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Missions program benefits alumni

Friday, October 5, 2007  
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By Wendy Sanders

While many Oklahoma Christian University students are involved in missions during school, the Helpers In Missions program is a way for graduates to be involved in mission work. Since 1974, the HIM program has sent over 100 people into various mission fields around the world. There are currently 13 workers in the field, and 2 candidates are waiting on paperwork to go through.

Alumnus Amy Nickerson chose to apply for the HIM program after being very involved in Outreach at Oklahoma Christian, and participating in summer mission trips.

“I loved going new places, meeting new people and being involved in something that was helping other people come to know God,” Nickerson said.

Upon graduation, Nickerson decided to work in Germany from May 2004 through July 2006.

“It was after going to Germany on a singing campaign with Clyde and Gwen Antwine that I began to consider the HIM Program,” Nickerson said. “I think I felt the HIM Program would be a great way to get a feel of what long-term mission work would be like, and I knew it was something I felt called to do.”

While in Germany, Nickerson accomplished many things with the church.

“The church in Dresden, Germany, had only been in existence for five years when Allison, another HIM worker, and I arrived,” said Nickerson. “So, we were really able to help start a lot of new things for the group.”

While Nickerson was in Dresden, she helped with the children’s program, held Bible studies and organized a few singles’ retreats. She also improved her German language and held a program called “coffee talk” to help people learn to speak better English.

“I was able to use my skills as a graphic designer and artist to frequently help the church,” Nickerson said. “I designed a logo, fliers, posters, paintings, etc.  It was great being able to use my talents in this way.”

During the holidays, Nickerson began to miss home, but after some time she overcame her homesickness and began to travel around Europe.

“Dresden became my new home away from home, and every time I’d leave for something and come back, it really felt like coming home,” Nickerson said.

While Nickerson was busy in Germany, Kevin Peters was traveling to Scotland and involving himself in the church there.

Like Nickerson, Peters was very involved in mission trips during college and fell in love with the mission field.

“I had nothing here holding me back and so I saw the HIM program as a great opportunity at this point in my life to do work for the Kingdom in a foreign country,” Peters said. “Whenever you can combine travel and missions, count me in.”

Scotland presented Peters with many opportunities to meet new people and build new relationships through Christ.

“I have found it to be fact that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Peters said. “Building relationships and getting into the Word with those people is the best method we found in bringing people to Christ.”

Although the HIM program lasts for two years, most HIM workers are well prepared and excited to be out for such a long time.

“Dundee, Scotland, became my home.  So, after a while it didn’t seem like I was away anymore,” Peters said.  “I had a great church family and friends that it made me feel at home, and now it is just as difficult being away from my home in Scotland.”

Both Nickerson and Peters recommend learning more about the HIM program.

“The HIM program is an excellent way for graduates to get involved in short-term missions,” Nickerson said. “I think anyone interested in long-term mission work should try doing short-term missions first.”

Memorial Road Church of Christ is one of the main sponsors for the HIM program, but since it is a mission program, participants are responsible for about 60 percent of the needed funds.

“There are people all around us that are very willing to support those in the mission field,” Peters said. “I sent lots of letters and made lots of contacts and God put the right people in my path that made financing this trip possible.”

For more information about the HIM program, contact Clyde Antwine.


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