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BCF Press Release



April 22, 2019

Press Photo

BCF Students prepared to leave for the Balkans; making a difference, sharing their faith, changing the world.

A group of ten students from The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, led by BCF Psychology Professor and General Education Division Chair Kristy Ford, participated in the Balkan Project over spring break. With members of the team representing nearly every degree program offered at BCF, the group set out to utilize their varying interests and gifts to best glorify the Lord. They left the Graceville campus with limited expectations and returned with newfound knowledge and life changing stories they will never forget.

With a goal of sharing the love of Christ in tangible ways in Eastern Europe, the group presented an opportunity for students from three different high schools to examine their unique gifts and interests in consideration of their life and career goals. "Many in this region are still experiencing the impact of war and transgenerational trauma, which often steals a sense of meaning and purpose from life," stated Ford. "We wanted to encourage the next generation to consider who God created them to be, to dream big on behalf of themselves and their communities, and to set goals and cast vision to others."

The group also met with families in their homes to hear stories of their experiences during the war, and visited mass grave sites. When asked about a moment that stuck out to her the most, BCF Junior Psychology Major Hailey High responded, "We traveled to a small village on the outside of town to visit a mass grave site. When we got to the memorial, a 93-year-old man in a wheel chair was sitting next to it. We asked him to share his story. Tears immediately welled up in his eyes as he told the story of his four sons being killed. He went on to tell of the devastation that swept through the rest of his village. It was a moment that humbled us and made us so thankful for our circumstances. As we got in the car, "Good, Good Father" was playing through the radio. As I sang the words 'You are perfect in all of your ways,' I began to cry. This place was broken and lost. Desperate for a God they did not know. They need to know a God who is perfect in all of His ways. That moment will stick with me forever. I never want to forget what they went through."

BCF students also had the opportunity to meet and encourage a small group of local believers, who face rejection and potentially even persecution if their faith is made public. The group sought to listen and understand the historical significance and impact of trauma, while encouraging these believers in their continuing journey of discipleship. BCF Senior Jordan Lacy stated, "My biggest take away from this experience is perspective. Just because I was ignorant of past events doesn't mean that I have to remain in that ignorance moving forward. Everyone has a story and the best way I know to honor the stories shared with me is to continue the conversation back home."

For more information about missions courses and project opportunities available through The Baptist College of Florida, please contact 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.