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Mississippi College

Mississippi College Students Share Testimonies

January 15, 2013

Caitlin Avery spent a month in the hospital after surviving an automobile accident on April 11, 2012 that impacted her brain and caused speech problems.

Today, the 20-year-old Mississippi College sophomore from Brentwood, Tennessee is fully recovered and gives all the credit to God.

“God has miraculously healed me,” Avery said. “My recovery had nothing to do with me. It was all God.”

Spending the first ten years of her life in Southern Africa as the daughter of missionary parents, Caitlin shared her testimony in early January when she addressed a meeting of Mississippi Baptist higher education leaders.

Caitlin spoke from the heart as she recalled her 30 days recovering at hospitals in Jackson, Miss. and Nashville, the valuable assistance of her speech therapist in subsequent months and the power of her faith. She told Mississippi College President Lee Royce and other members of the Education Commission that her extraordinary experience definitely changed her outlook on things.

“This was just another reminder to live life to the fullest,” Caitlin said. “I will no longer take life for granted.”

Seeking a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies with a special education concentration at the Baptist-affiliated university, Caitlin Avery also changed her walk with Jesus Christ. “God saved me. He deserved every bit of my life before, but I feel like He deserves it even more now.”

During the meeting at Alumni Hall on January 11, Education Commission leaders, including presidents at William Carey University and Blue Mountain College, also listened to the testimony of another MC student, senior Steven Oxner of Memphis.

Raised in a Baptist church and accepting Jesus Christ as his savior at age 7, Oxner grew up with only a few Christian friends in high school. Becoming a Mississippi College student, he said, “has given me the Christian mentors and friendships I have always wanted.”

The MC experience “has helped me develop my faith and strengthened my witness as I prepare for dental school,” Steven said.

Planning to attend the University of Tennessee Dental School, the biology major immersed himself in campus leadership roles the past couple of years.  He’s serving as president of MC’s Mortar Board chapter and in 2012 was chairman of the university’s Campus Activities Board. A team leader with the Baptist Student Union, and a telecounselor, Steven Oxner wants to continue to make a difference in future years as a dental missionary.

Photo: Caitlin Avery and Steven Oxner