E-book: God's Bulgarian tapestry (Part 9)
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by Howard Culbertson
9. Of shuttles or spinning wheels
There's more to weaving a tapestry than just
accumulating threads. There are looms, shuttles, and spinning wheels and the hand of a master
weaver. Some things about this Bulgarian experiment seem more like spinning wheels or shuttles
than they do tapestry threads.
One of those revolves around some mobile prayer meetings
in 1992-93. That year, an SNU missions organization organized "Joshua Walks" on campus.
These are prayer meetings which take their name from the way Joshua captured Jericho.
In this modern version, a group walked around the campus,
stopping to pray at various locations. They paused in front of each building and prayed aloud. At
the dormitories, they prayed that a passion for world evangelism will consume students housed
there. At classroom buildings they prayed for professors and for the Lord's presence in classes.
The last stop was the administration building, Bresee Hall. That campus focal point is right on
"Main Street USA" Route 66, the historic Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. There, facing
SNU's oldest building, a group prayed earnestly for President Gresham. They prayed that he
would discern God's vision and that he would be divinely empowered to carry out that vision.
Those Joshua Walk organizers had never been to Bulgaria.
As it turned out, none of the Bulgarian volunteers were involved in those Joshua Walks. So there
is no direct link. However, those prayer walks do loom as a backdrop to the Bulgaria
Who can say what influence those prayers had on the global
vision Dr. Gresham began articulating so clearly only months later? Did those prayer walks
prepare the college campus to rise to the challenge of the Bulgaria experiment? One wonders if
those prayers somehow fueled the zeal of those applying for the Bulgaria project? Surely, it was
more than just mere coincidence that these events occurred one after another.
Evangelist Chuck Milhuff represents others who have
indirectly contributed to Bulgarian tapestry design. Dr. Milhuff has talked for years about
Nazarene young people emulating young Mormon volunteerism. He has been the evangelist for
several college revivals at SNU. In his visits to the campus, did he ever talk to Dr. Gresham
about his idea? Neither remembers talking to the other about the Mormon model of volunteer
service. Still, it is interesting that both men thought and talked a lot about it.
There were some pathfinders or trail blazers for the Bulgaria
volunteers. For example, after his 1991 graduation, Paul Springer left Oklahoma for Central
America. There, he spent a year helping missionaries. In 1993, Cheryl and Jeff Crouch left for a
two-year volunteer assignment in Papua New Guinea. There, they were "house parents" at a
boarding school for MK's (missionary children).
To go back even earlier, in 1966 SNU sponsored what is
probably the denomination's first Work and Witness trip. That spring, students and faculty raised
money for construction materials. Then, a group of them spent their 10-day spring break in
northern Mexico building a church.
Clearly, the ethos challenging SNU graduates to give a year
to world evangelism has arisen from more than just one person's efforts. . . . [ continue reading ]
Faded red and gold threads
Bulgaria's most highly acclaimed novels is called Under the Yoke. It was written in
1894, long before communism came to power. Nonetheless, that title symbolizes well life under
communism and how these people continue to struggle with its awful legacy.. . . [ read more ]|
SNU missions course materials and syllabi
Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma
City, OK 73132 | Phone: 405-740-4149 - Fax:
Updated: February 3, 2019
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