The BGAV Venturer Program provides opportunities for longer-term mission service in global settings serving alongside BGAV partners. Venturers are individuals at least eighteen years of age who support the ministries of BGAV partners around the world for a period of six months to two years. BGAV partners request Venturers for ongoing ministries as well as specific, targeted needs.
Individuals’ exploration toward Venturer service can begin by a conversation around personal sense of call and giftedness, along with a completed application and a discussion around fit for the needs BGAV partners have identified.
Questions? Contact Glenn Maddox.
Jeremiah and Allison Hurst
As musicians, artists, and socialites, they desire to create spaces for people to experience and emulate our Creative God, encouraging freedom and new vision by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Stephen Stepp, currently a junior in college, studies government and international politics at George Mason University. During his time in college, he has remained active in his faith as a leader of the youth group at his home church in Chesterfield, Virginia and as a prominent part of the spiritual directions team there as well. He has served through local missions all over Virginia and starting in January 2017 will be working with Baptists in Vienna, Austria as part of the BGAV Venturer Program.
Stephen hopes to continue his passion of helping others, as he engages with people of similar faith in Austria and work in the spirit of God to share Christs love.
Because he sees music as being a powerful form of testimony, Patrick will also be bringing along his cello.
In addition to music, Patrick is looking forward to serving in Vienna, especially those seeking refuge from the violence in the Middle East.
Emily Niehoff is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in creative technologies and minoring in both art history and communications. Originally from Mendham, New Jersey she is now a member of Northstar Church in Blacksburg, Virginia and active in leadership with the BCM at Virginia Tech.
She first felt her call to missions after being a part of the Kairos Missions Initiative team to Romania in summer of 2016 and recently served on a two week mission trip to Southeast Asia with Virginia Tech’s BCM.
She is thrilled to be serving as a Venturer in Vienna and is looking forward to seeing how God will speak to her and work through her as she engages with the Viennese community and local refugees.
Will is a 2016 graduate from The College of William & Mary and majored in Marketing. Since graduating from college, he has been on staff with BCM at William & Mary as an Alumni Engagement & Development Assistant. During college, Will was actively involved in BCM, was an RA, and was in an a cappella group.
Originally from Fredericksburg, Will enjoys connecting with people, reading, and singing. He is so excited for the opportunity to serve in Vienna as a Venturer through Projekt Vienna and to see God work in a different culture. He prays that God will move in his life during his time serving in Vienna.
Olivia is a 2018 graduate from the University of Richmond who majored in English and minored in Film Studies. She was active in various music ensembles at the university through singing and playing flute, ukulele, and bass, and she enjoys being a part of musical worship. She spent her summers working with students as a worship ministry intern and as a member of summer staff with WorldChangers. These experiences helped her sense a call to ministry.
Through her involvement in campus ministries like BCM and InterVarsity, as well as her church and a service-learning group, Olivia has become passionate about proclaiming the kingdom of God through multi-ethnic, intentional communities that seek shalom and embody Christian hospitality with empathy and compassion. She hopes to find out more in Vienna about what this kind of community can look like.
Olivia was able to travel from her Virginia home to Vienna in May 2017 on a mission trip with the Kairos Mission Initiative. She is excited to return and learn more from this community, particularly through working with refugees. In this next year, she hopes to grow in her trust in God, in cross-cultural communication, and in cultivating a heart of openness and servanthood, while listening to God’s voice to determine her next steps.
Sara is a recent Virginia Tech graduate and is pursuing a Master’s in Therapeutic Recreation. She traveled to Romania two years ago on a short-term mission trip and has felt called to return ever since.
On that trip, she was struck by the beautiful hospitality of the Romanian people and their passion for serving Christ with their whole life. Sara will be working with Project Ruth in Bucharest and is very excited to see how God will challenge and grow her as she takes this step of faith to go on mission.
Kathryn is a current sophomore at the College of William and Mary. She has been actively involved in William and Mary’s BCM since her arrival at the College, and she is excited to be working in Vienna, Austria this summer.
Kathryn enjoys spending time on her family farm, reading, hiking, and exploring all varieties of libraries and museums.
Eliza will be going to Romania to work with Project Ruth in Bucharest. She will be involved in children’s programming, social work, some administrative activities, and helping at the women’s center. She is also excited to apply her passion for dance in a ministry setting.
This summer project will prove to be a lot of hard work; however, she hopes it will be a chance to see God working to make a difference in the lives of the people in Romania, particularly those from Roma communities.
Phillip Hedrick has attended Bonsack Baptist Church all his life. After serving at the Ruth School for a week last year during spring break he felt called to go back and serve there this summer. He feels that missions is what God wants him to do with his life, and this is the next opportunity on the path God that God is showing him.
He has a huge heart for kids after going to Romania, and he hopes to share the word of God and let God’s love shine though him while he is serving with the kids in the Ruth School.
The basic provisions for all Venturers are:
- assistance in interpreting God’s call on the individual’s life and an appropriate response to that call;
- development of a position for service including job description and supervision;
- living arrangements;
- assistance with travel to and from the place of service;
- and a network for accountability, nurture, and council.
Funding for Venturers’ expenses takes four basic forms:
- Venturers who serve in positions that are closely aligned with mission partnerships and strategies of the BGAV may receive expenses and a small stipend from the BGAV
- Venturers may receive financial resources from the hosting ministry partner.
- Venturers may be asked to provide for their own expenses from fund-raising or from personal fixed income (i.e. retirement). Individuals who serve in positions that are to be self-funded will be offered assistance in training and accounting for fund-raising.
- Venturer placements may be funded by a combination of the three options listed above.
Qualifications for service as a Venturer are as follows:
- Demonstrate a lifestyle of faith in and commitment to Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and to the will of God as basic to all of life.
- Demonstrate a commitment to and involvement in a local church congregation. This church should be related to the Baptist General Association of Virginia or to one of its partnering unions of churches.
- Demonstrate a level of personal maturity and health—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—commensurate to service in the intended field of service.
- Demonstrate a willingness to live and serve for six (6) months to two (2) years as a volunteer independent contractor related to the BGAV, receiving only basic living needs and, in some cases, a modest stipend.
- Demonstrate a sense of appreciation and respect for the diversity of cultures with whom Virginia Baptists serve. Further, agree to follow a missiology that values the autonomy of ministry partners and the primacy of their visions for God-called mission.
- Agree to be accountable to a field supervisor and to the Coordinator of the Venturer Program, handling differences of opinion with openness, respect and professionalism.
- Be at least 18 years of age.