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Students talking to a representative at a display table
During Great Commission Congress, a Missions Expo challenged students to explore global service.

WILMORE, Ky. — Illustrating a commitment to “impact the world,” Asbury University hosted its annual Great Commission Congress — a week-long exploration of missions and outreach (Oct. 23-27).

The weekend kicked off with a flag-bearing processional in Hughes Auditorium. International students carried flags from their home countries to place at the altar — a visual representation of Asbury’s global reach.

“Seeing all the flags represented was a beautiful picture and reminder to me of diversity in unity,” said Jaci Spencer ’20. “The Great Commission is a call to the nations, whether that be your own nation or a foreign nation.”

This year’s speakers included Dr. Dan Nesselroade ‘91, a physician and missionary to Mali; Rev. Nicole Sims of mission organization TMS Global; and John Rinehimer ’01, vice president of Homeland Ministries (World Gospel Mission). The speakers explored our collective Christian calling and the individual call God instructs to each of his followers.

Sims challenged students to seek God’s guidance prayerfully in all aspects of life, from seemingly small decisions like summer plans to long-term serving commitments.

“God has bigger dreams for you than you have for yourself,” Sims said. “When you ask God for a calling, how willing are you to hear his answer?”

Rinehimer encouraged students to have faith in God’s plan for our lives, even when the future is uncertain.

“We want the floodlight, but God gives us a flashlight,” Rineheimer said. “He wants us to stay close and trust him. He shows us a few steps in front instead of a hundred.”

Every year during Great Commission Congress, the Asbury community takes up an offering for a mission or need. This year’s giving initiative supports 12 Salvation Army officers — enrolled in Asbury’s online Ministry Management program — who are serving with The Salvation Army’s hurricane disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico. The offering is still open — give now to support The Salvation Army’s work in Puerto Rico!

Throughout the week, various organizations promoted opportunities to serve abroad. The University hosted 22 mission organizations on campus, including Wycliffe Bible Translators, World Gospel Mission, The Salvation Army, and One Mission Society, with booths outside the Z.T. Johnson Cafeteria and a missions’ expo in the Student Center hosted by the Global Engagement Office. Organizations shared what God is doing throughout the U.S. and around the world and invited students to serve.

— by Cathryn Lien ’18