New Students Fill the Campus for SWAT

SWAT 2019 Recap Video

A fresh wave of new students arrived on the DBU campus on Wednesday, August 21, as a part of Student Welcome and Transition, the University's annual fall orientation event known as SWAT. This event helps new students adjust to college life through multiple days filled with community-building activities including group sessions, team games, corporate prayer with DBU faculty and staff, the yearly Welcome Reception hosted in the President's Home, a creative singing-dance competition known as Patriot Follies, and a special Candlelighting service.

Rounding out the first few days of late-night fun, games, and plenty of food, DBU's special emphasis on producing servant leaders was carried out during the day on Friday in various service projects throughout the Metroplex. New students accompanied by current student leaders along with DBU faculty and staff fanned out on mission across 19 different locations to sacrificially meet the needs of others while experiencing the joy of servant leadership in practice.

Organizations visited and services performed included assisting with clean-up, distribution, and apartment visitation at Mission Arlington; sorting donation items at the disaster relief resource center of the Salvation Army; painting and decoration of a children's educational outreach center for Voice of Hope; and cleaning facilities and organizing ESL classrooms for refugees at Gateway of Grace.

Students also did yard maintenance for a man named Gabriel who was in danger of losing his home for being out of compliance with the HOA. Analise Shanfelt, an incoming freshman, shared about her experience in getting to work alongside new friends and like-minded Christ followers to meet such a basic but urgent need.

"It's so wonderful to see that we have the opportunity to pour into these people and to share the love of Christ and help them," explained Shanfelt. "This man will lose his house if we didn't come and help.

Another new student, Kyler Manning, also viewed the opportunity as a way of practicing humility and compassion toward human needs "the same way as Christ did for others - washing disciples' feet, feeding the masses, and healing - I think that's the whole reason we do this."

After a day of service, President Adam Wright shared words of challenge and encouragement for the incoming class at a special evening Candlelighting service, reminding students of their highest calling by Christ to be the light of the world. Even more than the new relationships that will be made, the education received, and the fun to be had, becoming a student at DBU means being transformed more and more into the character of Christ.

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Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.