Baptist union helping students fulfill mission

By Cheryl Fogle

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Every summer, selected students from Arizona Baptist Student Unions at the UA, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University go on mission trips around the world.

Students interested in summer missionary work fill out applications and then interview with their respective BSU directors and with a student selected as the state missions chair.

Family Studies junior Julie Evans said when she graduates she wants to be a full-time Baptist Missionary. At a recent University of Arizona BSU meeting she said she would like to go to India or return to Madagascar.

UA's BSU director Tom Avants said, "We use the student's past experience, interests, and future career goals to place them in positions."

He said that because Evans was interested in sports, they placed her in sports evangelism.

Evans said she was on a basketball team with other American students while in Madagascar, and they traveled to the villages to play against local teams.

"People would come to see the tall American women play, and it would be so crowded that you couldn't see the court line," she said. "At halftime we would we would share our testimonies about how we accepted Christ, and teach them Christian songs."

Evans said she has spent a summer each in Israel, Madagascar and the Netherlands as a Baptist missionary.

"Madagascar was my favorite place," Evans said. "I want to go back there."

Last summer, Evans worked at a Baptist camp in Petahtiqva, Israel, about an hour and a half drive north of Jerusalem.

"I was supposed to be a camp counselor, but I ended up working in the kitchen doing a lot of dishes," she said.

Evans said she traveled around Israel on weekends. Her favorite times, she said, were her visit to Nazareth and a camping trip to the Sea of Galilee.

"I liked the places that are more subtle that don't have a lot of tourists around," she said.

During the summer of 1991, Evans did construction work at a Christian camp in the Netherlands.

"We dug ditches, built walls, and made a ramp so they could get supplies into their basement," she said.

Evans said while in the Netherlands she and the other workers stayed in tents in the middle of a cow pasture.

Evans said she remembered all the unique smells associated with each of the countries she has visited.

"Madagascar smelled

like a mixture of freshly baked bread and pollutants," she said, "and the Netherlands smelled really fresh because of the dew in the grass."

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