KNOXVILLE— One of the most commonly asked questions by first-hand Johnson students is how to implement their newly found spiritual practices into the real world. This can also be referred to as breaking the Johnson bubble of security one might feel they are in. Johnson University is a place of acceptance and love, but it is known that the rest of the world does not act in the same sense.
This is where the annual Week of Evangelism steps in. More commonly known as the Week of E, this initiation is brought on for students to truly practice mission work for an entire week at a place outside of Johnson University, and even sometimes outside of the country. The Week of E takes place during the time of a student’s Spring Break. Not only is it a way for someone to put into use the knowledge they have learned at school, but it also allows someone the opportunity to branch out with their faith and touch lives with the Word of God.
Although the Week of E is not as publicized as other things happening at Johnson, it is still rather important. However, in earlier times at Johnson University, the Week of E was not only more broadcasted, but it was also mandatory.
“Back in the day, students were required to do ‘Christian Service Work’ for 30 hours during their Spring Break, which was also the Week of Evangelism,” Professor Brent Brewer said. He goes on to say that the Week of E was a self-initiating thing, and that mission trips were not already set-up for students. Johnson students wanting to fulfill their “Christian Service Work” back then had to take it upon themselves to get their required hours and services in.
Nowadays, the Week of E is not required to graduate, even though Johnson University still encourages students to go on mission trips during that time.
For Professor Brent Brewer, a Week of E trip is something he’ll never forget. “One year I went with a group of 8 students to help a new church in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. We helped with building repairs and landscaping, and we also did door to door visits to tell people about the new church and participated in the church programs.”
Two current Johnson students, Joshua Woody and Jordyn Pearson, have gone on past Week of E trips.
For Joshua, he went on one last spring to New York City. His trip let him see firsthand many of the things he had been learning in class. “It gave me a heart for bringing the Gospel to cities across the world. If financially possible, I would advise students to take trips that are relevant to what they are wanting to do and not just look for ‘easy’ or ‘fun’ trips during their Spring Break,” Joshua said.
Jordyn Pearson went on a Week of E mission trip that brought her a sense of certainty and peace. “I went with an organization called ‘For the Love of Missions.’ They are a non-profit organization based in Guatemala City. Their mission is to provide jobs and/or opportunities for child care, education, and soon health resources to those who live in impoverished areas in and around the city dump,” Jordyn said. “This past trip has impacted me most by providing a certainty of what I feel I am being lead to do in ministry and life. My love and understanding of God definitely grew as well by Him truly breaking my heart and opening my eyes to the pain the people were in, and still showing me that their faith was unbreakable.”
Jordyn Pearson is helping lead a trip this year during the Week of E to Guatemala.
For anyone interested in the idea of the Week of E, Professor Brent Brewer highly encourages it by saying, “It is a fantastic ministry experience. There are opportunities awaiting, and it can be a huge benefit for the future.”