By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
CLARKSVILLE — Sometimes missions volunteers meet people, share Christ and never see or hear from the individual again.
Two college students with Tennessee ties had the unique opportunity of not only sharing the gospel with someone, but doing personal follow up in a state thousands of miles from Tennessee.
During the summer Cassidy Marcom, a BCM student at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville and member of Excell Baptist Church, Clarksville (where her dad Terrell Marcom is pastor), served as a summer intern, along with Ashley Montgomery, a member of Living Hope Baptist Church in Clarksville and a student at the University of Kentucky, for Cumberland Baptist Association in Clarksville under director of missions Rick Stevens.
It was a first for the association and proved to be quite successful, Stevens said.
“It was a win-win situation,” Stevens said. “They were an encouragement to our churches while at the same time getting practical ministry experience.”
In addition to Bonnaroo and the missions trip, the interns also helped local churches with Vacation Bible School and Backyard Kids Clubs, he added. “In many ways, they were an extension of the association’s ministry to churches of all sizes.”
Stevens also expressed appreciation to Stacy Murphree, BCM director at Austin Peay, who helped supervise the interns and provided a Bible study for them during the summer. “She was a huge help to us.”
One of their assignments was the Jesus Tent at the Bonnaroo music festival held in Manchester in June. “We hung out with kids our age and prayed that it would lead to gospel conversations,” Marcom recalled.
When those conversations came about, we “would share how our relationship with Christ had impacted us,” she said. Unfortunately, many of the individuals would simply walk away.
Yet, Marcom and Montgomery continued to share Christ whenever opportunities arose.
The two girls met “Leah,” a college student from Washington state. She was with a friend who was “hung over” and not able to participate in the conversation, but the two summer interns shared Jesus with Leah.
Marcom said Leah had “grown up with religion” but never had a relationship with Christ. “We talked with her for more than an hour,” she recalled. Though Leah did not make a decision for Christ they shared contact information.
Later in the summer, the two interns accompanied a team from Cumberland Baptist Association to Washington state. Marcom posted on her Facebook page that she was in Washington and soon received a text message from Leah that she was only an hour from where the team was serving.
Though they were unable to meet in person, the two interns were able to minister and witness to Leah once again. Marcom learned that Leah was having a hard time and was “looking for friends and relationships in the wrong places.”
Marcom searched the website and found a church with an active college ministry near where Leah was living and she sent her the address and shared how she had found community in her church.
Noting that the church was only a mile from where Leah lived, Marcom said that could only be “a God thing” and encouraged her to contact the church.
Though the two have kept in touch since the summer, Leah later left Washington and returned to her family.
While she never made a decision for Christ, Marcom said “I like to think that she is more open to the gospel and is looking for community in the church rather than places like Bonnaroo and clubs.”
She said she plans to continue to reach out to Leah and let her know she is praying for her. “She normally responds and says she is appreciative,” Marcom shared.
Marcom plans to continue to pray that the seeds that were planted at Bonnaroo will one day bear fruit — a new sister in Christ.