A $1 million donation from David and Amy Hunt is providing students in the Honors College with new opportunities to go on Christian mission trips abroad.
“The generous gift immediately provides the opportunity to offer financial support to students who are participating in Honors College mission trips,” said Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Honors College Dean. “In the long run, it will provide with the support we need to design a highly complex model of mission work for our students. A model that will embed mission activity within academic coursework and encourage extended reflection before, during and after the trips on the way mission activity can inform the lives and callings of our students, no matter what their career path.”
The fund will provide support for students participating in the annual summer study abroad program, Baylor in Greece, led by Dr. Douglas Henry associate professor of philosophy in the Great Texts program.
Henry said Baylor in Greece used to be a fairly conventional study abroad program, but this summer’s program will provide participating students with new opportunities to meet and serve with the Christians living in Greece.
“Through a service-learning track in select courses taken while in Greece, our students will encourage and learn from missionaries and relief workers,” Henry said. “They will bring key books of biblical interpretation and theology to students at Greek Bible College. They will feed hungry refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and other lands of destitution and war. They will attend local churches, praying with and for Greek believers and blessing them in Christ as Paul, Silas and Timothy did so many centuries ago.”
Douglas said 15 students will be participating in Baylor in Greece this summer. ten of them are honors students who will be receiving financial support from the David and Amy Hunt Christian Missions Endowed Fund.
The Woodlands sophomore Morgan Frey is one of these students.
“The only way that I am able to be a part of this trip is because of the funding that Baylor has so generously provided,” Frey said. “Through the Honors College Scholarship, the Glennis McCrary Goodrich Scholarship and then the David and Amy Hunt Christian Missions Endowed Fund, I have received the resources that I need to experience, learn and be changed by the world.”
Henry said he often reminds his honors students of the biblical dictum, “to whom much has been given, much more will be required.” He said if God has provided a good education at Baylor, that education should then help edify the church and share the gospel. Without proper funding, however, many students may have a hard time paying for such mission trips.
“Traveling abroad is cost-prohibitive for many Baylor students with a longing to share Christ’s love with others,” Henry said. “Because of Dave and Amy Hunt’s own love of Christ, many of our students will have opportunity in perpetuity to exercise a great stewardship over their lives and talents and to fulfill, more easily, a calling they have heard from God.”
Frey said she hopes to be transformed by the trip and to serve as an ambassador for Christ.
“I desire to learn what it means to long after the Lord wholeheartedly and remain faithful in the midst of persecution, like many of the believers during the writings of Paul,” Frey said. “Along with my personal growth, the Lord is bringing refugees to Greece and opening up opportunities for the world to take part in bringing the gospel to the marginalized and hurting.”
Frey also said she is excited to combine the serving aspects of Baylor in Greece with her academic learning.
“I am excited to grow deeper in my walk with the Lord, be equipped to engage the issues around us after learning from historical and Biblical texts and understand the call on my life in a clearer way,” Frey said.