Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 9, 2014

No fear

MSU student is not backing down from mission trip to Russia

ASHLAND — Chelsea Turner, who will be going on a two-week mission trip to Russia this summer, isn’t sweating the political climate there.

“When it comes to that,” said the Morehead State University junior, “the coolest thing is that God is holding me. Wherever I go, God is there. If God is for us, nobody can stop us.”

But that doesn’t stop Mom and Dad from having concerns.

“Mom’s definitely a little nervous,” she said. “I guess it’s on the news a whole lot. It is scary, but at the same time, God has it. I know that.”

Turner is the daughter of Howard and Linda Turner of Ashland.

Because of the circumstances with Russia, it’s not a certainty the team will be traveling there — but it will be going somewhere internationally, said Paul Gibson, a director of the program with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

“We started looking at alternate locations Monday (March 3). We’re hoping to determine where we’re going in the next two weeks, be it Russia or somewhere else.”

Wherever that happens to be, Turner will be part of a nine-member team sent out from the KBC as part of the Acts 1:8 collegiate program, which revolves around the Scripture: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the Earth.”

Turner has made it through two interview cycles, training for fundraising and witnessing and team-building exercises.

The six-week program, which begins June 2, has the team going to Shelbyville for the first part, where it will help with vacation Bible schools, youth groups and witnessing to folks in the area.

The international part of the mission begins July 3. “I think we’re on four different planes to get there,” Turner said of the trip to Russia. Once they arrive, she said, there’s a 31⁄2-hour drive into a rural village. The conveniences of home will not be present. For instance, she said they will have to bathe in the river.

They will also have a unique witnessing experience.

“It’s a cool opportunity to share Christ,” she said. “Some people there have never heard his name before. Here in Kentucky and Ashland, we see churches all over the place. Not so much there. Some people who have heard about him have heard lies and slanderous things that are completely untrue.”

Turner has spoken with friends who went to Russia last year on the same mission trip. She said when they go into the village the hosts will be doing a lot of the talking.

“We’ve learned some Russian, but not enough to carry a conversation,” she said. “We’ll be helping where we can.”

The team will play with Russian children, which is fine with Turner, who is an elementary education major at MSU. A fellow Morehead student, Allison Whaley of Pendleton County, will also be going on the trip.

“Our team is a bunch of people from all over Kentucky (colleges),” she said.

Individuals had to apply through Baptist Student Ministries at their respective colleges. There were local and state interviews.

“It was kind of a group interview,” Turner said. “They put a bunch of us together and we did an ‘Amazing Race’ with a group of people to see how we worked together and how we could listen and interact with each other.”

After that hurdle was another interview, which was more one on one, Turner said.

Students must $3,500 for the trip. They are given ideas and training about fundraising. Turner has raised “83 percent” of her total with an April 1 deadline looming. She will speak about her missions endeavor March 16 at Unity Baptist Church, where she is a member.

“This is a great group of kids,” Gibson said. “I have a lot of confidence in them.”

He said Turner brings a positive force to the mission team. “She loves the Lord, she’s bright and she lights up a room,” he said. “You can tell her desire is to serve and be needed. Another thing I’ve noticed about her is she’s very attentative, very teachable.”

To donate to Turner’s trip, visit her website at grouprev.com/chelseat or send checks to the Morehead State BCM, 342 University Blvd., Morehead, KY 40351. Put Turner’s name in the notation on the check.

Chelsea is the daughter of Howard and Linda Turner of Ashland.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

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