By Britney Lyn Hamm
Last updated 3/23/20. Some information may have changed since the writing of this article as this is an evolving situation.
As the novel coronavirus closes schools and college campuses, MBCollegiate’s Campus Missionaries must change strategies to continue ministering to students. Now, more than ever, college students need the truth of gospel of Jesus Christ to provide peace, comfort, and hope as life as they know it drastically changes for the foreseeable future.
We surveyed our Campus Missionaries to hear what is happening on their campus, how they are going about ministry in the weeks to come, and how you can pray for them. Here are some of their responses.
BSU @ North Central Missouri College
Location: Trenton, MO
Campus Status: Currently on extended spring break followed by online classes for remainder of the semester. Students are being asked to move out of residence halls.
Campus Missionary: Christina Boatright
Ministry Plans: “We have cancelled our largest gathering of the week (Wednesday free lunch) until this is lifted. Our Worship Services and Bible Study will move to online video chat sessions until students can return. Our International students will be stuck in the dorms, so I plan to do as much outreach with them as possible while keeping gatherings small as we move forward.”
Prayer Need: “Pray for upcoming missions opportunities to be able to continue, for planning and flexibility during this time, and for seeking out ways we can best be sharing the gospel while from a physical distance.”
BSU @ Crowder College
Location: Neosho, MO
Campus Status: Online classes until at least April 5. Residence halls and some campus operations will remain open.
Campus Missionary: Aaron Werner
Ministry Plans: “I am delivering snack bags to on-campus international students. Students are on campus and bored. Many did not return [from spring break], but many can’t leave. I stopped having outside groups coming in to help and will do it all with available students. Campus asked me to continue and meet, so I will do more things during the week.”
Prayer Need: “For students to remain healthy.”
Adolos @ Missouri State University
Location: Springfield, MO
Campus Status: Spring break extended. All classes move online starting March 30. Residential halls will remain open with social distancing practices for those who cannot return home.
Campus Missionary: Chris Wilson, Adolos
Ministry Plans: “We have cancelled any large gathering which includes our meals. Our discipleship groups will continue to meet as there are four max in each group. We are also still going to be doing our prayer time. We are providing live feeds of our prayer time, texting continuously throughout this time, as well as meeting together via Zoom once a week.”
Prayer Needs: “That the financial impact will not be a burden as my salary is tied to it. Pray that we pursue community aggressively through this uncertainty.”
BSU @ Northwest Missouri State University
Location: Maryville, MO
Campus Status: All classes are moved online starting March 23 for the remainder of the semester. The campus will remain open with limited operations.
Campus Missionary & Ministry: Jason Yarnell
Ministry Plans: “Right now, everything is on hold. Some of our student leaders are working on finding ways to have small gatherings where they can continue to invest in each other and encourage one another.”
Prayer Need: “Wisdom and patience. We are thankful we were able to serve over spring break and we are hopeful we will be able to gather together in person before the semester ends.”
BSU @ Missouri Valley College
Location: Marshall, MO
Campus Status: All classes moved online for remainder of semester. Campus and residence halls will remain open with limited services. All events and spring sports are cancelled.
Campus Missionary: Scott Westfall
Ministry Plans: “We still plan to go on as normal and use this time to help meet needs of many kids who can’t leave.”
Prayer Need: “Pray for international students and Resident Hall Assistants who must stay.”
BSU @ Missouri Science & Technology
Location: Rolla, MO
Campus Status: All classes moved online for remainder of semester. Campus and residence halls will remain open. Gatherings of over ten people are suspended through April 30th.
Campus Missionary & Ministry: Bruce Wade
Ministry Plans: “We will seek to provide a place for the few students left in Rolla to study and fellowship. We have canceled our weekly lunches and may have a limited worship or prayer meeting. Things are changing daily. My leadership acknowledged that the stereotype of the engineering student may make this time easier for them than for some.”
BSU @ Southeast Missouri State University
Location: Cape Girardeau
Campus Status: Currently on an extended spring break. All classes will be moved to alternate delivery. Residence halls will be closed through a tiered process starting March 20th.
Campus Missionary: Reese Hammond
Ministry Plans: “We will be doing leadership team meetings through online access. Ministry and discipleship will be focused on students within the area via one-on-one or small home group discipleship at my house. Evangelistic ministry will be focused on international students through hospitality at my house.”
Prayer Need: “Please pray for their safety, rest with family, preparedness to potentially continue school online, and that their focus on making disciples would grow and adjust during this time.”
BSU @ Truman State University
Campus Status: All classes online for remainder of semester; all events and meetings cancelled. Residence halls will remain open with social distancing practices for those who have no other viable living arrangement.
Campus Missionary: Greg Xander
Ministry Plans: “We are utilizing GroupMe and Zoom calls to share devotionals with students and stay connected. We are inviting students over to our home one or two at a time to help them through the tough times by being a home away from home. We are also assisting local schools with getting meals to kids in need by serving as a drop-off/pickup site for families to get food.”
Prayer Need: “To be healthy and hopeful and live where fear doesn’t define us. There are still jobs to be done in making disciples.”
Christian Challenge @ Metropolitan Community College Longview & Blue River Campuses
Location: Kansas City Area
Campus Status: Currently on extended spring break. Will move to online classes on March 30th until at least April 10th. There are no residence halls.
Campus Missionary: Carson Conover
Ministry Plans: “I am to continue gathering students during normal Bible study times online using Zoom. I will be using text messaging to invite students from our contact, who haven’t ever joined a Bible study, to join us as well.”
Prayer Need: “We’re having to rethink our Easter outreach efforts. Pray for God’s wisdom and creativity as we think of how to evangelistically engage the campus using online tools.”
BSU @ Missouri Western State University
Location: St. Joseph
Campus Status: Currently on extended spring break. Residential halls will remain open for semester for those who cannot stay home. Classes will utilize delivery methods depending on class and degree program.
Campus Missionary: Paul Damery
Ministry Plans: “We’ve had to cancel our Thursday night large group gathering for the time being. We’ll be utilizing some digital meeting formats and some discipleship groups will still meet.”
Prayer Need: “Please pray that students won’t feel like the mission is over since the schedule has changed. Pray that they’ll continue to grow in Christ even during these difficult times.”
Saint Louis University
Location: St. Louis
Campus Status: Online classes for remainder of semester; residential halls closed.
Campus Missionary: Brad Russell
Ministry Plans: We are meeting online with zoom when available
Prayer Need: Pray for students who must move out of residence halls.
Collegiate Impact in Kansas City
Campuses: Avila University, Metropolitan Community College System, University of Missouri-Kansas City, other campuses in Metro area
Campus Statuses: All have moved to online classes with campuses mostly shut down. Campuses with residence halls are keeping them open for students who cannot return home.
Campus Missionary: Travis Hamm
Ministry Plans: “We plan to use Zoom to continue Bible studies we had started on several campuses. We will be utilizing apps like Marco Polo, GroupMe, and text messaging to continue discipling students and building community. We plan to reach out to campuses with residence halls to find out any ways we can meet needs of students who can’t go home.”
Prayer Need: “Wisdom for how to effectively minister to students in this time, especially those who are struggling with increased anxiety.”
Please join us in praying for these campus missionaries and their students. Pray that the light of the gospel will shine brightly through this dark time, and that when campuses re-open, there will be a ripe harvest waiting for these ministries!
Originally published in The Pathway. Reprinted with permission.