By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
Foreign exchange students are getting the chance to hear the gospel and Cowboys of the Cross is getting to play a small part in that—and you can too.
One of the great cultural changes of the times we’re in; that we’re all connected more easily wherever we are in the world. at Commission in unique way.
When the disciples were first given the what we know as the Great Commission, they were tasked with sharing the gospel everywhere from the people around them to “the ends of the earth.”
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This was a command from Jesus to his disciples but it extends to you and me.
Then, travel to communicate or send a letter, it was primarily by foot. Today, there are still isolated parts of the world in which missionaries work to earn the trust of a community in order to minister to them and preach the gospel but at the same time, we can get a coded message to a missionary in China with a few taps on an app on our phone.
Technology makes it easy for Cowboys of the Cross to be partnered with cowboys from the ranch to the rodeo sides of the cowboy culture across the United States and Canada.
Jesse Horton was a North Carolina bull rider that has gone on to become the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Pink Hill, NC. He continues to work with Cowboys of the Cross contributing to The Short Go and other teaching series we put together. He is a valued ministry partner and part of what has shaped into a leadership team that works at helping each of us grow and stay accountable to God’s different callings in our lives.
The common ground our little group shares is our strong response to God’s call on all of us to share the gospel from the people around us to the ends of the Earth.
Jesse is currently getting a chance to do that as he, his wife Sarah and their children host two foreign exchange students for the next ten months.
One arrived last week from France and the other, a Buddhist from Vietnam, arrived this week.
But here’s the extra cool thing: while the program is not Christian-based, the woman seeking host families in this region of the United States, Meegan, is a Christian. Because of her belief in sharing the gospel with others, she tries to find as many Christian host families as she can.
Finding Jesse, his family and his church, was a windfall for Meegan and she expressed her excitement for it recently when she spoke with Cowboys of the Cross as a reference for Jesse. The two students will attend church with the Hortons and get to experience Christian living with a pastor. Having known Jesse for more than 15 years now, these students are going to not just be presented with the gospel in words, but they will see Jesse’s passionate desire to see others grow and be discipled in their faith, especially the extended church family God has given him to shepherd.
And not only has their first of the two students had a chance to attend a Bethel Baptist Church service, he’s also been with the Horton’s to a rodeo and seen Jesse lead cowboy church behind the chutes. It’s hard to find a better American experience than the pride-filled experience of a rodeo Saturday night and a worship service on Sunday in a 106-year-old church.
That’s where you come in.
These exchange programs are desinged to provide students from other cultures with an American experience but Education Travel & Culture (ETC) is looking for more Christian families as hosts so that they can also be presented with the gospel.
Imagine what God might do if a Buddhist student found a saving faith in Jesus and returned to Vietnam to share the gospel with family and friends there. The Great Commission was given to us by Jesus about two thousand years ago yet here it is being lived out across multiple countries through the intentional use of an exchange student program.
That’s something we can pray for together to help Jesse and Bethel Baptist Church in this mission and if you would like to learn how easy it is to host a foreign exchange student, just get in touch with us and we will share your contact information with someone at ETC who will contact you.