By Joy Moton | Staff Writer
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Baylor Global Missions will host a chocolate tasting event at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in the Bobo Spiritual Life Center to educate students about the benefits of fair trade.
The goal of the event is to expose students to the realities of the exploitation involved in the chocolate industry while also presenting simplistic ways to make changes, said Holly Tate, assistant director for Global Missions.
“Free trade is a way of monitoring how these goods are produced and making sure people are paid properly and making sure that the people who are producing these goods are being taken care of in a way that we would think of as moral and appropriate,” said Duval, Wash. senior Molly Hammontree, who is involved in Baylor Missions.
Tate said the event will have various tables with each one featuring a different kind of chocolate and a distinctive educational focus. One station will introduce participants to what the fair trade industry is. Another station will talk about how child labor impacts the chocolate industry. The final table will end with a prayer station where students will be able to write out their thoughts about what they learned or how they want to move forward.
“We’re hoping that each student who comes will get a good sampling of all different types of chocolate flavors and also be introduced to some new brands,” Tate said.
Tate partnered with John Hewitt, ministry associate for Global Missions, to create this event because of their similar passions for fair treatment of people who produce the goods they consume.
“We want students to be intentional about thinking that there are little changes that they can make in their lifestyle that can have a really big impact in the world,” Tate said.
Hewitt said he hopes this event will inspire people who are not involved in ministry or religious majors to see how they can participate in missions from where they are.
“The driving purpose of Baylor Missions is to show students how they can be effective for change in the world through their specific disciplines and passions and skills,” Hewitt said.
Even though mission trips are typically taken outside of the country, Hewitt wants students to understand that the work should not stop once they return to the United States. The danger of thinking about the issues that affect other countries as separate from the U.S. is that Americans will fail to see those same problems affect the U.S., Hewitt said. He said Christians have to think of ways to enter into world issues,
“God cared for the whole world, not just for the U.S.,” Hewitt said. “I think when we have that global perspective, it helps us see ourselves and how we can be effective for change.”
The deadline to RSVP for the event is today. http://www.baylor.edu/missions/index.php?id=940088