By Stori Long
Love where you live is the anthem of Spiritual Life Center’s Urban Missions.
The purpose of Urban Missions is to provide students a chance to engage the Waco Community through various ministries, such as inner-city kids clubs, after-school tutoring and hunger-relief.
Behind each of these ministries is a student leader.
“In Acts 1:8, Jesus says to the Christians that they will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the Earth,” Seattle senior Alyssa DeMoss, president of Ashton Oaks Kids Club, said. “For me, that means you start where you live. Witnessing means more than words, it’s actions and by going out to serve those kids, we are being witnesses.”
The passion of the student leaders for their ministries is a huge part of Urban Missions’ success, participants said.
“Student leaders are very a vital and integral part of our student ministries, as they are the leaders of the team,” Carole Meriwether, ministry associate for urban missions, said. “The leaders basically direct and lead each team. We hope this is an opportunity for service and for spiritual and personal formation.”
Every week, student leaders take a group of students to different sites where they minister to attendees.
The student leaders are in charge of coordinating events, fostering community in their own group and reporting back to the Spiritual Life Center.
Maria Aguirre, Cypress junior and leader of Emmanuel Tutoring, said this is one of her favorite parts of being a leader.
“I love being able to interact with the children, but I also love being there for my team and being a part of their lives, especially the freshmen,” Aguirre said.
The students do this on a volunteer basis; they receive no credit or pay.
“I started because I knew those kids needed me,” Aguirre said. “I wanted to be there and do these ministries that maybe no everyone else wanted to do because there isn’t immediate gratification, but that is not what missions is about.”
Aguirre said she encourages students interested in learning more about volunteering or serving as a student leader with urban missions.
“It really makes you a more wholesome person,” Aguirre said. “It gives you an opportunity to learn about the world outside of the Baylor Bubble and be open to learning about and from different types of people. It really helps give you a different perspective.”
Those interested in Spiritual Life Center’s Urban Mission ministries, can contact Carole_Meriwether@baylor.edu.