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September 27, 2012

Press Photo

BCF Missions Professor Rich Elligson (far left) leads the Introduction to Christian Missions class to pray for missions and missionaries.

"What a refreshing class that was!" declared Baptist College of Florida (BCF) junior Corey Blais. The class was Introduction to Christian Missions. But it wasn't the great subject matter or even the extraordinary instruction on September 13 that made the class memorable. It was the activity involved. The class was all about praying. "That's the first time as a student that I spent an entire class focused on praying for missions and missionaries," Blais said, "And I can't wait to do it again."

According to BCF Missions Professor Rich Elligson, two full class periods each semester are dedicated to praying specifically for missions and missionaries. It started several years ago with a partnership formed between BCF and Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville, Fla. "We start by praying for the mission ministries of Westside," Elligson said. "But that always opens the door to pray for other mission needs."

As class began, Elligson offered some suggestions for how to pray for those serving on the mission field. Having served on the mission field as an International Missionary, Elligson understands the tremendous needs of missionaries serving all around the world. Prayers for health, safety, spiritual vitality, family relationships, perseverance and mission effectiveness were all highlighted. Students added their own missions-related requests, and before it was over they were divided into small groups, reviewing prayer requests, and spending time concerted prayer.

Introduction to Christian Missions is meant as a survey course to teach students the biblical foundation for missions and to introduce them to mission principles. "We all talk about praying for missionaries, and we know it's important," commented class member Maggie Hudson. "But on days like today, you really feel like you are doing something that matters. It's not just an academic exercise; it's real missions' involvement."