By Sarah Wang | Reporter
For the past two years, Baylor Global Missions’ operations were suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions with international travel. With restrictions being lifted, its trips will relaunch, providing services around the globe.
Baylor Global Missions is a program that gives students, faculty and staff a chance to incorporate their faith into service, providing more than 40 discipline-specific mission trip opportunities to serve in more than 20 locations across the country and around the world.
Codie Robinson, project coordinator for missions with Baylor Missions and Public Life, said the last two years were especially challenging for the program because of the need to be very cautious to protect students from COVID-19.
“We’re still in the process of rebuilding and slowly rolling out more programs,” Robinson said.
Robinson said global politics is also something coordinators keep in mind when planning international trips. She said they always do safety and security checks to make sure they are sending students to safe places.
“If there are political tensions that pose a threat or risk of getting worse or deteriorating, we keep that in mind,” Robinson said. “We wouldn’t send students into anywhere that would potentially be harmful.”
Mission trip locations are decided through a proposal process by Baylor Global Missions and the student organizations and departments it works with. Robinson said they look into local partners to make sure they are doing work that is suitable for students and that impacts the community in a positive way.
Although there are no restrictions on majors or faith and anyone is welcome to apply, the core of the mission trips is faith-based service. Baylor Global Missions serves as a conduit to educate students for worldwide leadership and service, according to Rebecca Kennedy, assistant dean of spiritual life and department head for Baylor Missions and Public Life.
“We’re called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the imprisoned,” Kennedy said. “And we’re called to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. [Baylor Global Missions] is a way for us to share God’s love to the world by meeting immediate needs … whether there’s clean water, or to be an advocate for social justice or to provide education and training.”
Right now, there are only a handful of trips that still have spots open for May and the summer.
Robinson said students who are interested in going on a mission trip in May or over the summer can email email@example.com, and Baylor Global Missions will see if it can place them on one of the teams that has open spots.
“If this summer or May is just not the right time, I definitely suggest being on the lookout for something in the fall,” Robinson said. “We’ll announce all of our new trips again. We’ll find a way to have them.”
According to Kennedy, Baylor Global Missions has donors who have given funds that can cover some of the costs for students, allowing them to participate without paying — at least for local and domestic opportunities.
“We’re excited to launch more local and domestic opportunities for students to get involved,” Kennedy said. “For example, we’re going tomorrow to Jacksboro, Texas, where a tornado hit, and we’ll be taking some students on a day trip to help serve [the city].”
Apart from doing service and practicing faith, Robinson said she believes Baylor Global Missions enables students to learn about different cultures and different people, along with allowing them to meet some of their Baylor peers. Students usually form deep bonds and relationships on the trip, according to Robinson.
“They get to learn so much about themselves [on these trips],” Robinson said.