The Bible, Religion and Philosophy Department’s Missions Banquet gave students a chance to ask questions and become more informed about mission opportunities from former mission workers in the Goshen community.

Approximately 40 Goshen College students attended the dinner, hosted by College Mennonite Church, where they conversed with faculty and representatives who have been involved in mission or service work.

Organizations represented at the Missions Banquet included Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Mission Network. Several professors who were present brought their international Study-Service Term experiences to the table as well.

After the meal and informal discussion, a panel of five missions representatives from various organizations answered student questions regarding anything related to service and life both overseas and domestic. Panel speakers were James Krabill, Grant Miller, Joe and Anna Liechty and Les Gustafson-Zook.

Topics ranged from the process of choosing an organization and location to serving as a single or married person.

“I’ve gone three times now and I really enjoyed the conversations that I was able to have with different [people] and hear about the variety of experiences,” Bri Brubaker, a senior, said. “It’s good to look at all my different options and hear what people who’ve been through that kind of thing have to say about it.”

The annual banquet has been happening since 1999, when a number of students noticed misconceptions about mission work among the college population. They suggested an event where those in the field would share their real life experience.

Students involved in Campus Ministries, the BRP Department or who show interest in missions after college are invited.

Though in previous years, attendance numbers have been as high as 70 students, the BRP Department recognizes that now the college is smaller and there are more activities to compete for students’ time.

“Our hope is that everybody within their four years, if they’re interested in missions, comes at least once,” Jo-ann Brant, professor and chair of BRP, said.