Reaching the Unreached | Alumni Feature - Geneva College
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Reaching The Unreached

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Joseph (Alex) Beck, ’21 is a graduate of Geneva’s Bible Department with a Biblical Languages Degree and now works for an educational missions organization. His independent study at Geneva College focused on the Hebrew and Greek language and missionary work. Alex decided to pursue this degree after he read Nate Saint’s biography, “On a Wing and a Prayer,” in middle school. Nate Saint worked alongside Jim Elliot to minister to the Waodani tribe in Ecuador. Although Saint was killed by the tribe during his missionary efforts, his family forgave them and continued to make contact with the Waodani tribe.

This impactful biography showcasing God’s love and forgiveness inspired Alex to pursue missions work, specifically translating the Bible for unreached people groups.

“I wanted to go into Bible translation work in an area of the world where they do not have a written language developed yet.”

However, as Alex was taking his classes at Geneva, God changed the direction of his heart toward teaching. Alex had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in the Bible department and loved teaching others about the Bible and God’s salvation.

In 2019, Alex had his first encounter with the organization he now works for when he was given the opportunity to spend a summer in Jordan teaching English to students. They focus their work on the 10/40 window, the area between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude. This window can be referred to as “The Resistant Belt” because it included the majority of the world’s Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist population. When Alex was in Jordan, he did not openly preach the gospel in the classroom. Nevertheless, he was able to show God’s love to others and build relationships that have the power to change lives.

“I was hooked with their mission and vision to go into unreached and hard-to-access countries.”

Alex now works with them full time pursuing that mission and vision, and helping others join the organization.

Although Alex did not see himself in this role when he started his education at Geneva, God used his professors and courses to prepare him for his future. Specifically, Alex took Sustainable Missions taught by Doug Bradbury. This course taught what outreach looks like for impoverished nations. Some groups who go to poverty-stricken countries use practices to serve people that are harmful to them in the long run. Using books like “Serving with Eyes Wide Open” by David Livermore and “When Helping Hurts” by Brain Fikkert and Steve Corbett, this class looked at the best way to minister to people who have very specific needs. Not only did the Bible Department’s classes prepare Alex for his career but the relationships he built with professors were very impactful.

alex-beck-pic.jpeg“The general relationships that I built with professors were very encouraging and gave helpful discernment as I was considering looking for work after school. They helped guild me on the path that I ended up on.”

Although each Bible class was beneficial, the professors teaching the classes made them so much more effective. In fact, Alex first heard about the educational missions organization because the Bible professors invited them into their classrooms to talk about opportunities.

“My degree prepared me the most because it cultivated and fostered my desire to work in missions. The things I learned are very helpful, but I don’t use my linguistic or Greek knowledge directly when I am working in my every day life. I do use the guidance I received from professors who had my best interest and God’s Kingdom at heart.”

As Alex looks back on his time at Geneva in Bible Department, he is thankful for the preparedness that was given to him through his classes and relationships with his professors. His advice to anyone thinking about pursuing a degree from Geneva’s Bible Department is:

“Lean into the relationships that are available to you through those professors because that is where I see the most value in a class. You can learn about the Bible or choose to go to any Reformed Christian school, but the professors here have a heart to cultivate students’ lives.”

Feb 21, 2023

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