By BBC Admissions
February has been the first full month of the spring semester, and already a lot has happened around BBC. One of the newest and cutest editions to the campus has been our goats! You read right – the hoofed critters that leap and eat and bleat. The goats are not just for fun. They are helpful in keeping grass and goat-heads from overgrowing.
To give you a peek into the lives of our BBC students, we’d like to highlight three awesome experiences that happened in February.
Salt Lake City Trip
four times a semester, BBC sends students to Salt Lake City to learn about the city’s need for Christian ministry and to inspire students to consider a future ministry in Salt Lake City. The state of Utah’s population is 7% Evangelical Protestant and is 55% Mormon. Here is freshman James Hall’s experience from that trip:
Over February Recess, I had the privilege of going to Salt Lake City, Utah with a group of ten students. I had never been before, so I did not know what to expect, but I was excited anyway. The morning after we arrived at Southeast Christian Church, the pastor of the church took us downtown to visit the Mormon Temple so that we could better understand the LDS culture in Salt Lake City. We did not go inside the temple itself, but we were able to enter the visitor’s center on the property. There, we got to see a bunch of different videos on what it means to be Mormon and why they believe certain aspects of the religion. My favorite part about the visitor’s center was what we called “Space Jesus.” As we walked up to the second floor, we noticed that the walls were painted with a beautiful picture of the galaxy. In the center of the room stood this statue of Jesus Christ, with his arms reaching out, almost like he was about to pick up a child. It was a very unique room and a very popular spot for Mormon students to take photos.
On Sunday morning, our group had the honor of leading Southeast Christian Church in worship as well as preaching. For those of us who were not able to help with worship, the church allowed us to help teach pre-service classes. Later that evening, we helped hold a special communion service. We shared a short version of the morning’s sermon, had communion together, and prayed over BBC and all that we are doing for Utah. Overall, this trip was a spiritually-refreshing experience. We got to serve our neighbors who are constantly struggling due to a lack of Christian influence in their area. I am very grateful for the opportunity to go.
All of BBC’s summer camp representatives go through lots of training before they ever set out for travel. One of those training experiences is Wilderness Training, where they learn about survival skills. Here is freshman Kaitlyn Hill’s experience:
Training to be a camp representative has propelled my anticipation for the summer to full capacity! Weekly training with the Director of Recruitment, Mr. Grove, has further educated me about BBC and how I will build relationships at each camp. He is constantly pushing our knowledge and our ability to continue learning. I look forward to it each week! Wilderness training was challenging for me during the lecture sections but was still refreshing and informative. The interactive sections of the day included CPR certification and checking vitals. These were new to me and I enjoyed learning those skills. All in all, the training is just the beginning and I am beyond excited to see what God has planned!
Here is sophomore Ashley Herrin’s experience:
Honestly, Wilderness Training was not my favorite, mainly due to my attitude toward it. Why would I want to use half of my February Recess to learn first aid and CPR training when I have already learned these skills multiple times? I know that Boise requires yearly renewal, but I had just renewed my training prior. All right, enough of my complaining. It was not all bad. Wilderness Training was a great refresher. I was mainly just bitter about it being over my break. Bad attitude aside, it was fun and informational. The material covered is material I pray I never have to use, but I am very thankful I know in case I need to use it.
Besides Wilderness Training, we have had multiple camp rep trainings over the last few Thursdays. I am so thankful that our Admissions Director, Mr. Grove, is training us. I love hearing his stories about camp, and he does a splendid job at sticking to the schedules he gives us at the beginning of each meeting. His teaching style has been very helpful. Every session, we have played games to test us on the handbooks we were supposed to read. We played a game about how to answer questions that campers may ask throughout summer. I am excited to attend BBC Boot Camp over spring break with my fellow camp reps and do field training with them then. Camp rep training has been a splendid experience, and I am so excited to see what God does this summer!
The biggest highlight of February was this special week that happens every spring semester. The entire week is always dedicated to learning about God’s work around the world and praying specifically for God’s will in the mission fields. Every year, the week ends with One Voice – a night of cross-cultural worship with other ethnic people groups in Boise.
Freedom for the Nations
This year’s theme for Missions Emphasis Week was “Freedom for the Nations.” The keynote speaker for this year was the brave and humble Stephanie Freed, founder and director of Rapha House, a non-profit organization that works to bring healing and justice to children who have survived sex trafficking. Rapha House has two campuses in Cambodia, one in Thailand, and one in Haiti. It works specifically in developing countries that have little to no justice in their governmental systems. Freed shared the mission of her organization: “to end the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children through aftercare for survivors, prevention for the vulnerable, and awareness for all.”
Before Freed began her work as a freedom fighter, she was a soccer mom from Joplin, Missouri who was passionate about women’s issues, but had no clue that children were being bought and sold for sex. In 2003, before the western world really knew that human trafficking was a problem, her father went to Cambodia for a ministry and leadership seminar. During the middle of the day, with a hundred people present, two men disrupted the seminar to claim a young girl whose parents sold for $200. The impoverished church leaders at this seminar turned out their pockets and collected $200 on the spot in order to save the girl from slavery. She was only one girl; more were disappearing from villages all over Cambodia. After returning from his trip, Freed’s father shared this story while weeping at the dinner table. He asked his daughter, “Stephanie, what are we going to do about this?” Angry and overwhelmed she replied, “I’m not sure that that’s my problem. My own children are my problem.” The seed of action was planted, nevertheless. She honored her father’s challenge and began six months of researching what little information she could find on human trafficking. The Holy Spirit began breaking her heart. Finally, she decided she needed to go to Cambodia and see for herself.
Upon arriving in the country, Freed met with the few who were trying to solve the issue – the few were mostly Christian leaders. The police and military at that time were no help in protecting these vulnerable children from sex slavery. One day, Freed was led to a junkyard owned by a family. A bruised little girl ran up to Freed, grabbed her arm, and begged to be saved: “Please save me. Please don’t leave without me.” This desperate little girl was a slave, forced to labor from morning to evening and then raped every night by the men of the family. Freed did not know if she would be able to free this little girl, but she prayed to God and negotiated all day with the owners. By the end of a long day, God’s grace prevailed and Freed walked out of that filthy junkyard with the little girl, hand-in-hand. That was when Freed realized that this little girl’s story was also her story – it is the story of being redeemed out of the filth of sin and into the freedom of Christ’s salvation. So often, we are filled with apathy toward huge issues like human trafficking. “The greatest enemy of freedom is apathy,” says Freed, “do not become apathetic to do what is good. Knowledge without action is damaging. God is not calling us to be bystanders but to be freedom fighters. He wants you to be free so that you can free others. There is no hope of freedom or healing outside of Jesus.”
Boise Bible College is more than an academic education. These three highlights are unique examples of learning experiences outside of the classroom. There are many more extracurricular opportunities at BBC for students to grow in knowledge and character. This was just a peek into what our students get to discover.