DALLAS—More than 400 Dallas Baptist University freshmen, transfer students and upperclassmen sponsors scattered across the Dallas-Fort Worth area to serve 11 community sites as part of SWAT—Student Welcome and Transition, the school’s orientation program for new students.
“Service is at the center of what DBU is all about,” said Mark Hale, associate vice president for student affairs at DBU. “Christ illustrated his love for his disciples by washing their feet. He directed them to serve others as a demonstration of his love for all of us. The opportunity to share Christ’s love through these activities is at the heart of DBU’s mission to develop servant leaders.”
From the inception of SWAT Week more than 20 years ago, a day has been set aside for community service. Other activities of the week included adviser appointments, worship services, small group discussions, guest speakers and athletic competitions.
One group of students volunteered at Beautiful Feet, a church and homeless ministry in Fort Worth. Jordan McKinney, a freshman who spent his day doing facility maintenance and serving food at the ministry said: “Participating in the service project was the most fun I had the whole time of SWAT. It was amazing to see how people with so little could still praise God wholeheartedly.”
Another group worked at Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas, organizing supplies, painting furniture and arranging learning materials in the children’s center.
“It was encouraging to realize that in taking a step to further my education, I was helping younger kids further theirs as well,” freshman Justin Lemons said. “I would definitely do it again.”
Meanwhile, others found joy and purpose assembling arts and crafts supplies for inner-city children at Voice of Hope in Dallas.
Reflecting on her initial week at DBU, sophomore Alexia Antoine said: “Throughout SWAT, and even my first days of class, I noticed that everything is geared toward instilling Christlike character. I can see that the education he wants me to have will not be achieved in the classroom alone.”
John Vann, a senior SWAT Week team leader, observed: “Service Day was invaluable in that it helped the specific ministries we were assigned to, while also introducing the new students to the idea of service and providing for them a rite of passage. It showed them how important selfless quality service is to relationships in the DBU family and in the Christian life overall.”