Missions are an integral part of the character and nature of Oral Roberts University. Fitting in with the mantra of the university, “Go into every man’s world…,” the missions department helps students find a practical way of experiencing missions in a different setting than they may have previously encountered.
Bobby Parks, director of ORU Missions and Outreach, says that the ORU Missions program offers a different “twist” on missions because it goes through the university and not a church. The department seeks to see the growth and development of the students. They also desire to pull the dreams and visions out of the hearts of the students.
“The purpose is to be a strategic short-term development to the long-term goal,” said Parks. “The goal is for the further formation and development of the students. The missions department seeks to teach students to be servants and not ‘superstar missionaries’.”
“Live THE Story” was the mantra of the Missions and Outreach Program this past school year and has carried into this year. Those on the missions staff would say that students shouldn’t come to ORU without getting out and applying their faith. They want students to truly “live THE story,” the “story” being the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
The missions department offers trips with various focal ministries with emphases like construction, business, teaching, basketball and medicine. The trips last from one week over spring break, up to two months during the summer.
Last year, the program sent out 26 teams to 17 different countries with a total of 284 missionaries, 42 of which went on both spring break and summer missions.
This year, the program is looking to increase the number of teams to 31. Eight of those teams will be trips over spring break, and the remaining 23 teams scheduled for the summer.
ORU Missions has impacted the lives of many people, especially the students that go on the trips.
“My relationship with the Lord has escalated a great deal now that the trip is over,” said Tammy Jones, who went to Puerto Rico over spring break. “My perspective of the church and my purpose and duty has changed. I feel like the infuses of the body of Christ and family was stressed on this trip and has really opened up my heart.”