FAYETTEVILLE, AR – Lightbearers is a genuinely unique faith-based ministry that disciples college students and funds Christian missions projects within and around the 10/40 Window across Africa and Asia.
Discipling College Students
Most would agree that discipling is best accomplished within a group where there is a sense of community. The disciples may come from different backgrounds, means, experiences, and ethnicities, but they have become part of a common community.
That sounds like a college campus. That’s where Lightbearers’ ministry begins.
Beginning in Fayetteville, Arkansas – the home of the University of Arkansas – the leaders of Lightbearers saw a naturally occurring event as an opportunity to build a sense of community by literally building one.
It’s at this point that many, if not most, similar organizations decide to build a gathering place. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Lightbearers, however, builds apartments with a Christian mission. That mission is “Discipling Students. Funding Missions.”
The apartment complexes are rented primarily to Christian students attending the U of A who commit to participating in the Lightbearers’ discipleship program during their lease. Units may be leased on either an apartment or a bedroom basis. A four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Fayetteville currently leases at a very affordable $900 per month.
Apartments not leased by Christian students are available for other students as well.
In addition to providing a place to live, Lightbearers provides engaging community activities to encourage participation from all its renters. These activities offer an opportunity for residents to interact in a relaxed, friendly environment where discipleship is not only taught but also practiced as believers reach out to others in their community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The second Lightbearers community is in Stillwater, Oklahoma – the home of Oklahoma State University. These fully-furnished, three-story, four-bedroom townhomes are leased by the bedroom for $395 per month.
The land has been purchased for a third community in Starkville, Mississippi – the home of Mississippi State.
Leadership is already prayerfully seeking the Lord’s direction regarding where to build their next communities so they can accomplish their goal of helping students to
“know, love, and follow Jesus, and this is accomplished best through 1-on-1 mentorship relationships. We know that students are in need of help navigating life in college and beyond. We believe the best way forward is a confident foundation of belief in Jesus and the Bible.”
Funding Foreign Missions
This is where Lightbearers puts the exclamation point on “unique!” The student communities are not only an end to themselves. They are also completely self-sustainable and are a funding mechanism for foreign missions.
Rental profits go directly to funding Gospel-centered, church-planting projects in some of the least-reached parts of Africa and Asia.
Even though Lightbearers is still in its early years, the Lord has directed over a million dollars in grants to more than 200 missionary partners overseas. Representatives from Lightbearers visit every missions project prior to providing financial aid. The visits help to ensure the projects are legitimate and share common values. Those values include
- Striving to be a humble and faithful steward of what the Lord has given them to do.
- Glorifying the name of Jesus with everyone they partner.
- Regarding relationships more highly than tasks.
- Making decisions that are biblically-grounded.
- Expecting authenticity alongside moral and doctrinal purity within themselves, their organization, and their field partners.
Because of its 501(c)3 status with the IRS, all funds to the missions projects must be in the form of grants. Lightbearers, therefore, does not fund salaries or ongoing expenses. Grants have been used to fund projects from Bible translation equipment to start-up business expenses for missionaries in closed countries to microfinance and social welfare projects administered by Great Commission workers. And everything in between!
Pray that the Lord will continue to bear fruit through the unique ministry of Lightbearers.
To read more news on World Missions on Missions Box, go here.