Summer, semester missionaries commissioned at Go Now service

by Teresa Young on June 17, 2024 in News

More than 170 students were joined by family and friends on May 19 for a service commissioning them into mission endeavors for the summer and beyond through Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions.

The service capped off a weekend of training and orientation held on the campus of Dallas Baptist University, led by Sending Team Chair Jeff Turner of Aggie BSM at Texas A&M University and Brenda Sanders, Go Now Missions lead for Texas BSM. Following a time of worship led by David and Miranda Wall, the service opened with words of encouragement and a prayer from Dr. Bob Garrett, retired professor of Mission at DBU.

“In Jeremiah 33, he speaks, inspired by God to help the Israelites who are going out into the world in exile, into a great big world with all its idols and ideology. He says, ‘But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King,’” said Garrett. “As you encounter all the different philosophies and religions there are in all the world, you don’t need to apologize that you represent the one true living God of the universe who created us all. Everyone you speak to bears His image with them. Be faithful to Jesus.”

Turner then shared the theme verse chosen by the sending team, Psalm 90:16-17: “Let your work be shown to your servants and your glorious power to your children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands.”

Holy Spirit specializes in ‘cross-cultural experiences’

Dr. Julio Guarneri, executive director of Texas Baptists and a veteran of collegiate mission trips, delivered the keynote address. Guarneri shared that as a college student in Corpus Christi, he first traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, noting the experience began a pattern of mission trips he would encourage and lead during his career as a pastor.

“Every time I’ve been on a mission trip, it has been life-changing for me and for others because God uses us as his instruments,” he said. “What will happen this summer will be life-changing for you, but it will impact communities. You are an army of people going out to make a difference in the name of the one true God.”

Guarneri then encouraged the student missionaries with a sermon from Acts 2 about the day of Pentecost, the event after Jesus’ resurrection when the Holy Spirit came down upon believers. He said this monumental event had three lessons that were relevant to their upcoming experiences and should provide excitement and hope.

“First, it reminds us that God is a promise-keeper. Jesus promised his disciples they would not be left as orphans, but the Father would send his spirit. God sent his Holy Spirit as a comforter, counselor and advocate,” he said. “There will be times when the going gets tough, and you will question whether you made the right decision, whether you are in the right place, whether your efforts are worth what you are pouring into. Remember that God is a promise-keeper.”

Guarneri also shared the Pentecost experience shows God is a problem-solver who cancels the curse. Specifically, Jesus’ crucifixion canceled the curse of sin, while his resurrection canceled the curse of death. At Pentecost, the curse of division was canceled as all the believers understood each other and were unified by the Spirit.

“Many of us will have cross-cultural experiences this summer. You will learn new things, eat different foods and observe different customs,” Guarneri said. “That’s exactly where the Holy Spirit is leading you. That’s where he specializes. He wants to make a new humanity out of the beautiful diversity in the world.”

Finally, Guarneri said Pentecost showed that God is a path-maker, making a way where there might seem to be none. The gift of the Spirit, he explained, gives every believer the power to carry out his mission of the Great Commission in the world.

“The kinds of things you will see this summer will be supernatural things, not because of your power but because of the power of the Spirit in you,” he said in closing. “That movement that started at Pentecost is still going, and you are part of that. The Spirit is at work, and he will be at work this summer.”

They are off! Praying for Go Now student missionaries

A time of prayer and laying on of hands followed as each student missionary was introduced on screen and took the stage. After recognizing the sending team and various BSM staff members, Sanders dismissed the audience for a reception honoring the student missionaries.

Go Now Missions staff are coordinating prayer efforts for student missionaries as they serve throughout the summer. Learn more and subscribe to the “Snapshots from the Field” newsletter with pray requests and stories from student missionaries by visiting

Started in 1946, Go Now Missions has mobilized more than 9,000 Texas university students to share the love of Christ across the world.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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