White Hot Passion WWU President, Students, ShareHim in Malaysia
"Pam and I have just completed one of the most amazing experiences of our lives; I must give you a report while our passion is still white hot." So begins an e-mail from John McVay, Walla Walla University president, in which he shares details of a trip to Borneo in August and September.
For more than two weeks, McVay and his wife, Pam, along with Kris Loewen, WWU Church youth pastor, and six university students, presented series of ShareHim meetings in the area surrounding Kuching, Malaysia. The meetings were held at 13 different sites, including Sinjok, a village hosting such meetings for the first time and where McVay spoke each night. At the end of the two weeks, more than 300 people from the various locations were baptized.
The experience wasn't solely that of practiced speakers like McVay, however. Over the course of the two weeks, McVay saw amazing things happen in the lives of the students and in that of his wife, who, until this trip, had never preached a sermon.
"Pam's calling to participate was very strong," says McVay. "To say she worked diligently on her sermons is to traffic in understatement, and to say she preached with conviction is a given."
As the group met around the breakfast table each morning, the students offered their reactions to doing the ShareHim work. One student described how much preaching the Adventist message meant to him and how he understood his faith for the first time in a deeply personal way.
"If you had asked me before the meetings, I would have given an upbeat assessment of how our students would do," says McVay. "Now, my perspective has shifted. It is not just that they can do this work and be benefited by it. They are uniquely qualified by the Spirit to accomplish it with creativity, conviction and relational openness."
McVay notes that many of the students had been on multiple mission trips and had served as student missionaries prior to this trip.
"They have fresh experience at crossing boundaries," he says. "I came away with a conviction that the students are professionals at this kind of work. Watching them has been one of the most — if not the most — fulfilling experiences for me as a university president."
For more information about Quiet Hour Ministries, which provided major funding for this trip, visit qhministries.org. To learn more about ShareHim, visit sharehim.org.