Great Commission Congress 2011 – Asbury University
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Great Commission Congress 2011

“EMPOWERED TO WITNESS” — October 31 – November 4, 2011

“When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” (Acts 1:8, The Message)


Schedule of Events:

Monday, October 31
     10:00 a.m. Chapel – Dr. Richard Bransford – “To the Ends of the Earth”     
      7:30 p.m. Evening Worship — Dr. Richard Bransford – “Reflections on Medical Mission”

Tuesday, November 1
     11:15 a.m. Lunch Workshops:
            “Empowered to Adopt” — Nathan and Cydil Waggoner 
            “Empowered to Tell The Story” — Billy Coppedge

     3:00 p.m. & 5:45 p.m.  Community Service Opportunities:
            “Empowered to Serve” — serving at:
                    Confrontation Point
                    Southland Christian Church (Jesus Prom)
                    Highbridge Union Church
                    Wilmore Presbyterian Church 
Wednesday, November 2
    10:00 a.m. Chapel – Major Ron Busroe – “Empowered to Witness through Suffering”
     6:30 p.m. Evening Worship – Major Ron Busroe – “Empowered to Witness through Transforming Communities”

Thursday, November 3
     11:15 a.m. Lunch Workshop: “Urban Ministries” — John and Katheryn Hines
     5:00 p.m. Evening Workshop: “Current Recovery in Haiti” — Major Ron Busroe
     6:30 p.m. Prayer Walks: “Empowered to Pray”

Friday, November 4
     10:00 a.m. Chapel – Major Ron Busroe – “Empowered to Witness in Love”

Prayer Gatherings: Monday (7:00 p.m.) and Wednesday ( 6:00 p.m.) in Reasoner 214


Offering Focus:

During the week we will be raising funds to support a Haiti Home building project led by Asburians over Spring Break 2012 — $8,000 goal.



Organizations serving in both the United States and around the world were invited to campus to provide opportunities for students to explore how and where they can live out the Great Commission — whether by fulfilling a cross-cultural requirement or simply fulfilling a passion. Students were encouraged to take time and talk with these representatives, who were available in the dining hall during meal hours beginning Wednesday lunch through Friday lunch.

Advancing Native Missions
Christian & Missionary Alliance
CornerStone International
Dr. Kathryn Hendershot (AU Cross-Cultural Experience Director)
Evangelism Resources
Family Mountain
Foundation in Christ Ministries
Go International
Gospel for Asia
Innercity Impact
InterAct Ministries
New Life International
One Mission Society
The Mission Society
World Gospel Mission
Wycliffe Bible Translators


Speaker Bios:

Bransford, Richard

Richard S. Bransford, MD, FACS, of Kijabe, Kenya, was honored with the 2010 Surgical Humanitarian Award in recognition of more than three decades of service in Africa, primarily at the Africa Inland Church (AIC) Kijabe Hospital. After completing his surgical training, serving in the U.S. Air Force, adding a degree in Tropical Medicine, and serving brief periods as a missionary surgeon in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros, in 1977 Dr. Bransford and his wife and five children moved to Kenya. There he embarked on more than three decades of service at AIC Kijabe Hospital, first as a staff surgeon, and later as the program director of pediatric rehabilitation surgery. In 1998, Dr. Bransford co-founded the Bethany Crippled Children’s Centre (BCCC) adjacent to the hospital. A 30-bed pediatric facility with two operating rooms, the BCCC treated children suffering from a wide range of conditions including burn contractures, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, cleft lip and palate, clubfoot, polio, scoliosis, hypospadias, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophies. In 2004, he co-founded BethanyKids at Kijabe Hospital (BKKH), a 67-bed facility that has become widely known in Africa as a referral center for disabled children, and is supported by a network of fourteen outreach clinics across Kenya. Dr. Bransford has also provided surgical care during disasters and crises elsewhere in Africa, including in Rwanda, Somalia, Southern Sudan, and Zaire.  He and his wife of 41 years, Mildred Babb Bransford, have seven children.

Busroe, RonMajor Ron Busroe, and wife Carol, were ordained and commissioned as Salvation Army officers in 1978. They served for almost 20 years as pastors in North Carolina and Florida and three years as Area Commanders in Tulsa, Okla. In 2001, the Busroes transferred to the Caribbean Territory and served six years as Divisional Leaders in Haiti. In June 2007, Ron was appointed as the Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army in the Southeastern United States and Carol was appointed as the Territorial Candidate Secretary. In 2009, they served for one year as the pastors of the Atlanta Temple Corps. Currently, Ron and Carol are responsible for The Salvation Army Recovery and Development Office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Ron was raised in Louisville, Ky. His first contact with The Salvation Army was as a bellringer in New York City while a student at Asbury University. He has a BA in history and studied at Emory University Candler School of Theology. In 1991, he attended the International College for Officers in London, England. Ron’s wife, Carol, is the daughter of Lt. Colonels James and Lillian Jay. She has a BS in mathematics from Georgia State University. They have two children: Wesley (32) and Elizabeth (30), and two grandchildren: Aslyn (8) and Jackson (7).


Workshop Presenters:

  • Nathan and Cydil Waggoner are the directors of the World Gospel Mission Student Center at Asbury University. For twelve years, they have led mission trips and helped train volunteers to serve around the world. They host an adoption support group and serve on the board of the Bluegrass Adoption Support Network.
  • Billy Coppedge grew up in Wilmore and graduated from Asbury in 2002. He received an M.Div. from Wesley Biblical Seminary, and in 2006 (with his wife Joanna) went to Uganda as a missionary with World Gospel Mission. He still lives in Northern Uganda, using Bible story as a tool to train church leadership there.
  • John and Katheryn Heinz are missionaries with The Mission Society and have spent the past eight years immersed in building relationships cross-culturally in their downtown community. They are adjunct faculty at Asbury Theological Seminary, where they earned an MA and an M.Div., respectively.


Press Release:

November 08, 2011

 WILMORE, Ky. — Through speakers representing ministries ranging from downtown Lexington to rural Kenya, Asbury University’s 2011 Great Commission Congress called students to a life of mission at home and abroad.

The Great Commission Congress is an annual event in which Asbury gathers missionaries from ministries both near and far to inspire and challenge students to consider how they might participate in Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Dr. Richard Bransford and Maj. Ron Busroe ‘74 spoke in Chapel as well as evening services throughout the week. Bransford, a surgeon, founded a network of 14 outreach clinics and a pediatric facility at the Kijabe Hospital in Kenya, serving children with a variety of conditions. Widely known throughout Africa as a referral center for disabled children, BethanyKids has made an impact not only in Kenya but in several different countries where Bransford has traveled to treat children and train local doctors and nurses.

“I see our medical work as a manifestation of the compassion of Christ,” Bransford said. “The door is wide open. There are risks, but the opportunity far outweighs the risks. There¹s no safer place than the center of God’s will — it sounds trite, but I believe it.”Nathan Waggoner '97 facilitated a panel discussion on adoption during the Great Commission Congress at Asbury.

Busroe and his wife, Maj. Carol Busroe, are responsible for the Salvation Army Recovery and Development Office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Each brings decades of experience as pastors and administrators to their work in helping the Haitian people recover from the deadly earthquake that struck in January 2010.  In Friday’s Chapel, Ron spoke on the love of God that compels His people to look beyond their own situations to the needs of others.

“Whether we go across the world or across the railroad tracks, we go in the name of the Lord,” he said. “And as His representatives, we cannot ignore the needs of the world. Hungry people need to be fed. Homeless people need to be housed. Sick people need to be cared for, and prisoners need to be visited.

“We are empowered to witness in love. Love is the heart of who God is, and it is what we are to be about.”

In addition to Chapel and evening services, the Great Commission Congress featured several different workshops for students to find out more about particular topics as well as opportunities to share God’s love locally.

  • Nathan ‘97 and Cydil ‘97 Waggoner direct the World Gospel Mission student center and led a panel discussion about adoption. The parents of two children adopted from Albania, they host a monthly adoption support group in Wilmore, and serve on the board of the Bluegrass Adoption Support Network.
  • Billy Coppedge ‘02 hosted a workshop on storytelling as a method of evangelism and discipleship. He and his wife Joanna ‘02 Coppedge have served as missionaries, helping to train church leadership in Northern Uganda, with World Gospel Mission since 2006.
  • John and Katheryn Heinz are missionaries with The Mission Society, working in downtown Lexington, Ky., to build relationships with the diverse populations there and equip local churches to minister effectively in an urban environment. They are also adjunct faculty at Asbury Theological Seminary.
  • Students ministered locally through Highbridge Union Church, Confrontation Point Ministries, Southland Christian Church and Wilmore Presbyterian Church. Tasks ranged from outdoor service projects to helping prepare for Jesus Prom, a ministry to physically and/or mentally challenged adults. Also, students formed teams for prayer walks across campus, focusing on the messages of the week and how they might best respond to serve the campus, the community and the world.