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DBU Honors Community Partners for 2013
July 9, 2013 | by Kalie Lowrie
Dallas, TX – Dallas Baptist University presented awards to the First Baptist Church of West and Gospel for Muslims during the annual Community Partners Appreciation Luncheon on July 9. Both were recognized for their significant contributions to the service-learning program at DBU. First Baptist West was named the Co-Curricular Partner of the Year, and Gospel for Muslims was named Curricular Partner of the Year.
DBU has partnered with Gospel for Muslims for several years, providing students with a hands-on approach to apply the learning they have received from the classroom into current ministries. The mission of the organization, according to founders Drs. Abraham and Amie Sarker, DBU alumni, is to “help Muslims follow Christ through sustainable solutions.”
DBU has been fortunate enough to take students on several mission trips with Gospel for Muslims. Through these trips, biology students at DBU have tested soil for sustainability and provided guidance to Middle Eastern farmers on the best ways to produce good crops. Business students have also participated on trips to provide business and marketing plans to individuals in countries with high poverty rates to help them provide for their families. This partnership has provided service-learning experience for DBU students within their fields of study, all the while sharing the love of Christ with those they encounter.
Following the tragic fertilizer plant explosion in April in West, Texas, DBU desired to reach out and help those hurting in the town. After speaking with Phil Immicke, associate pastor and youth minister at FBC West, the spiritual life staff at DBU partnered with the church to provide a Disciple Now weekend for the youth from FBC West. A busload of 54 junior high and high school students traveled to the DBU campus for a weekend retreat of spiritual renewal, small group interaction, recreational games, and an outpouring of love from college students.
DBU recognized FBC West with this award as a way of showing the partnership the University has made with the church to help them recover from this devastation. Plans are underway to host a Disciple Now weekend for the youth again next year, and the DBU grounds crew is also traveling to West in the fall to help with the town’s clean-up efforts.
When receiving the award, Immicke shared, “it is hard to accept recognition when we are just doing what God has called us to do – love God and serve people.” He also expressed thanks for the DBU students that gave of their time to pour into the lives of the youth. His students still talk about the weekend and the impact that it had in strengthening their faith and helping them to look outside their own circumstances and find ways to reach out to others that were hurting.
Each academic program at DBU has a service-learning component that allows students to apply their learning in practical ways through the ministry partners represented at the luncheon.