By Mariah Bennett | Staff Writer
Missions Week kicked off with a Go Global Missions Fair on Monday at Vara Martin Daniel Plaza, with 25 organizations providing information to students on missions and service opportunities.
Baylor’s Missions and Public Life will be hosting Missions Week events, providing five days of missions education and diverse service opportunities for students. This year’s schedule includes two new events on Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday features the Love Local Fest highlighting local causes, nonprofits and businesses. The closing event is the Power Hour Simulation, held from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Friday at Bobo Spiritual Life Center.
According to Dominique McShan — assistant director for marketing, communication and events at Missions and Public Life and the spearhead coordinator for this year’s Missions Week — there are an estimated 2,500 students who will be participating throughout the week.
McShan said the goal of Missions Week is to make Baylor’s Mission Statement a reality, specifically regarding student preparation with “worldwide leadership and service.”
“Ideally, we would love for it to also increase students’ faith, leverage what they’re learning in the classroom and their vocation,” McShan said.
This worldwide preparation includes both local and global service opportunities. McShan said there will be 35 participating organizations throughout the week.
Following the kickoff, Missions Fair’s lineup continues with Brunch and Learn, Dr Pepper Hour, Love Local Fest, a Global Missions Informational Meeting and Power Hour Simulation.
The Brunch and Learn will be a free brunch from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday in the Bobo Spiritual Life Center. McShan said it is meant for students to delve deeper into the reality of participating in missions and service. Later in the day, a special Dr Pepper Hour will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Barfield Drawing Room at the Bill Daniel Student Center. It is a collaboration with both the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Baylor and Beyond Living-Learning Center. It will have a Kahoot and prizes and will focus on languages.
The Love Local Fest will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the Vara Martin Daniel Plaza. McShan said the event was created in order to highlight Waco causes and organizations; its ultimate vision is to increase student education and engagement with the Waco community.
Pacey Ham — a graduate apprentice for outreach and engagement at Missions and Public Life — said the Love Local Fest will have food trucks with free food vouchers for the first 50 students. The food trucks include Waco Cha, Kona Ice of Waco, Pop’s Lemonade Company and FoodBox Waco.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap between school and the community a little bit more,” Ham said.
The Global Missions Informational Meeting will be from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Thursday at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center. It will provide information on global missions teams and travel updates. Finally, the Power Hour Simulation will be from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Friday at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center and will include free lunch for its participants.
McShan said that in general, Missions Week has been celebrated for at least five years. It began solely as a Missions Fair years before the concept shifted to a Missions Week. GoCorps — an organization that sends recent graduates overseas on missions for two years while using their degrees — has been involved with the event for the past five years.
“It’s missions for the non-mission majors,” Katie White, director of goer experience at GoCorps, said.
White said that during Missions Week, there is a diverse selection of service opportunities — including both short-term and long-term ones — for any type of student who wants to participate.
McShan said that in his time at Missions Week, which is open to all students, many of the interested students have been health science majors since a few of the missions are typically based around medical needs.
McShan said he is excited for the final event on Friday, as it is a more interactive activity, as opposed to the previous conversation-based ones. McShan said that overall, the events hosted during Missions Week are meant to encourage students to have a servant’s heart in whichever opportunities they choose to pursue, this week and beyond.
“The main goal of Missions Week is to raise awareness that there are opportunities to be on missions — locally and all over the world,” White said.