Kristi Hofferber speaks out against abortion in all forms
Jan29

Kristi Hofferber speaks out against abortion in all forms

By Sarah Norrell Sobs were heard as Kristi Hofferber and a woman hugged and prayed together. Hofferber had just finished giving her testimony in Wednesday’s chapel service. Her unique story afforded students the chance to experience hope, even when dealing with horrendous circumstances. “God is here today,”  Dr. George Loutherback said. “He’s right over there,” he added, pointing at Hofferber, who was visiting with students. As a child born from rape and incest, Hofferber has spent her whole life dealing with her adoption. Now, she shares the story with audiences across the nation hoping to reach other adoptees or anyone considering abortion. “Each adoptee experience is something different,” Hofferber began. “I’m not going to be defined by my DNA. Yes, it’s there, but I know I’m God’s child; God called me to life. God is my creator, and He ordained me to life.” Hofferber always knew she was adopted. Despite her parents’ consistent offers, she never wanted to know about her biological parents. But that changed while on her way to New Orleans for a mission trip five years ago when a traveling companion mentioned having an abortion. Hofferber went to her parents, who explained what they knew: her biological mother had been raped by her father, Hofferber’s biological grandfather, when she was 16 years old. When her mother was 15, she miscarried, then Hofferber was conceived, born and put up for adoption. Following Hofferber, her mother was forced by her father to terminate four more pregnancies by abortion. Hofferber knew she needed to try to find her mother and fill the void in her life to begin to heal. With only a name, she spent two days searching through social media before finding her mother and contacting her. Hofferber found her biological mother and half sister, who was expecting a son. At the request of her mother, she went to visit for a weekend. “Here I am driving two states away to meet her for the very first time, and I can tell you that was a weekend I’ll never forget,” Hofferber said. “We shared a lot that weekend, a lot of emotions. It, of course, wasn’t easy for her because of the situation, but it wasn’t easy for me either.” With difficulty, her mother began to explain the circumstances surrounding Hofferber’s birth, but she was stopped. “I just looked at her and said ‘I already have an idea, and I love you. It doesn’t change anything for me,’” Hofferber said. Since then, she has continued a relationship with her mother. “Her testimony was really touching, and I felt moved by her courage to travel around and share...

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Hot coffee, cool vibe welcome students
Jan29

Hot coffee, cool vibe welcome students

Heads up, caffeine lovers, there’s a new coffee shop in town. Part of the college experience is finding a trendy local business to go study or hang out. Enter Arusha’s Coffee, the latest hot spot in Belton. Named for a coffee-growing city in Tanzania, the java joint boasts more than 100 different types of tea and dozens of other drinks. The latest project of owner Hatem Chouchane, Arusha’s opened in December. Before venturing into the coffee business, Chouchane was based in Harker Heights. As the story goes, he was running errands through Belton and saw a “For Sale” sign in an old building downtown. An idea began to brew. He quickly called up his friend and manager, Ernst Jacques. “He called me and said, ‘Hey, Jacques, we’re going to do something special, something new,’” Jacques said. A month later, Chouchane and Jacques were moving into Arusha’s. The shop has been gaining ground ever since. Junior education major Zach Martin first heard about the place from a friend and has since become a fan. “I think the overall atmosphere is a lot calmer than other places I’ve found around Belton,” he said. “It’s good to see that since they just opened…they’ve been getting so much business from people.” Martin is not the only student who enjoys Arusha’s ambience. Senior criminal justice major Taylor Holleyman found the spacious venue perfect for studying and hanging out with friends. “They have things to do like pool and dart boards,” he said. Sophomore public relations major Jennifer Wassell likes that the business stays open until 10 p.m., an aspect other places around town don’t have. The hours provide plenty of time for students to stop by between classes and into the evenings. In the future, Arusha’s hopes to expand the menu to include more food and to start hosting live music and karaoke nights. Chouchane also plans to accept CruCards soon, a feature which excites students. Barely two months since opening its doors, the coffee shop has plenty of loyal customers. “We already have a lot of people coming in and out,” Jacques said. “I’ve met a couple people who want to try all the teas, which is over a hundred different flavors.” For those who want to take the taste of Arusha’s home with them, the store sells coffee beans, giving visitors incentive to try each roast. The staff’s passion for people and coffee is a key ingredient to Arusha’s instant success. “One of the things that sets this place apart from other places is that (the owners) do take the time to talk to you,” Martin said. “The fact that it’s (them)...

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2012 Year in Review

Unfortunately for the Mayans and anyone with a bunker full of unneeded food, we’re still alive. 2012 didn’t end in tsunamis and earthquakes, but many changes did rock UMHB over the course of the year. The lengthy list of construction for the campus master plan received quite a few check marks. Groundbreaking for the $50 million football stadium and student union building became a historic event for the university. “By itself, the new state-of-the-art student union building would transform the student life experience on campus,” President Dr. Randy O’Rear said. “However, its unique design in tandem with and overlooking the new home for Crusader football will redefine our campus community.” The structure will include a dining hall, grill, sports hall, Starbucks, Chick-fi l-A and all of the other services the SUB now offers. Looking ahead at the new year, the development of this building, thanks to a record donation by the Drayton McLane family, will greatly impact the school. The Rec Plex relocated, providing students with more recreation opportunities, fields and courts. Also joining the list is the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts, which provides students with more work space and tools to encourage Cru artistry. Cummins Field House opened, which will help in the process of recruiting athletes when the stadium reaches completion. Another historic moment occurred at the birthplace of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The ownership of Old Baylor Park in Independence, Texas, was returned to UMHB and Baylor University. Now the schools plan on refurbishing the historic site as a reminder of where both universities began. Along with new building additions, the university also hosted a variety of speakers last year, from David Murphy of the Texas Rangers to Kimberly Spradlin, winner of Survivor: One World, inspirational speaker Jinny Henson and more. They sought to inspire change in students with their personal testimonies. Henson motivated a first at UMHB — Maggie Lee for Good Day, where each person was encouraged to do one good deed. Murphy summed up the messages of these leaders of faith. He said, “You don’t have to be the most well educated, well spoken person to talk about Jesus and tell people about Jesus. You just have to have the right heart and be willing to do the work that God wants you to do.” Students and administration improved policy and processes as well. The Student Government Association made progress on a bill to ease the transition into college for non-traditional students. Changes in the housing process made applying for residency much easier for students and will make things faster and simpler for the Residence Life staff. Welcome Week leaders participated in a...

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#LiDarraling
Jan08

#LiDarraling

With a name patterned after that of Tim Tebow’s signature bowing pose, a social media craze called “LiDarraling” has taken the campus by storm. It all started when senior Cru quarterback and exercise sport science major LiDarral Bailey made a daring pass that attracted national attention. Coverage of the play was shown on ESPN, sending a pulse of pure purple pride pumping through Crusaders’ hearts. “The fact that it made ESPN’s top ten plays was something to be grateful for, and I will never forget that moment,” Bailey said. The catalyst that launched the “LiDarraling” phenomenon was a delirious night in a campus apartment. Computer graphic design major Lauren Theodore was present and looked over to see her friend balancing himself with a foot pointed backward and an arm extended upward, saying, “Look! I’m ‘LiDarraling’!” They went outside to take photos in the same position. The pair had no way of foreseeing the cyber blaze they were about to ignite. “I posted the picture, not aware that within the next day it would blow up into a social trend,” Theodore said. As soon as the first pictures were uploaded, the new pose became all the rage among students, staff and faculty alike. Theodore said, “UMHB staff probably contributed half of the pictures. I love how it unified students and staff.” She said President Dr. Randy O’Rear participated as well. Assistant Director of Campus Activities Jeff Sutton made it his goal to “out-LiDarral” everyone who had joined the frenzy before him. He struck the pose holding his infant baby boy. “When I saw the things that people were ‘LiDarraling’, I wanted to think of how I could one-up them,” he said. “I thought it would be really funny to “LiDarral’ my son. He didn’t mind too much, and we were really safe about it.” The fad even enraptured local TV personalities and served as encouragement for the Cru athletes. “The KWTX news anchors posted a picture on Twitter of them ‘LiDarraling’ on the set,” Theodore said. “Of course I took as many pictures of people ‘LiDarraling’ as I could to let the football team know we support them all the way.” From the start, Theodore saw the trend as a way to help her classmates release anxiety and have some fun during a tense time for everyone on campus. She said, “I took the first picture and saw that it was not only getting everyone hyped for the upcoming semi-final game, but also providing comic relief for the stress of finals week.” Theodore enjoyed the rush of school spirit that swept the campus and took the country by surprise. “I...

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Students give more than presents during Christmas break
Jan08

Students give more than presents during Christmas break

Having a parentless child cling to her side, calling her “mama,” may have elicited some tears from senior public relations major Bailey Starnes, but it also made her third trip to Moldova well worth it. She has spent part of her Christmas break each yearsharing Christ with orphans and putting a warm pair of boots on each of their feet. When Starnes originally sought out missions opportunities three years ago, she intended to go to Haiti. After a lot of prayer, she instead found herself in the Eastern European country, far from where she thought she’d end up, and she has returned ever since. “I keep going back because I can never stop thinking about the ministry I’ve been a part of there. Mostly, for three years, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the sweet orphans in Moldova,” she said. Starnes and her team visited several orphanages a day, placing shoes on each of their feet. They would then gather everyone together, where a translator would help them tell the children about God’s love for them. She said that not only is the Boot Mission important for providing a physical need for the kids, but it also “shows the orphans of Moldova that someone cares about them, and, further, that there is hope found in the Lord.” Freshman education major Kevin Orr traveled alongside Starnes for the first time this Christmas break.Before looking at the list of places to serve through GoNow Missions, he had never heard of the country, but soon started seeing things about it everywhere. “I then began getting a passion for Moldova, and it was the only place I could see myself going,” Orr said. At each orphanage the team visited, children gathered to hear about Christ and were asked to pray silently to receive him in their hearts. “At the first few, I wondered if they even understood with the language barrier and doubted that many kids even became believers,” Orr said. However, at one orphanage, the speaker forgot to say to pray silently, and he heard the sound of small voices echoing the translator as they prayed the prayer of salvation. “It showed the power God has to bring people to Him even with the language barrier,” Orr said. Far from the freezing temperatures of Moldova, senior nursing major Ben Baecker served during the break in Beira, Mozambique. Friends of his returned from Beira after starting the nonprofit Little Changes International, and they urged Baecker to go. During his time there, he did a multitude of tasks, such as working in an OB clinic, visiting orphanages, shadowing a doctor and hanging...

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Men’s basketball enjoys wins during holidays
Jan08

Men’s basketball enjoys wins during holidays

The fall semester has come and gone, and students are returning to campus ready to start the spring semester after a nice long break in December. However, while most students were enjoying the break, the Cru basketball teams continued their seasons, and the men went undefeated during the month of December. The team maintained an eight-game win streak, which gave an 8-2 record at the end of the month. Although asking these students to commit so much of their time over the Christmas holidays may seem challenging, men’s basketball answered that call big time. “Basketball student-athletes is the only group that the sport spans the two (spring and fall) long academic semesters,” men’s basketball Head Coach Ken DeWeese said. “They are on campus practicing, playing or traveling to play through Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It’s just the way it is. Some athletes and some teams handle it better than others.” Their season also has an extended amount of time in both semesters, making staying for the break between an even greater show of dedication by these student athletes. “It is hard playing through both semesters because you have to fi nd time in order to do school work and get through practices,” senior computer information systems major Brian Todd said. “You’re also missing class for road games during both semesters instead of just one.” Having such a long season and always playing well is quite a challenge, but it is one that these student athletes tackle every year. Keeping their goals in sight is a key to their motivation during holiday play. “Staying focused is what keeps us able to maintain a high level of play,” Todd said. “Game day is game day. The focus on that day is to get prepared to do what we have to do to win.” The Cru played stellar basketball through the holiday season despite only having a small break for Christmas. DeWeese said that good practices with a good learning environment helped the Cru maintain a high level during the semester break. “It’s pretty challenging playing through December because everyone is at home on Christmas break, but we are still playing,” junior business management major James Allen said. “Coach just keeps us focused during practice and games.” The eight-game win streak began before players had their abbreviated Christmas holiday, so when they returned to the season, maintaining that momentum was no easy task. “This year coming back from that break, we had one of our best practices,” Todd said. “I believe everyone enjoyed their break but also realized what we had to do and where we left off when we came back...

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