Churches touch lives of Temple residents
Jan22

Churches touch lives of Temple residents

One thousand families ministered to, 725 families fed, 465 families clothed. The previous numbers are averages of families served each month by Churches Touching Lives for Christ (CTLC).   CTLC is a group of more than 30 churches that work to provide food, hygiene items, clothing and emergency assistance to people in need.   Since its inception in 1994, 14,000 different families have been served. CTLC operates in Temple, Texas, through the support of organizations and businesses in the community.   As an all-volunteer organization, CTLC depends on church groups and individuals to further its ministry.   On designated days, volunteers register clients, distribute food and clothing, and meet with clients to counsel and pray with them.   Their mission is to meet the needs of individuals in order to lead them to Christ. Executive Director Jim Hornsby is a volunteer who runs the organization as well as Feed My Sheep not far away.   CTLC aims to provide “an atmosphere of spiritual encouragement for those who some, regardless.”   The ministry gives Central Texans who qualify the basic necessities including but not limited to toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, a variety of food items, clothing, shoes and lunches for children for the weekend.   Their partnership does not stop with churches. Businesses and agencies in the community including Wal-Mart, Capital Area Food Bank, Holy Trinity Catholic High School and AARP are a few who either donate directly or help finance CTLC.   Tenille Smith is a client of Reaching Out Crisis Ministries, a ministry dedicated to “guiding and leading women that struggle with substance abuse problems and/or life-centered problems to victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   She and other women from Reaching Out volunteer at CTLC every Tuesday.   “It’s very beneficial for the community. Mr. Jim does a lot of work back there. I think we’ve helped close to 80 people so far today,” Smith said.   The Tuesday before the Thanksgiving holiday was busy with client’s getting their monthly food cart in time to prepare a meal.   Hundreds of turkeys were donated, which contributed to the large numbers of clients and a hectic day for volunteers.   Women from Reaching Out, teams from churches, and individuals and families helped fill the food sacks.   They grabbed from stacks of peanut butter jars, loaves of bread, canned goods, meat and non-perishables to fulfill client’s food vouchers.   Denise Doyle is a retired special education teacher and band director. She and her autistic and deaf son David volunteer once a week. Doyle says it’s a good opportunity for David to get out and interact. They have been...

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Junior social work major crowned new Miss MHB
Nov25

Junior social work major crowned new Miss MHB

As a campus that prides itself on unique traditions full of history and meaning, UMHB is home to the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant, a competition that searches for beauty in its contestants. Not outward beauty, but inward beauty.   The winner of the Nov. 9 event was junior social major Zasmyne Robinson.   She exudes pride and passion for her school saying, “What I have found through involvement here on campus and throughout my entire experience here at UMHB that will shape my life forever has been a community that I honestly could not imagine living without.”   Although Robinson had been aware of the tradition, she never suspected that one day she would be Miss MHB.   “I’ve attended pageant every year since I’ve been here at UMHB, and I have always wondered what it’s like to actually be a part of it, but I never knew if I had what it takes,” she said.   Through the campus activities she’s participated in, which include Freedom Movement, Ministry Leadership Council and Revival, Robinson believes she’s grown spiritually.   “As I’ve experienced hardships here, I’ve always been directed back to Christ through chapel, staff, students, etc. I have learned how important it is to surround yourself with people who want the best for you. I have been beyond encouraged by this campus and the faculty,” Robinson said.   She also credits a certainty about her future that many in her stage in life don’t possess to this spiritual growth.   “I feel confident about starting my career once I leave UMHB, because I truly feel as if I’ve benefited from such a Christ-centered education.”   It’s this same reliance on her faith that remained with Robinson when she was announced as the winner.   “I was completely shocked and overwhelmed with emotion when I heard my name called to be the new Miss MHB,” she said. “I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. After all, I went through this experience with 25 other equally deserving girls. I also couldn’t help but marvel at how far God has brought me; from a young child being so insecure about who I was and what I had to offer, to this moment where I found myself center stage.”   First Runner-Up senior public relations major Payton Pierce is also grateful for growth she’s experienced during her years on campus.   Her participation in Student Foundation and the Welcome Week Steering Committee have allowed her to hone her leadership skills.   She was excited and grateful to have been able to represent her peers in the pageant.   “I became involved...

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Independence Village rolls out red carpet
Nov25

Independence Village rolls out red carpet

Lights. Camera. Action. There were men in tuxedos, women in dresses and even a red carpet at the first ever Independence Village Video Awards. A variety of free candy, drinks and an endless supply of popcorn filled the McLane Great Hall in Bawcom in preparation for the entertaining videos.   Nov. 13, the I.V.V. Awards show began at 7 p.m., emceed by Independence Village RA’s Nathan Forester and Lindsay Harrell.   Forester enjoyed being a part of the unique night.   “My favorite part about being an emcee was the great opportunity to showcase the hard work of the many talented individuals of UMHB,” he said.   The show kicked off with previews for upcoming feature films such as Avengers: Age of Ulton, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Mockingjay and more. Viewers were also treated to a brief video highlighting some of the projects of the I.V.V. Awards sponsor group, Astra Club.   Astra is a do-it-all student organization. They’ve done anything and everything from picking up trash around Lake Belton to serving food at a soup kitchen. They’re involvement earned them the UMHB student organizations Community Service Award. At the event, they had a table set up where they were accepting donations.   Next, attendees were able to watch all 10 videos that had been submitted for the contest. The subject matter in the videos ranged from a comedic look at the life of a nursing major, to interviews with the “twelve disciples,” to even the bathroom habits of sloths.   After all the videos were shown, there was a brief intermission. During this time, students were able to vote on which video was their favorite. This vote eventually decided who won the top prize. The judges, RD’s Chris Green, Colleen Mitchel and Traci Squarcette, were responsible for selecting the various other awards.   The best actress award went to Rachel Lewis for her role as sloth expert in Sloth Potty Training. She delivered absurdly funny lines about sloths’ bathroom habits with a seriousness which was surely hard to maintain with Leah White (best supporting actress) next to her, pretending to be a sloth.   The best actor award went to Alex Lanoux for his serious portrayal of a man who lost an election in Black Infinity. This video also won the most dramatic award and the drama began and ended with Lanoux’s superb work at inhabiting his character.   The best director award went to Justin Minchew for Black Infinity. This video clearly had the most professional look to it, which probably had a lot to do with the directing.   Minchew and his friends created the movie...

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Student takes gospel to India
Nov25

Student takes gospel to India

 After May graduation, some Crusaders will be off to work or to pursue a master’s degree. Others will be taking off for India.   A team of students led by Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann will embark on a two-week mission trip. It is the first time a group from the university will spread the gospel in India. Students will be working with Supreme King Ministries to put on a Bible camp for their orphanage and local children. Wurdemann said that the team will also have the opportunity to meet and minister to students from their university. If time allows, they plan on starting a building project for the orphanage.   When pursuing her graduate degree, Wurdemann led mission trips to Vietnam and Mexico.   “Because of those trips, I am aware of the growth that happens to an individual when they are exposed to the global culture as well as the bond that happens with a team when you experience it all together,” she said.   Senior education major Maegan Loya went on a trip to India last year from May 18 to June 8. She and her fellow travelers visited Pune, Srinagar, New Delhi and Calcutta. They went to be exposed to India and see what it would be like to live and secretly minister.   “They are a part of one of the biggest unreached people group of the world, and they are most desperately in need of the word,” Loya said. “After being exposed to it from our trip… they don’t have access to the word until we physically take it there.”   Loya advises the students heading to India in May to be ready for a life changing trip. She says to prepare your eyes for what God will show you and have a humble heart to things He will teach you.   Wurdemann acknowledges that there will be cultural barriers to their ministry – language and time schedules.   “I know we will need to have patience and trust to know that God will design our schedule as well as work through language barriers to preach the gospel He wants shared.,” she said. “We have to be reminded that we are just vessels for God’s...

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Ebola: Global concerns spur Texas response
Nov07

Ebola: Global concerns spur Texas response

Ebola –– That mysterious African disease that had never been detected in the United States until a couple of months ago and never diagnosed on U.S. soil until earlier last month. It’s the recent culprit responsible for bursting America’s bubble of relative security, protecting its inhabitants from exotic, life-ravaging illnesses. The fresh memory of the death in Dallas and the not-so-distant scare in Belton has Central Texans wondering what their schools, workplaces and government are doing to protect them.   Although the virus is communicable and has been posing a threat from Texas to New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control, it is not airborne and is difficult to transmit unless a person comes in direct contact with an infected patient’s bodily fluids or a surface that has.   However reassuring this news may sound, many are still paranoid considering that trained medical professionals are still contracting the disease.   Something else feeding the uncertainty and fear is the virus’ 21-day incubation period. People who have come in contact with the disease may not exhibit symptoms for three weeks. This is the reason for quarantine among medical professionals, missionaries and others who have traveled to West Africa are imposing on themselves.   Senior nursing major Kristiana Bohene believes it’s necessary for those working with Ebola patients to think of the common good and quarantine themselves during that incubation period.   “If they were potentially exposed to Ebola, they should be quarantined until they are not showing symptoms. The quarantine of one can be good for all to prevent the further spread of illness,” she said.   A potentially disturbing precedent is the refusal of Maine nurse Hickox to self-quarantine.   Bohene said, “I can’t imagine being in her shoes, but I do think that sacrificing 21 days for the good of others is the right thing to do if she is showing symptoms.”   The state of Maine is working to bring her into compliance.   After the CDC began re-evaluating the health risk to passengers on the Frontier Airlines Flight #1143, from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas, it was discovered that two Belton ISD students, one from North Belton Middle School and one from Sparta Elementary, along with their family, were traveling on the same plane with one of the nurses who cared for Thomas Duncan, the Liberian man who died at Texas Health Presbyterian.   School district officials cancelled classes for thorough cleaning at those two campuses as well as Belton Early Childhood School because students are bussed between that building and Sparta Elementary.   Many are expressing frustration with the federal government’s seemingly slow...

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When trafficking stats become human
Nov07

When trafficking stats become human

A young Cambodian girl sat slumped on the curb outside of a church, her body rocking with heaving sobs. After attending a Christian church service, the girl’s Buddhist family beat her for betraying their faith.   But it wasn’t their disapproval or her own physical pain for which she cried. She had lost her Bible.   In a display of their disapproval, her family had burned her Christian scripture, and she was brokenhearted about the loss of the book that meant so much to her. Senior nursing major Allison Toy remembers this moment vividly, recalling the passion with which the child mourned.   “She looked at them (the missionaries), and told them she wasn’t upset about being beaten. She hadn’t been able to read the word of God in three days,” Toy said. “So my team gave her a Bible, and she came to the community center every day just to escape and read it.”   Five years ago, Toy attended a conference where a man spoke about surviving the killing fields in his homeland, Cambodia. Even though his own people sought to kill him, he had nothing but love for them. “It broke my heart. I prayed about it a lot, and I really felt like God was calling me there,” she said.   Toy embarked for Cambodia first as a student, then transitioned into leading for two years before staying on her own this past summer. What made this summer different, though, was the combination of joy and unimaginable hardship.   Toy led a team of Americans for 10 days, serving through medical missions in clinics, working at the hospital, ministry in the church, teaching in the community and volunteer work. Toy’s parents joined the effort for the first time, too. Toy’s mother, Terri, knew Cambodia as a country ravaged by the regime of Pol Pot.She realized their need for love and was excited to experience the land that captured her daughter’s heart.   “While her dad and I have always had a great respect for Allison, it was an incredible opportunity to watch her live out her passions … her purpose, her respect for and understanding of the culture,” Terri said.   Dad Eugene made use of his skills as a doctor, teaching Cambodians about sanitation. He was amazed at the provision of God. When one supply would run out, patients required something different and needs could be met.   “For me, I learned so much from the people we met. The missionaries there have so few resources … yet zeal and desire to do more,” Terri said.   After 10 days, the other Americans left...

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