Niesha Edwards is a 2nd year Bethany College student who serves in the missions practicum. In the time that she’s been a student she says, “I really found my foundation here and got rooted in the love of God. I'm not the same." Before choosing the missions practicum Niesha served in the pastoral practicum. She switched when she realized the deep love and passion she had for missions while workin with local outreach projects through Bethany Church, Love LA. The deal was sealed at Bethany Conference when the Lord spoke to her and said, “You're an evangelist.'" From then on she wanted to learn more about outreach and missions. In this blog you get a glimpse of the heart of our missions practicum. Niesha’s passion for evangelism is so pure and inspiring. Our conversation is below!
What do you get to do with your practicum every week?
"We get to learn about unreached people groups around the world... We learn about the different challenges that they face. Also, locally we learn how to interact with people in our community that we're surrounded by. In our class time, we also learn how to plant churches and about different cultures. We’re taught how to approach cultures with an open mind set. This class has helped me to be mission-minded. I find myself being more aware of my surroundings, and more intentional in my conversations and what I say."
On the weekends missions practicum students split up in teams and serve at Myanmar services, which is a group of refugees that live right here in Baton Rouge. Niesha says, “We also get to teach English tutoring classes there on Wednesday nights. Interacting with people where there is a language barrier has been challenging to us and has stretched me. Being in this practicum has opened up my heart a lot. I've grown in the understanding of the love of God and an understanding of how God sees things." Outside of serving on the weekends and on Wednesday nights, missions practicum students lead a Bethany College outreach project once a month.
What unique opportunities have you had here?
“Since I've been here I've had an opportunity to speak at a homeless outreach, opportunities to pray with people, go on a missions trip, and to serve our community. I really believe that if I wasn't here I wouldn't be able to do any of those things... In September of 2018 I went to Columbia and while I was there God spoke to me about reaching Baton Rouge. This is my home and I believe this is where He wants to use me."
What would you say to someone that feels called to ministry?
"Pray and go for it. Don't be fearful… When you go out to serve people, go with an open heart and be willing to fulfill every need they have. "
What advice would you give to a young person that wants to plan outreaches for their community?
"Know the area you want to go. Know your surroundings and the culture of the area. You don't want to offend anyone. Know the need of the area and the people group you're reaching... Go around the neighborhood and ask people what their needs are… From what I've learned, an outreach never goes the way you plan it to go. So be flexible! Go with the flow. This is the heart of a missionary. Always pray for the people. Most are very responsive to prayer. A common thing people want pray for is to be secure. People want to feel safe + loved."
What's coming up in your practicum that you're really excited about?
“We're excited about the missions trips coming up this year and seeing peoples lives being impacted. I encourage you to go on at least one if you've never been! I'm excited about Love LA! It is coming up in April and it's always a busy season. Stay tuned for more details and opportunities to serve at Love LA.”
BC PREVIEW DAY
If your heart strings are being tugged and you identify with Niesha’s passion for people, Bethany College is a place that will equip and empower you to reach people both locally and abroad with the love of God. Our next Preview Day is April 15th, which is the best way for you to learn about our programs and meet Bethany College students. Click here to register!