Five cars filled with 22 students traveling seven hours to the outskirts of Lubbock to perform a series of skits for the community and two local churches is no easy task.
But the Drama Ministries decided to hit the stage hard as they ventured to make an impact at First Baptist Brownfield and also at Trinity Baptist in Seminole April 9.
“I’ve been praying and wondering, ‘What is drama?’” freshman nursing major Ben Baecker said. “Seeing how people can be affected has made me realize drama isn’t just about portraying stories. It’s more of a worship (experience) and connecting with the audience.”
Drama Ministries was an inactive organization until last semester when a group of students felt led to act. Baecker believes performing can be a response to God’s love.
“We’re called to tell what we’ve been through in our lives and how we can relate to other people,” he said. “I’ve seen so much of his work, presence and grace, and I know that something is happening.”
The Brownfield community is home to sophomore international business major Kassidy Harris. It was Harris’ idea for the drama team to travel to northwest Texas.
“I was nervous to take 22 of my family members to meet the rest of my family,” he said, referring to his Crusader friends meeting his parents.“But it meant so much to my mom and dad and to my (friends.)”
However, getting there wasn’t easy. Students did a bake sale and a car wash to raise money for gas.
“The Lord provided in amazing ways through those efforts,” Baecker said.
The students faced more obstacles on the road — the trailer wouldn’t connect to the back of the truck so they unexpectedly had to take another vehicle, and the weather was stormy and dangerous. But the team stayed positive.
“Bad things happened because the devil knew God was going to do something big in Lubbock,” junior education major Kathryn Groseclose said. “I believe God didn’t place us there to perform but to minister to the people there.”
The team performed a variety of interpretive performances including Max Lucado’s “You Are Special,” Casting Crown’s “Slow Fade” and Natalie Grant’s “Perfect People.” The students also gave cardboard testimonies.
“It is a silent portrayal of how Jesus Christ chisels away parts of us to reveal more of himself in us,” Baecker said. “The message we hope people got is that we are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, but God still forgives us and loves us.”
When not on stage, the group spent time cultivating relationships with the youth and the elderly in the community, striving to communicate a message of love.
“We are all family,” Baecker said. “We should all be there for each other and look at what can come out of it for God’s glory. Some people were led to pray with girls and comfort the people in the crowd. It brought us all together.”
He recalled a special moment.
“There was a sophomore in high school that caught my eye so I walked
over to (him). The second I got there I embraced him and gave him a hug and asked him if he wanted to pray. In that moment, he broke down,” Baecker said. “I didn’t know what I was doing, but God knew he needed (prayer) right
then. The (young man) said ‘Last night I prayed that God would show me a
school to go to; now I know.’”
Baecker said it was an encouraging experience.
“It’s amazing the proof of God that’s out there, we didn’t do anything; it’s all
been from God and from his words. All we did was set the atmosphere and then let God do the true acting.”
Now back in Belton, the team hopes to make an impact on campus too.
“We want to become empty vessels for God to fill and then use,” Baecker
said. “Sometimes you have to get out of the motions to see his presence, but
he’s everywhere. We want to make an impact here at UMHB, too.”
The students believe drama is a ministry and are looking forward to future ways of service.
Harris said, “We want to make sure people know we’re here to glorify God.
Watching plays is an effective visual way to communicate a message and
open people’s eyes to what the Lord is doing.”