Missionaries witness to practical work

Yearly fair brings vocational opportunities to students and organizations.


Eliana Park/THE CHIMES

Jessica Goddard, Writer

Missions Conference would not be the same without the multitudes of missions organizations represented in the Missionary Fair or the volunteers who devote so much energy to make it happen. When the fair begins, the tent fills with students walking through the crowded booths between sessions talking to missionaries.

Student-missionary connections

Both the Missionary Fair and the volunteers provide an important aspect to Missions Conference by connecting students with missionaries.

“We feel like Biola is a good place for us to be because we are an evangelical organization,” said Daniel Topf, representative from World Team. “We’re about spreading the gospel and that’s part of what Biola University also stands for.”

Something greater

Many students gave up their time to volunteer for the conference. They split up into different sections, such as the marketing and hospitality section and the interactions section to split up the work.

“I have abilities and gifts, and I wanted to use them for something bigger than myself, and Missions Conference is awesome, and I don’t regret any of it because it was probably the best season of life right now at school,” said Yukari Becker, freshman studio arts major and interactions volunteer.

The marketing and hospitality group contacts all missions organizations and invites them to come for the event. They handle the logistics with the fair to ensure the conference holds many opportunities for students and the organizations who attend to interact.

The organizations typically send one or two representatives to host a booth during the fair and connect with students looking for mission trips and internships. Their pamphlet-filled booths offer tangible ideas for students to interact with what they learned during the conferences.

Disciples of all nations

“[We’re] coming together with ministries to show what we have and what we can do with a community of believers, and our goal is to make disciples of all nations. So that’s why we’re here,” said Daniel England, representative of Avant Ministries.

The booths do not only serve the students, but create valuable opportunities for organizations present — especially those needing interns or missionaries.

“I look at it as helping students have a bigger vision of what God’s doing in the world and how students can join what God wants to do because I think that’s His plan,” said Cecil Stalnaker, representative from Greater Europe Mission.

The Missionary Fair often affects students beyond the booths and into their future. Sometimes that means their undergraduate experience will change from a summer missions trip found during the fair, or perhaps their whole career will shift from one of the interactions made with missionaries involved in the fair.

“We actually have three or four graduates of Biola in our mission, and a lot of them they came about as a result of this conference. In fact, that’s how I got with [the Greater Europe Mission],” Stalnaker said.

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