BCM Student Missions Highlight: Clay Corley Maxes Out Summer Missions Capacity
Clay Corley went on his first mission trip in 2014. Corley didn’t know then, but God would use that initial trip to change his heart forever and set into motion a string of global gospel opportunities.
Corley, a junior business administration major from Calhoun, Louisiana will spend his last collegiate summer on three different mission fields. To many, that may seem like overkill. To Corley, it just makes sense:
“After my first mission trip to Honduras, God gave me this desire to reach the nations with the Gospel. It’s been a while now, and this desire just hasn’t gone away.”
Corley felt God’s leading and now knows that he is called to ministry in a missions capacity. He explains, “I’m called to reach people with the gospel. I don’t know where—what country or people group—but I know God will take me where he wants me.”
This year, God has taken Corley to multiple destinations, including New York City with the BCM, Honduras with his church, Cedar Crest Baptist Church, and in just a few weeks, to Alaska, also with his church.
Corley, who works in construction when not in school, was able to use his professional skills in his most recent Honduras trip. The team comprised a veterinary team, medical team and construction team that brought much-needed resources and tools to a remote village in Honduras.
Corley and his church partnered with a local organization called Honduras Outreach Incorporated (HOI) to provide services to the local village, San Lorenzo, as well as to spread the gospel message.
The village can be accessed only by a trail of dirt roads descending mountains before crossing a river. Because of its remote location, San Lorenzo doesn’t have access to many tools or resources, so HOI and its partnering missions teams work alongside the people to improve sanitation and get medical care for the people and livestock.
Corley’s construction team focused on building pillas and latrines. Pillas are water storage facilities that enable the village to keep a water supply nearby. While there does exist some plumbing in the village, it’s not in every household and isn’t always clean or reliable. Similarly, waste management in some areas consists simply of a hole in the ground. Corley’s team constructed cinderblock latrines to provide greater sanitation for the villagers.
“It was very hands-on, very hard stuff,” said Corley, “but you could just see the appreciation on their faces for the work we did with them. We gave them tools and worked alongside them to complete these projects.”
Corley said he values working with organizations like HOI, because he knows that by partnering with a local ministry, the work doesn’t end when he has to leave. “Even though we went home, these people can still rely on HOI.” The team also distributed 400 Spanish bibles, and Corley knows that long after his team’s work is done, the word of God will continue to impact the hearts of the people.
One of the highlights of the trip for Corley was being able to minister not only to the local villagers, but also to his own mission teammates. Midway through the trip, Corley was asked to lead the Lord’s Supper with his team. Corley explained how special it was to lead communion for the first time in his life and how important reflection and repentance are when you’re serving God in the mission field. “We used tortilla for the bread and bought some grape juice at the market. I encouraged our team to reflect on what 1 Corinthians 11 says about examining ourselves and repenting before taking the Lord’s Supper.”
Later this month, Corley will head back to the mission field, but this time he’ll remain stateside and visit Anchorage, Alaska. His team will partner with Graceworks to minister to children largely through outreach and activities in community parks.
While three missions trips in one summer is a feat not possible for most, Corley enthusiastically encourages Christians, especially college students, to take advantage of the many mission opportunities available through local churches and the BCM. Corley marvels that in all his travels, the thing that God has impressed on him the most is His steadfastness.
“Everywhere around the world, I’ve seen that God is the same. The same Spirit who lives in Christians in Bulgaria and Kenya is the same Spirit that lives and works in us in the United States.”
Corley offers a simple encouragement to those still hesitant to join in global missions:
“There’s nothing to be scared of. Just go.”