It ‘Came at Just the Right Time’: Scholarships Help Prepare Students to be a Light in the World

When Bethany Russell was a senior in high school, her church was planning a trip to Europe to work with refugees, and she knew she was supposed to go. What she didn’t know, though, was how all that money was going to come together. The first deposit for the trip was $400, and “it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot for a senior with a part-time job,” she said. And not only that—her car was falling apart.

“It would not work. The alarms were going off during school, and it would stop running in the middle of the road,” Bethany said. “I was trying to sell it for $300, and a man who had no clue about this trip said, ‘I want this car, but I’m going to give you $400 for it.’” That was just the beginning of how God paved the way for Bethany to follow her missions call.

The trip was a “life-changing experience,” and, as she kept walking forward in the call to missions God had placed in her heart, she felt called into nursing—but she had no idea how she was going to pay for school.

“God was telling me, ‘You’re going to be a missionary, but you’re going to be a nurse so you have access to lots of different people you couldn’t normally get to,’” said Bethany, who now attends Pine Grove Baptist Church in Jena, Louisiana.

“I thought, that sounds awesome, but how am I going to do that? I don’t have the money to go to nursing school for several years and buy the scrubs and the books. I just don’t know how I’m going to do that.”

Bethany Russell—now a senior at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana—has been the scholarship’s recipient all four years of her undergrad degree.

Bethany Russell—now a senior at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana—has been the scholarship’s recipient all four years of her undergrad degree.

But God began piecing together the means for her to go, and one of those was the Juliette Mather/Ethalee Hamric Scholarship from the WMU Foundation. Bethany—now a senior at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana—has been the scholarship’s recipient all four years of her undergrad degree.

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“It’s been a test of faith, and it’s been amazing because the scholarship always came at just the right time. God always provides.”

— Bethany Russell

Mason Magee (left) started volunteering alongside doctors at a local hospital because he thought he wanted to study medicine. What he found was that he was drawn to the business/administrative side of the work, and he decided to major in finance and…

Mason Magee (left) started volunteering alongside doctors at a local hospital because he thought he wanted to study medicine. What he found was that he was drawn to the business/administrative side of the work, and he decided to major in finance and entrepreneurship.

Mason Magee, a senior at Baylor University, said he feels the same way about the Mattie J.C. Russell Scholarship he’s received from national WMU all four years of college.

“It’s been very helpful,” said Mason, whose mother, Fondra Magee, is executive director of Utah/Idaho WMU.

He started school pre-med but, over time, felt God drawing him more into finance and entrepreneurship. “I realized I had a passion for business,” Mason explained. “There’s such a need for Christians in the secular marketplace. I want to be a light in that field.”

He said, for him, the business world is a giant mission field, and he wants to use his influence there to win people to Jesus.

“I think scholarships like this really help people like me who need help paying for tuition,” Mason said.

Visit wmufoundation.com/scholarships-available for more information about supporting scholarships to help more students like Bethany and Mason.

Written by Grace Thornton.

Zachariah Seanor

Director of Mission Advancement