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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Alumnus teaches at workshop

Friday, October 26, 2007  
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By Wendy Sanders

Director of the World Mission Workshop, Bob Carpenter, invited alumni Jonathan Hanegan to speak during the workshop this weekend.

“He is high-energy, curious and fun-loving,” Carpenter said. “He deeply loves God and is deeply concerned about the needs of people around him, particularly the kinds of people that others tend to overlook.”

Hanegan will teach a class Saturday afternoon and spoke at Outreach Monday night as well as Missions Chapel on Wednesday.

His class, “My First Year in Venezuela: A Gringo in a Strange Land,” will focus on Hanegan’s experiences.

“I am going to talk about the importance of apprenticeship programs like the H.I.M. Program, the joys and struggles of a young missionary on the field and the importance of foreign language acquisition in mission work,” Hanegan said.

Although Hanegan has been working in Venezuela for 14 months, he has experienced a long road of learning and practicing missions in many other areas.

Hanegan graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2005 as a model student. Carpenter taught Hanegan in several classes, including two Portuguese classes Hanegan convinced him to teach.

“Not only did he do an excellent job in everything that was required in a course, but he was so intellectually curious that he was always going out and finding books and other resources on his own concerning subjects that were of interest to him,” Carpenter said.

Associate Professor of New Testament, Curt Niccum also taught Hanegan in the classroom and shares memories with him.

“Jonathan and I have been friends ever since his freshman year,” Niccum said. “We have spent a lot of time together outside of the classroom, including midnight s’mores in the dorm.”

After spending time with Hanegan, Niccum has learned a lot about him and his importance in the mission field.

“I think two traits serve him particularly well on the field. First, he is outgoing in a very amiable way. Some extroverts can be obnoxious, but Jonathan is always endearing. Second, he never prejudges. People often build walls based on race, gender, economic status, mental and physical health or religion,” Niccum said. “That is not the case with Jonathan. You can expect respect from him. People are obviously drawn to that.”

When Hanegan was not in the classroom or studying, he was often involved on campus through Outreach and other mission opportunities.

He has traveled all around South America, Mexico and the southern area of the United States.

Hanegan is constantly involved in the church in Venezuela.

“I have been active in working with the youth in East Caracas. I also teach weekly Bible studies and preach on a regular basis,” Hanegan said. “I have organized and worked in four evangelistic campaigns in different parts of Venezuela. I founded and currently direct the Youth Chorale of Central Venezuela.”

Along with his involvement in the campaigns and Bible work, he also is singing in an octet that will be making a CD soon. He has spoken at youth camps and a preachers’ retreat.

“If I have been able to do anything, it is because God has been working through me,” Hanegan said.  “I like to refer to what veteran missionary William Carey said, ‘Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.’ Through the years, I have learned how to dream big for the church and to trust God to make these dreams a reality.”

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