The fundraising efforts for Bible Conference 2015 will go toward three different types of ministries: Bible translation, church planting and a business venture in a restricted access nation.
These fundraising efforts tie in with the theme for this year’s Bible Conference: “Gospel Advance.” Dr. Pettit wanted to change the focus of the offering to ministry efforts beyond Bob Jones University to bring a newness to the Bible Conference project, said Kyle Wilcox, Dr. Pettit’s personal assistant. “My burden for the Bible Conference [offering] is to see the passion and the vision of the BJU student body unleashed on giving to support God’s mission around the world,” Dr. Pettit said.
Specific details about the restricted access nation ministry project are limited because of security concerns. The ministry is not a typical tentmaking mission, but rather, a business venture that would help facilitate the flow of missionaries into the restricted access nation. The total amount needed for this project is about $13,000, and those funds would cover technology and licensing for this business opportunity, Wilcox said.
After finances are raised for the restricted access nation project, the funds will go toward a church in Orrville, Ohio, a small town with a population of just 8,380, according to the 2010 census. A group of 20 to 25 believers currently meets together there and is in need of a building. John Moreno, a BJU graduate, is the pastor of the church. The money raised for this project will go toward media signage, promotional material, hymnals and chairs for the small congregation. The goal set for this project is $12,000, Wilcox said.
The final project is Bible translation through Bibles International for the Rawang people in Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which is located in Southeast Asia. The goal is to raise $5,500 for this project that would translate the book of 1 John.
Students can get involved by holding their own Bible Conference fundraisers, but should first get them cleared through Matthew Weathers, student leadership coordinator. Students may stop by his office or send him an email with their fundraiser ideas. However, if a fundraiser is just within the residence halls, that fundraiser may be approved through the resident supervisor.
Students are in no way pressured to give, but are encouraged to pray about the opportunity set before them, and how they might be able to give of even the small amount that they have, Weathers said. “I would love to encourage students not only to think about forming or creating their own fundraisers, but how they can best give of their, I know, very little resources,” Weathers said.
A Bible Conference fundraiser done in the past, and occurring again this year for the sixth time, is the 3v3 Basketball Tournament run by Michael VerWay, a seminary student. The teams can be made up of four people, with one to sub in and out of games.
“Last year was our biggest year,” VerWay said. “We [raised] $1,300, and this year the goal is to make $1,500.”
Last year the tournament had around 30 men’s teams, seven women’s teams and 50 to 60 spectators. This year, the tournament organizers are hoping for more participants than last year, especially for women’s teams.
“It’s nice to be able to go do something you love, but be able to support a great cause,” said Brandon Weldon, a junior Bible major who participated in the tournament in past years.
The cost is $10 for each person playing, and other students can come watch the action for $5 each. The event will take place Friday night, March 20. Registration begins that night in the lobby of the DFH at 10:15, and the event continues until 2 a.m.