Professor of exercise physiology, Bishop has served as a visiting scientist in the NASA Exercise Countermeasures Program at Johnson Space Center, Houston.
It was just another academic trip, or at least it was in the beginning. I was to accompany one of my doctoral students to Quito, Ecuador and help him collect data for his dissertation on altitude training of swimmers. I was also to visit with a missionary friend, and enjoy the sights.
Before I left, however, I sent the international department of Christian Leadership an e-mail message. I let them know I would be traveling to Ecuador and would be available to lecture for the local Campus Crusade ministry.
As a result of Christian Leadership's work, Campus Crusade's Latin American office called me to say they were setting up speaking engagements for me.
The first three days in Quito were relaxing while we prepared for the experiment. On a Tuesday, I met with Enrique of Campus Crusade and one of his staff, Isabel Rodriguez, who said that Wednesday through Friday they had six talks scheduled for me, and I could also address their staff meeting on Friday. In the end, a seventh talk was added at a professor's request.
It was a wonderful ministry opportunity. The universities appeared Marxist-socialist in philosophy, but were quite willing to tolerate a succinct Gospel message in exchange for scientific lectures on metabolism, physiological psychology, and others.
Many students I spoke to showed spiritual interest, and those attending filled out comment cards after each lecture. One of the attendees sent me the poignant message, ". . . thanks for giving me confidence that spiritual matters are more important. . . . I will seek to walk the God road now." One sows, another waters, and God causes the increase. It's always nice to do a little sowing.
"Incidental" to a professional trip I was able to participate in something eternally significant. God was able to use me to give Gospel presentations and encourage the Campus Crusade team in Quito. He also used the team to encourage me, and He strengthened my faith as well. As a bonus, I had an opportunity to challenge a visiting Christian women's basketball team, from Athletes in Action, regarding their witness back home.
As always, I gained more from the experience than those I went to help. In addition, the day I arrived home I learned my host from a previous trip to Scotland had just accepted Christ.
The next time you travel out of the country, please call or e-mail Christian Leadership. Every trip we as Christian faculty make has the potential of reaping eternal benefits. God can use a small effort on our part to produce great results on His part.