maincurve UC Library MyUC iLearn Webmail Home
title Media Relations Home



UC student shares missions experience at Phi Alpha Theta lecture


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — University of the Cumberlands (UC) senior Mark Watts, from Lexington, Ky., spoke to a crowd of students at a recent Phi Alpha Theta lecture series, where he shared his summer mission’s experience. Watts served with the Acts 1:8 Leadership Experience—a program of the Kentucky Baptist Convention—in Shelbyville, Ky. and in the nation of Ecuador.

Interspersing his heart-felt story with humorous happenings, Watts shared his experience to sporadic laughter from a crowded Bennett Auditorium. Although students found Watts’ description of “massive spiders” and obstacle courses through jungles in which college-aged Americans were “schooled” by young Ecuadorian children to be amusing, they listened in silent appreciation to his account of the cultural differences, and children walking miles to reach a camp where they would learn about Jesus.

In Ecuador I learned a lot about different cultures,” said Watts of his 2-week work in Bible camps. “I learned that even though I don’t speak their native tongue, there are other ways to communicate besides spoken words.”

In one of the Bible camps, called “True Love Waits”, Watts was part of sharing the blessing of waiting until marriage for intimate relationships. At the end of this week he saw 180 young people make decisions to wait.

His 6 weeks in Shelbyville, Ky. was no less inspiring. Working in Backyard Bible Clubs, vacation Bible schools, a homeless shelter and in Liberty, Ky. doing tornado relief, Watts’ found himself changed.

“I learned a lot from this trip. In Shelbyville I learned what an active healthy church looked like, what Spirit-led living really looks like, and I saw a better picture of doing missions locally wherever I am at and becoming more involved in the local church.”

Watts’ enthusiasm was apparent when he stated, “My life was radically changed from this trip.”

Watts is a double major in business administration and religion. Upon graduation he plans to attend seminary.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.