Russell has been appointed through the Mississippi Baptist Student Union and the International Mission Board as a 2014 Mississippi BSU Summer Student missionary to Zimbabwe.
Russell said her trip is the chance “for the Lord to work through her and her teammates to further His kingdom.”
“Not only that, but it is the opportunity for the Lord to grow me in my own spiritual walk, to build faith and trust in him above all else,” Russell said. “It is also the sweet opportunity to love on some children who have nothing else in this world.”
Russell and her team will be ministering to orphans and abused girls at an orphanage for two months throughout the summer. This eight-week mission trip will be an opportunity for Russell to share the love of God in a real and personal way to needy children.
Russell is the daughter of Paul and Anita Russell of Eupora and she is a member of First Baptist Church. She is a junior at Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Miss.
The summer missions program began in Mississippi in 1947. The first student to serve as a summer missionary was from Blue Mountain College.
“Emily is following a long line of student missionaries, not only from Blue Mountain College, but from the state of Mississippi,” said Tracy Moser, Baptist Student Union Director for Blue Mountain College.
Moser said Mississippi BSU students raise money to help send the students that they appoint. Although for a student serving internationally, the bulk of their fundraising falls to them.
“It has been exciting to watch Emily grow in the Lord,” Moser said. “She is stepping out in faith in a big way. She has served with the BSU in three short term trips and has done an excellent job. The summer trip will be a bigger stretch for her with the time being longer and initially less familiar faces. Ephesians 3:20 tells us ‘Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…’ Who knows what God will do through Emily this summer, but it can be beyond anything that we even ask or think, because it will be God doing the work. Please pray for Emily.”
Rev. Travis Gray of First Baptist Church of Eupora said sometimes God calls people to serve Him in many different environments — sometimes it is in our own backyard and other times it is in a distant land, and Emily Russell has been involved in both.
“She has been a valuable asset to her mom’s children’s ministry at FBC Eupora,” Gray said. “Emily has also used her talents in many other ways to help FBC Eupora to minister for the cause of Christ.”
Rev. Gray said Russell has continued to serve her Lord through the BSU ministries of Blue Mountain College.
“This summer she will travel to the distant land of Zimbabwe to share the love of Jesus,” Rev. Gray said. “It is encouraging to see young people like Emily who want other people to know the love of Jesus in a personal way. Her desire to serve brings a smile to many faces. Prayer for her as she travels and minister in the name of the Lord.”
As part of this adventure, Russell was required to raise over $4,000 for this eight-week trip and as of May 5, all funding has been secured for the mission adventure.
For more information about the summer missions program or Russell’s trip to Zimbabwe, contact the Blue Mountain College Baptist Student Union at 662-685-4771 ext. 137 or go to http://www.bmc.edu/bsu_minisite.asp.
See this article in the May 29, 2014 edition of The Webster Progress Times at http://websterprogresstimes.com/2014/05/29/local-to-serve-as-missionary-to-africa/