JACKSON, Tenn. – Nov. 21, 2007 – Andy Pettigrew, director of Campus Ministries at Union University, and his wife Laura were commissioned by the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board Nov. 7 to serve as career missionaries in Botswana, Africa.
The Pettigrews were among 82 other people who were commissioned in a service in Springfield, Ill.
“My life story has never really been a matter of if, but when,” Andy said about his interest in missions. “God called me to missions at a young age, and I’ve been watching his hand in my life as he’s taken me various places.”
While in Botswana, the Pettigrews will be working with university students, partnering with local churches, planting churches, training student leaders and providing HIV/AIDS education.
“We’re primarily working with university students,” Andy said. “We are going to go to proclaim a message of hope to people in Botswana by ultimately pointing them to the gospel of Christ.”
In 2005, Andy took a group of Union students on a Global Opportunities trip to Botswana. In 2007, he said he was able to go again with his wife and another group of students on a GO trip.
“The first time I went to Botswana, I thought God was saying ‘I want you to work here,’” Andy said. “So, I started praying through that.”
The Pettigrews are going as career missionaries with the goal of planting their lives among the people and proclaiming the gospel among them.
Before coming to Union in 2004 to be director of Campus Ministries, Andy and Laura worked as semester missionaries for the North American Mission Board with students at the University of Washington.
“Being out of the Bible Belt and working in Seattle with 40,000 college students was a great experience for us,” Laura said. “It also reaffirmed God’s call in our lives that he eventually wanted us to go overseas.”
Andy said he is thankful for all the encouragement, prayers and support from people at Union, and that his time working at Union has allowed him to be incredibly blessed.
“I desire to be a blessing to others,” Andy said. “I can’t wait to take what God has taught me here and apply it to life in Botswana.”
Laura said she is also thankful for Union, because it has been great to have support from everyone at the university, as well as from Cornerstone Community Church — where the Pettigrews are members.
The Pettigrews will go to Richmond, Va., for training from Feb. 3- April 3. Shortly thereafter, they will head to Botswana.
They have two children — Lili, 4, and Elliot, 1.
“Cross cultural experiences give you the idea that the world is different and so diverse,” Laura said. “But, at the same time, the common denominator is that we all need Christ. Everyone, no matter what their culture or life circumstance, is in need of the gospel.”
By Sarah McBroom (’09)