Diversity Camps

June 4, 2003

Teenagers from different cultures will have the opportunity to experience Baylor through a series of Christian events coordinated by the University's Youth Programs office. Primarily geared toward Asian and Hispanic students, the programs will be hosted jointly with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT).
The new programs include a youth camp for Asian churches in Texas, a Hispanic Youth Day this fall and leadership training for bilingual Disciple Now events.
Dr. Gus Reyes, BGCT multicultural consultant in evangelism, approached Dr. Don Mattingly, coordinator of Baylor Youth Programs, last year about the events, which Dr. Mattingly said were a perfect fit for the University's mission. 
"Baylor's response has been amazing," he said. "Our youth program teams are thrilled about this opportunity to minister to Christian youth from different cultures." 
Nearly 300 youth from Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian and other Asian congregations attended camp at Baylor June 16-20, with Byron Schaffner, minister of missions and college students at Waco's Greater New Light Baptist Church, as the guest preacher. 
Baylor's first Hispanic Youth Day will be held Sept. 20 with guest speaker Danny "Tiny" Dominguez from Iglesia Bautista Getsemani Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and the band True Vine from San Antonio. Students will attend a concert, pizza party and football game. Although Hispanic churches have been invited to youth days previously, Dr. Mattingly believes attendance will improve with this year's event. "The music, guest speakers, everything will be geared toward helping these young people feel comfortable," he said.
The bilingual training program for Disciple Now is aimed toward Spanish-speaking congregations. The program will combine basic elements of Disciple Now weekends with Spanish curriculum and music. The BGCT will invite leaders from across Texas to participate in the training planned for this fall. Disciple Now is a weekend retreat program held in homes of church members designed to encourage spiritual growth in middle- and high-school students. 
"To have those Christian young people here and get to know Baylor is a way for us to minister to them and to spread Baylor's message," Dr. Mattingly said.
For more information, e-mail Don_Mattingly@baylor.edu.