Disney continues to offer great opportunities for more students

By Elissa Thompson Almost every American child, teenager and adult knows how magical Disney World or Disneyland can be on each visit. But think of how much more extraordinary it would be to work there. The Disney College Program offers students internships that can enhance their opportunity for a future job. This also gives students a chance to work with a Fortune 500 company. The literature for the Disney theme parks and resorts professional internships said they try to offer students practical experiences they can add to their resumes. The university has placed several students  in the program and four are now interning in the program. A student can get up to 12 credit hours from the university by completing a semester or up to a year, depending on the major. Disney College Representative and UMHB student Courtney Gerome said, “It’s going to sound cheesy, but it is magical. It is the most amazing experience, and it’s life changing. You learn so much from being there.” Students can go to either Disneyland or Disney World, but they send the majority to Disney World because it’s bigger and has more opportunities. And when not working, they get to play. Students get a free ID card to spend time in the parks. The jobs that a student can have range from lifeguard, food and beverage, merchandise, ride operator, hotel, cooking chef and even character performer. Who wouldn’t want to be Cinderella, Prince Charming, Flynn Rider or Belle? Sophomore performance studies major Kristen Kitchen said, “I auditioned while I was down there and was so blessed to get a character look-alike role. I was ‘really good friends’ with Cinderella.” Gerome went in spring 2011 and was employed in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. “I worked in the castle, and I did princess makeovers. It was such an experience to be able to do that for a little girl,” she said. Gerome and Kitchen both agreed that working at Disney World was one of the best experiences they have ever had. “You work a lot, and it’s not always easy, but the work is so rewarding, and you will make friends from all over,” Kitchen said. Doing the internship allows students to experience what life would be like at a campus. “You meet so many people. You definitely get a college feel,” Gerome said. Interns live in apartments  similar to the ones on campus. A student can have one roommate or up to six. The corporation provides the Internet, cable and free movie rentals. The college program also offers classes that are not required, but will help a student experience more of Disney. They...

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Henderson’s class travels to Canada, learns about church planting
Mar27

Henderson’s class travels to Canada, learns about church planting

Many Christians are aware of spiritual complications overseas, but closer to home — to the north — few know of the drought dehydrating the Canadian people of living water; many are deprived of Jesus Christ and his message of hope and salvation. Christianity suffers in Canada due to factors such as the influence of other religions, separation of people due to distance and a scarcity of many churches. Junior Christian missions major Ryan Murphy said “ One out of 10 people is a Christian. People there are very content with their lives and don’t really see a need to serve God.” Over spring break, Murphy and a group of students traveled to Canada to learn about church planting as part of a class led by Dr. Tom Henderson, the director of missions for the Bell Baptist Association and an adjunct professor in the Christian studies department. Professor of Christian studies Dr. Leroy Kemp also went on the trip, and he said,“The purpose of the class is to expose them to instruction for starting new churches from scratch — planting churches.” The group of 13 people partnered with the Canadian National Baptist Convention and witnessed current church planting projects. Most of their time was spent around Calgary, in the province of Alberta. Junior Christian ministry major Ross Nesselrode said, “A lot of the church planting met people where they were. They didn’t have a church, and there was no sense of community. … It was taking a community and trying to impact the community as a church and share the love of Jesus.” Christ’s love, and his Gospel, is what the students saw through the efforts of current church planters in Canada. Sophomore Christian ministry major Hollie Williams said, “God is definitely working in Canada. The way I saw God working the most was through the inspiring testimonies of all church planters we had the opportunity to visit.” These church planters emphasized that trust is the key to opening the hearts of the Canadian people to the Gospel. Murphy said relationships were the focus of the church planters. He mentioned the church starters, saying things like their primary focus being about building relationships. They build these relationships so that they earn the right to share the Gospel with them. They have to earn the people’s trust first. On a daily basis, workers face constant struggles as they expand the church. Williams learned that beginning a church from scratch is filled with difficulties. She said, “I’ve learned that church planting can be a hard calling for not only the planters themselves, but their families as well.” According to the CNBC, there are about...

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Welcome Week changes for Cru leaders

With midterms over, it’s time to start thinking about next semester. Before the fall semester starts each year, an annual event takes place: Welcome Week. This five-day experience allows new students to arrive early and become more acquainted with the              university. There are different events to participate in throughout the week, including a dance, concert, community service projects, recreation, Quad Party and more. This year some changes are happening. The biggest is concerning the Cru Leaders. They are students assigned to be peer mentors throughout the first semester with the group of students they are assigned during Welcome Week. Last year, the CLs attended the freshman seminar class and went to their own Cru Leader class to learn how to be peer mentors. This year, the chosen CLs will move in Aug. 8 and have their class             front-loaded. “During this time, they will be trained on how to be a CL, instead of them taking a class throughout the semester. Our hope is that each CL will be better equipped to lead their students during the fall semester, and even after,” junior co-director and nursing major Ashleigh Holden said. The interview process for choosing CLs happened Feb. 26 and was different from anything the steering committee had done before. This year they completed the process in one day instead of spreading it out over weeks. “Many people on steering committee said they better enjoyed the process lasting one day for three hours, as opposed to the three-week-long interviews that took place last year,” Holden said. “Plus, the steering committee was able to witness how each applicant works with other students. The applicants seemed to enjoy meeting new people and thinking on a critical level.” Junior steering committee member and social work major Anna Payne saw how much the applicants enjoyed the new process of choosing Cru   Leaders. “It was much less nerve racking for the applicants to come in for their interview because it didn’t even feel like an interview,” she said. “It was fun to have hands-on activities that they could work on together, and it took off the pressure of the interviews because we had already spent time together with the other activities.” Although Welcome Week is still more than five months away, those involved are eager for the event. “I’m excited about the changes we are making to Welcome Week this year. It’s going to be really great to see how not only freshmen take in Welcome Week, but also the CLs, too,” junior steering committee member and education major Meredith Davis said. Davis also set some positive expectations for the next Welcome Week. “I think...

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Arterburn’s struggle with abortion

The university welcomed noted author Stephen Arterburn as the chapel speaker Feb. 29. Arterburn graduated from Baylor University and is an author, public speaker, counselor, host of a radio talk show and founder of New Life Ministries and Women of Faith. He has co-written many published works including Every Man’s Battle, The Exceptional Life, Every Young Woman’s Battle, and More Jesus, Less     Religion. Arterburn spoke on the topic of abortion and his own connection to the issue. University Chaplain Dr. George Loutherback said, “He speaks truth from personal experience.” Arterburn told the story of an abortion he was a part of in college and describes the feeling of the guilt he experienced. He said, “I had about 100 ulcers eating away at my stomach and small intestine. It was just a physiological symptom of my guilt.” He posed the question of why women who lose their child inadvertently are treated differently from women who give up their child intentionally through abortion. He also talked about the toll that the abortion had not only on him but also on the young woman. Along with the heavy story and lesson on abortion and what he considers murder, Arterburn told the redemption story of the gospel. He said that God is full of grace and willing to forgive those who may have been a part of the abortion process. “If you have been involved in an abortion, know that God loves you,”  he said. Freshman Christian ministries major Alec Lloyd had an eye  opening experience while listening to Arterburn speak. He said, “What I got from chapel is that no matter what you’ve done,  God will forgive you.” Arterburn went on to tell the story that after much time of healing and forgiveness, he married his wife. After many years of trying to start a family, they found out they were unable to have children of their own. He mentioned the irony and sadness when he realized that when he had the opportunity to start a family,  he stopped it, and then when they were ready to start a family, the couple were unable to have children of their own. After eight years of marriage, the  couple was still unable to conceive, but he talked to a co-worker at the time who had a niece looking for a godly couple to adopt the child she was expecting. On Christmas Day 1990, Arterburn and his wife welcomed their newborn baby daughter home. After not being able to have a child of their own, Arterburn believed adopting Madeline was not only a blessing, but also a second chance. He used a story from his...

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Windows show significance of faith
Mar06

Windows show significance of faith

The Manning Chapel Lectures focus on outstanding people in ministry who have massively impacted Christian society. They are the inspiration for the stained glass windows in the chapel. This past lecture Feb. 21 was on Anne Luther Bagby and the life she devoted to missions. A lecture will be given each semester until all four windows have been discussed. A full conference over Baptist studies is in the plans for next fall. The window in the chapel that is devoted to Anne Luther Bagby has details within the colorful stained glass that are not noticeable to most people. If looked at closer, an outline of Texas can be seen in memory of how Texas Baptists supported the Bagbys throughout their mission work. Anne Luther Bagby, whose father was president of the school, and her husband, William Buck Bagby, were the first Texas Baptist missionaries to minister in Brazil in 1881 and were the longest serving Southern Baptists in history. They spent 60 years making a family and ministering to the locals. Associate Professor of Religion at Baylor University, Dr. Rosalie Beck, was the keynote speaker for the February lecture and inspired many with her knowledge and understanding of Bagby’s life and her passion  for missions. Beck researches missionary history and has written on Bagby. She said, “To me, Anne Luther Bagby is an inspiration and role model. Yet, she is also very human. She reminds me that God uses who we are to accomplish His divine will …. Her life encourages me to be persistent in following God’s will and to never forget that, for a believer, sharing the Gospel should be as natural as breathing.” Beck has been interested in Bagby’s life since she did a short biographical sketch of her for the Journal of Texas Baptist History. Beck talked of Bagby’s calling to become a missionary at age 19, the hardships she endured losing four children to various tragedies and the joy she must have had to see five of her nine remaining children become missionaries to South America. College of Christian Studies Professor Dr. Carol Holcomb emphasized the importance of knowing Christian history. “Knowing our past is key to knowing who we are. Knowing the stories of the people who’ve gone before us gives us meaning and definition and … purpose,” she said. Babgy also has a personal tie to the university. Beck said, “Annie Luther was an educated young woman from Kentucky when she and her folks arrived in Belton to work at UMHB. Committed to becoming a missionary, she wasn’t sure how that would happen because the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board did not...

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Students find ways to raise funds for global mission trips
Mar06

Students find ways to raise funds for global mission trips

While the American economy has fallen on hard times in recent years, people are aware that on the other side of the world, things are far worse. Many students from the university have decided to donate their time to mission trips to help those in need. Although the intent to travel to another country is a good thought, raising a large sum of money for the venture can be overwhelming. Sophomore nursing major Brittany Haines is currently gathering funds to go on her first overseas mission trip this month. Haines said, “In November I started out not knowing where I was going. I thought I was going to Tijuana, but God just really opened the doors for Haiti. I actually had money saved, just birthday and Christmas money, along with my earnings from babysitting.” With a small head start in savings, she decided to continue raising money until she met her goal. “I have been selling these bracelets for $4, and a lot of people have been really generous and donated more with it. I also did a garage sale and got a lot of money from that as well,” she said. Haines also received help from friends who threw a concert for her last week in Temple to help with the final costs. Senior social work major Bethany Franz is excited about her third trip to Haiti. Since her visit last year, the country has stayed on her mind, so there was no doubt she would be doing fundraisers again for the next endeavor. “While raising money for mission trips, I have been blessed with family and friends who support me not only prayerfully but financially. I write support letters and send them to my family and friends first to inform them of the opportunity that has been presented,” she said. “I am also connected to two churches, the one I grew up in and the one I have attended since I moved to Belton, who have been faithful in supporting me financially.” For those interested in attending a mission trip, but do not know where to start, Franz gives some suggestions. She said, “I would tell them to take a leap of faith and begin fundraising in any way possible, such as selling T-shirts, having a garage sale, putting a little extra money in savings if possible, sending out support letters, or even asking friends if you could collect their extra change.” Sophomore nursing major Rebekah Sorrells will be returning to Haiti as well. This year she decided to raise money differently. She said, “The first time I went, I sent out support letters mostly to my...

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