariah, 2.

“I love my job,” she said. “I love seeing those cute kids and being able to keep them healthy and help them get healthy again.”

In addition to working as a physician, Angela also is involved with a local church and likes to travel.

When selecting a college, Angela said she wanted a Christian environment and wanted to stay fairly close to home. Her mom had graduated from SBU’s Mountain View campus, and SBU offered good scholarships.

“I felt that was where the Lord wanted me to go,” she said. “The academics certainly prepared me well. Spiritually, coming to SBU firmed up my faith, and my teachers were good inspirations.”


Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at sbenoit@sbuniv.edu.

SBU to host joint concert by SBU Concert Choir and Bolivar Community Chorus

The Southwest Baptist University Concert Choir and Bolivar Community Chorus will join forces to present a spring choral concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 in Pike Auditorium on the SBU campus.

The evening’s program will feature such stirring choral works as Johannes Brahms’ “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” from his “German Requiem”; a setting of “Down by the Riverside” by John Rutter; “Of Crows and Clusters” by Norman Dello Joio; James Mulholland’s “Life has Loveliness to Sell”; Rene Clausen’s “Set Me As a Seal”; and John Ness Beck’s “Visions of St. John.”  Other selections to be performed range from Kinley Lange’s lush “Esto les Digo” to the classic Robert Shaw and Alice Parker spiritual “My God is A Rock” to Harry Somers’ arrangement of the folk song “Feller from Fortune.”

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the SBU Music Office at (417) 328-1644.

 

 

 

From SBU Life magazine: Changing Gears and Finding Purpose

This weekend, we will continue sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit http://www.sbuniv.edu/Alumni/SBULife/index.html.


Sara (Drake) Salguero ’04

B.S. Elementary Education and currently serving as International Relations Coordinator of Casa Bernabé, Guatemala (Learn more at www.foce.org)

By Stephanie Benoit

Although Sara (Drake) Salguero was always passionate about working with children, she acknowledges that when she started at SBU, she did not envision herself living out that passion as a missionary.

“I wanted to be a teacher since I was 5, so when I went to SBU, that was a no-brainer,” Sara said. That fall, however, her focus shifted after hearing a missionary speak at chapel. “I started shaking when I listened to her [because she] was so moving. I went back to my dorm room and asked God, ‘What are you trying to show me?’” Although Sara struggled to let go of becoming an educator, she realized that God’s desire was for her to be a missionary.

Sara (Drake) Salguero and Edgar, her husband of seven years, with their children—Andy, 9; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

Sara (Drake) Salguero and Edgar, her husband of seven years, with their children—Andy, 9; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

That calling eventually led Sara to Casa Bernabé, a Guatemalan orphanage nurturing dozens of abandoned and abused children. Today, she serves as an administrator of the organization and its international relations coordinator, helping direct visiting missionary groups, much like the one through SBU that first brought her to Guatemala in 2002.

“It really wasn’t until I went on that trip that I said, ‘I get it—I see it now,’ because I fell so deeply in love with these kids,” Sara said. “I saw real hurt, real pain, and yet so much joy. I knew I wanted to be a part of this.”

Sara often looks back on the instruction she received in SBU’s education department, such as the educational psychology course taught by Dr. John Wheeler, as instrumental in helping prepare her for a life of ministry and servant leadership.

“That class shaped so much of how I make decisions,” Sara said. “While Dr. Wheeler was teaching, everything went back to real life [and] being a light in darkness. All of that has come in handy, because my life is [about] kids every day.”

Although caring for youth at Casa Bernabé dominates Sara’s time, as well as that of her husband of 7 years, Edgar, much of it is also spent looking after their children—Andy, 9, whom they adopted from the orphanage; Bella, 5; and Santiago, 2.

“If I had ignored God’s calling, life would still be good,” Sara said. “But would it be what it is? I don’t think so. I am experiencing so much more than what I had dreamt for myself. I’d encourage SBU students to say, ‘God, whatever it is that you have for me, I want to be part of it.’”


Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at sbenoit@sbuniv.edu.

From SBU Life magazine: Faithful to God’s Calling

This week and next, we will be sharing stories of SBU alumni who are living out the university’s mission to be servant leaders in a global society. This story originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of SBU Life magazine. To read recent issues of SBU Life, please visit http://www.sbuniv.edu/Alumni/SBULife/index.html.


Amy-Jo (Morgan) Girardier ’00

B.A. Religious Education, and currently serving as Girls Minister and Student Missions Coordinator at Brentwood Baptist Church near Nashville, Tenn.

By Charlotte Highsmith Marsch ’97

Being faithful to God’s calling to work in girls’ ministry and missions, Amy-Jo Girardier has served in these fields in full-time church ministry for 13 years and recently authored a Bible study series written for teen girls that was published by Lifeway Christian Resources, one of the world’s largest providers of Christian products and services.

The “Faithful One: A Study on 1st and 2nd Thessalonians” Bible study was released in May 2014 alongside Beth Moore’s study of those New Testament books, “Children of the Day.” She said the study is a deep study of the Bible and includes social media components, through which she has connected with girls who have completed the study.

“It has been amazing connecting with girls and leaders across the country,” she said. “It’s fun to see how they are learning from the study.”

Amy-Jo (Morgan) Girardier with her husband, Darrel, and their 3-year-old son, Scout.

Amy-Jo (Morgan) Girardier with her husband, Darrel, and their 3-year-old son, Scout.

During summers while in college, Amy-Jo worked for LifeWay’s Centrifuge camps, which is where she met her husband, Darrel, when he was leading the “For Guys Only” class and she was leading the “For Girls Only” class.

Their summer experiences eventually led them to Nashville for Darrel to work for Centrifuge camps, while Amy spent two years organizing the national Acteens convention in Nashville before beginning her current position at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. Darrel and Amy-Jo have a son, Scout, who is 3.

God used Amy-Jo’s time at SBU not only for her to receive an education but to further solidify a calling for which he started preparing her when she was in high school and involved in Acteens, a girls’ missions group.

“I knew I loved missions and specifically ministering to girls,” Amy-Jo said. “First Baptist Church in Bolivar asked me to work with Acteens at the church, and that solidified girls’ ministry and missions for me.”

Amy-Jo also was on the women’s soccer team at SBU and found herself in a position to minister to her teammates.

“God led me to pray for them, pray for relationships,” she said. “Some Friday nights I walked the soccer field. I was praying for our teammates. It shaped me for understanding God’s calling. I consider my time with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and my time with the women’s soccer team to have honed and shaped my calling to girls’ ministry.”

After a mission trip to southeast Asia during a sabbatical in 2008, God renewed Amy-Jo’s calling to girls’ ministry by calling her to equip other church ministers and moms. She started a blog at girlsminister.com, where she shares ideas and insights for girls’ ministers, and started a girls’ minister network. To her surprise, she quickly connected with at least 100 other women who were wanting to have conversations about girls’ ministry.

“It just started growing,” Amy-Jo said, “and I kind of became seen as an expert in girls’ ministry.”

Looking back, Amy-Jo said God definitely used her time at SBU to prepare her for the Lord’s ministry of encouraging and teaching people around the world.

“I’ve seen a lot of Christian and secular universities,” she said, “but I really know beyond a shadow of a doubt that SBU was the right place for me.”


Want to pitch a story for SBU Life magazine? Please submit ideas to Stephanie Benoit at sbenoit@sbuniv.edu.

Olivia Brinkman of Springfield earns award from SBU University Libraries

Southwest Baptist University student Olivia Brinkman, a native of Springfield, was honored by the SBU University Libraries as the Outstanding Student Assistant of the Month for February.

The University Libraries’ faculty and staff established the monthly award to recognize the outstanding characteristics—such as dependability, quality of work, motivation, attitude, and cooperation—demonstrated by the student assistants employed there.

Brinkman, an intercultural studies major, received an award letter from Dr. Edward W. Walton, dean of University Libraries, a certificate of recognition and a gift. Brinkman is a student assistant in circulation and is one of 30 part-time student assistants working at the library as a part of SBU’s work-study program.