Baylor chapel helps change the world in a day

Annually, Baylor Spiritual Life holds "Change the World in Day" during weekly chapel. Each year, the spiritual life team decides which charity they want students to donate to. This year they picked Casas Por Cristo, which builds homes for people in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of Baylor Spiritual Life.

By Alexandra Donnel | Reporter

“Change the world in a day” is an annual chapel tradition in which Baylor students donate money to a charity chosen by Baylor. Joslyn Henderson, the ministry associate of worship opened Monday’s chapel by explaining the tradition which began in 2014.

“Each spring the worship staff choses a charity that is close to the heart of the Baylor and its students. During the special chapel service, like today, a representative from the charity speaks to the students about the work they are doing to change the world in the name of Christ,” Henderson said.

Last year, Baylor’s spring chapel raised $10,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief. This year, the chosen charity is Casas Por Cristo, an organization that works to build houses for families in need in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Monday chapel’s goal was to reach $10,000 for building a home in the Dominican Republic. The donations will be used for a Spring Break project in which a group of 25 students from Baylor’s First in Line program will work with Casas Por Cristo to build a house for a family in four days.

The organization started building houses in 1993 along the United States-Mexico border and has provided 5,000 families with homes since. Donnie Stubblefield, a youth pastor and a recruiter for Casas Por Cristo, came to Baylor Chapel to speak to students about the ministry. Stubblefield visits colleges and churches to recruit teams for the organization’s mission trips.

Stubblefield and his daughter worked for Casa Por Cristo in 1997 with a team of 30 people. When they arrived in Mexico, the group saw people living in houses made of wooden boards, cardboard, tarp and occasionally, metal. Stubblefield said they built relationships with the family they were providing a house for, and they only had three and a half days to complete the home.

Stubblefield recounted the story of a woman he met while building in Guatemala. The group went to a dump facility they passed by often and handed out around 120 gift bags to families with food, water and supplies. When he was there, he took notice of a young woman. He asked the interpreter to help him talk to her and asked how long she had been out there. The young woman answered, saying she had been at the dump for 12 years. She started there when she was 14, after her parents decided they could not afford to take care of her. They walked her to the dump and left her behind. This young woman’s tragic story affected him and is one of the reasons he recruits.

“We can make a differences. We are going to change the world in a day here with a love offering, guys you can change lives for eternity,” Stubblefield said.

Donations or information on mission trips can be found on Casas Por Cristo’s website.