Liberty News

Large number of alumni serving with International Mission Board

May 5, 2014 : By Lena Wakim/Liberty University News Service

With a goal to fulfill the Great Commission, the International Mission Board (IMB) sends missionaries all over the world. Nearly 100 of them are Liberty University alumni, making Liberty one of the Christian institutions with the most IMB-sponsored graduates in the field.

“We have Liberty folks serving literally all over the globe,” said Ken Winter, IMB’s vice president of church and partner services.

Winter shared his appreciation for the Liberty graduates whom he has encountered in his 10 years of service with IMB.

“We greatly value that partnership, how we can collaborate together in helping students catch that vision and respond to God’s call and go (forward),” Winter said.

The Turner family
The Turner family, serving in Botswana

IMB is the mission sending agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical denomination, and is affiliated with more than 46,000 churches. IMB missionaries are currently engaging 778 people groups, most of which have been unreached with the Gospel. (There are currently 6,543 unreached people groups worldwide, which means that less than 2 percent of the population of those people groups are evangelical Christians.) Over 6,000 new churches were planted last year through the efforts of IMB missionaries, bringing the total number of churches planted among these 778 people groups to over 28,000.

Brent and Amanda Turner, both 2001 Liberty graduates, have been serving together with IMB in Gaborone, Botswana, for nearly five years. Prior to serving with his wife, Brent Turner was a Journeyman in Mombasa, Kenya, with IMB for two years after graduating from Liberty.

“We loved our experience at Liberty University — the friendships we made and the education that we received,” Brent Turner said. “We feel like Liberty prepared us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and also strengthened our desire to do so through our education.”

The Dove family
The Dove family, serving in Norway

With Liberty’s preparation and IMB’s support, the Turner family works as church planters, ministering to the unreached Tswana people group, of which less than 2 percent are Christians. They assist in planting churches as well as strengthening existing churches and training up leaders to serve there.

“With church planting being at the core, our focus is on those people groups who have little or no access to the gospel,” Winter said. “Priorities are unreached people.”

Another Liberty graduate, Zach Dove, serves with his family in Norway, working with existing churches and ministering to the Norwegian community as well as immigrants from all over Europe. Having worked with IMB since 2012, Dove said his family’s mission is to see new churches started, disciples made, and God’s Kingdom advanced.

The Welch family
The Welch family, serving in Ghana

In Nalerigu, Ghana, Liberty alumnus T. Elliott Welch has been working as a chaplain at the local Baptist Medical Center for the past two years. Welch and his family serve primarily the Mamprusi people, praying with the patients, counseling the terminally ill, helping grieving families, and staying in contact with patients once they have returned to their villages. Welch also works with those suffering from tuberculosis and began a church among the patients with the desire to preach and heal.

Welch said he first came to know the Lord as a freshman, and he grew in his Christian faith during his time at Liberty. From his classes to his experience serving with Liberty’s Office of Student Leadership as a Prayer and Life Group Leader, Welch said he found himself with a growing passion to serve others.

“The first time I ever shared my faith was during an evangelism class. After that, I was hooked and began to share with everyone,” Welch said.

Welch also ministered on two trips to Brazil and India while a student at Liberty, which helped to confirm his calling to serve overseas.

The Domke Family
The Domke family, serving in the Ukraine

Neither Michael Domke (’89) nor his wife JuliAn Domke (’90) came to Liberty with the intention of going into international missions. After graduation, the couple served at two different local churches before being called to the mission field. Their family has been serving with IMB since 2008.

“What Liberty did for us was expose (us) to missions of all types that we carried with us to the local churches that we served,” Michael Domke said.

The Domkes are team leaders for church planting efforts in Kiev, Ukraine, reaching people for Christ, ministering to them by discipleship, and encouraging them to reach others.

Winter said Liberty’s mission to train Champions for Christ in all professions is translating into willing servants on the mission field.

“Students at Liberty are realizing, ‘No matter what my major is, no matter what my vocation ends up being, I have been called to be a disciple,’” Winter said. “It’s a very small step from there to God calling folks to go serve among the nations.”

  • Liberty University’s Global Studies programs prepare students for intercultural careers and service by providing them with a thorough foundation in comprehensive theory as well as practical engagement with different cultures. The B.S. in Global Studies gives students the resources to learn and grow in the particular dynamics that are involved in living abroad, preparing students to thrive socially, to build relationships, and to establish healthy careers in other cultures.

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