A long time contributor to ACU’s missions mindset, the Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service is continuing to expand with it’s newest program.
Just one year after fielding nine short-term trips in the program’s inaugural year, the Halbert Center has put together 16 Global Service Trips, which will include 200 students, faculty and staff.
Dodd Roberts of the Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service said one of the reasons for more interest in these trips are the new opportunities academic departments now have.
“We have been working with academic departments to come alongside [those] that want to have mission-related experiences in their department,” Roberts said. “A lot of these new trips are academic departments that are going to use their educational area of interest in a missions context.”
This summer those trips will include the education department visiting Honduras, the Marriage and Family Therapy program going to Canada and the engineering department traveling to Honduras, where it will be putting in new latrines it designed.
These Global Service Trips will also include other groups traveling to places like Ghana, Southeast Asia, Guatemala, China, Japan and South Korea. Roberts also said they have begun a partnership with the College of Business Administration that will allow students to take part in a missions minded study abroad.
“We just want to come alongside and partner with academic departments,” Roberts said. “We would just hope that it grows and expands, and we think it potentially builds programs that aren’t available a lot of other places.”
The women of GATA will also be taking the first social club Global Service mission trip to Honduras this summer.
The Halbert Center continues to offer long-term opportunities as well through Worldwide Witness and the Global Apprenticeship Program.
Sam Jones, senior vocational missions major from Denver, Colorado traveled to Peru with Worldwide Witness after his sophomore year. Jones said he hopes the Halbert Center will continue to become more involved with other majors on campus.
“I know in the past, the Halbert Institute has kind of been like a Bible major thing,” Jones said. “But I think we’re kind of on a path right now, especially in the last few years where the Halbert Institute will kind of be apart of every college on campus.”
Jones said he believes these trips could help engage the whole campus community.
“Basically, the entire ACU community using their gifts, whatever they’re good at, their majors stuff like that through the Halbert Institute, for missions service and the world,” Jones said. “I think that’s where we’re going and it’s really exciting.”
Natalie Jackson, sophomore communications major with a missions minor from Gonzales said her experiences with Worldwide Witness in South Africa last summer were life-changing. She said it was her heart for missions that sparked her own involvement with the Halbert Center, and believes these shorter length trips will allow others from different majors to do the same.
“I think short term missions allows others to unplug, be challenged, and experience our God on a whole new level and continue that growth when they get back to campus,” Jackson said. “Missions isn’t a change of location, it’s a change of heart and I believe the Lord uses short term missions to do it. ”
Jackson will also lead a Worldwide Witness trip back to South Africa this summer.
Worldwide Witness started in 2002 as the flagship student program in ACU missions and has helped more than 1,000 participants serve in various parts of the world.
The Halbert Center’s Global Service and Worldwide Witness trips will send more than 250 students, faculty and staff to more than 20 different locations on 37 trips this summer.