This week, I wanted to talk about something that I'm really passionate about and grateful for here at Biola. And that something is our Student Missionary Union, or SMU as we students affectionately call it. A few things this week made me so appreciative of SMU!
But first, welcome to this week’s installment of “A Lil’ History with Ana!” But seriously, here’s a little history that might give you some context to SMU...
In the summer of 1886, evangelist Dwight Moody held a conference in Mount Hermon, Massachusetts. 251 college students attended. By the end of the four-week conference, 100 students had pledged themselves to be foreign missionaries. Out of this, The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions was created, an organization that recruited and sent out students into foreign missions. It's creation has gone down in history as one of the major turning points in foreign missions. According to this ChristianityToday article, “Prior to the SVM, American Protestants supported less than a thousand missionaries throughout the world. Between 1886 and 1920, the SVM recruited 8,742 missionaries in the U.S.” THAT'S INSANE!
And now, here's where SMU comes in. The SVM set up chapters at different schools all throughout the country that mobilized students to be sent out as missionaries. Biola’s Student Missionary Union was one of them. And now, it is the only one still remaining! SMU is now the longest running, student-led missionary union in the country. That’s crazy to me!!
We send out students to locations all over the globe to engage in all different types of ministry, including working with trafficked women in India, ministering to backpackers in the Patagonia mountains, doing college outreaches in Asia, and caring for orphans in South Africa (just to name a few of the trips that have gone out recently).
I was able to go on a trip last summer that completely changed my life! So, please, if you're interested in missions or would love to get involved in SMU, (if you decide to come to Biola) I would love to answer any questions or share my experience! Here are a few silly photos of my team from this summer.
Just this weekend, I was reminded of what a blessing it is to have SMU on campus and to be surrounded by students that truly have one desire: to see the Gospel spread throughout all nations.
Recently, I attended The Seeds for India Gala, a fundraising dinner put on by The India Project, a group under SMU that raises money and awareness towards Bible translation in India. Did you know there are only 3,000 completely distinctive languages spoken in India alone?! And only about ⅓ have access to the Gospel right now? And that is what we were working together towards changing. The gala was incredible, and 90 Biola students alone raised over $14,000 in one night… which an anonymous donor matched. And with $21,000 donated by alumni and other guests, we were able to raise over $48,000 towards ending Bible poverty in India!!! *Glory Party!*
I’m overjoyed and blown away at what our Father is doing through SMU just by the simple faith of his children.