DBU Community Partners Luncheon Honors Voice of Hope

community partners

Every year, DBU welcomes to campus the many partnering organizations that are working to transform their communities throughout the DFW Metroplex. Hundreds of community leaders gathered at the annual luncheon on Thursday, July 15, as DBU’s way of thanking them for the important work they do, showing gratitude for providing places for students to serve each semester, as well as encouraging them through fellowship with others and a message of hope.

Desi Henk, Assistant Vice President, Center for Career and Professional Development, presided over the luncheon and welcomed all the guests in attendance.

In remarks from DBU President Dr. Adam C. Wright, he encouraged those gathered that they could persevere in their calling to good works only with the promised help and strength of God. “Press on and keep on in the work that God has given you," he said. "Keep your hand on the plow, your feet in the field, and your eyes on the cross. We don’t do this for ourselves. We do this so that His Kingdom comes and His will is done among the people He has entrusted to our care.”

Pastor John Durham of Highland Baptist in Waco opened his address by acknowledging the incredible challenges faced by leaders of churches and non-profits over the past year while encouraging them from the hopeful promises of Scripture to “not give up.” He reminded them that our faith is proven through trials, and much wisdom can be gained only on the other side of enduring through our sufferings. God promises renewal in the midst – and glory at the end – of our difficulties. 

“Truth is truth regardless of the circumstances around us,” he said as he urged the writing down of all the suffering, pain, heartache, rejection, loss of the past year on one side of a ledger and on the other all the wonderful attributes of God’s character and the revelation of His salvation in Jesus Christ. “Which is greater? Your sorrows or the vast immeasurable love of God given to us in His Word, guaranteed by His Spirit, and purchased for us in the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So sing on, preach on, pray on, lead on, serve on, and keep on believing.”

Followed by the singing of “How Great Thou Art” led by DBU students, this year’s honorary recipient Voice of Hope was recognized for their exceptional service to the West Dallas community.

Established in 1982, the organization now serves over 300 students in after-school programs and summer camps that provide Biblical teaching, Christian character models, life-skills coaching, and educational support with a vision to see the youth become changed by the Gospel to be productive Christian citizens in their communities. Year after year, students during SWAT service days partner with Voice of Hope, and the organization also hosts high school students who participate in Servant U that meets on the campus of DBU. Several interns and alumni of DBU also currently serve with the organization.

“We are a small organization in West Dallas, but I think this past year has shown us how important the small things really are,” said Rachelle Hast, Chief Operations Officer as she thanked DBU for recognizing the importance of their work and providing so many students to support and partner with them through the years. “Gifts of encouragement, food boxes, craft kits and words of blessing ministered to our children and their families. It’s all these seemingly small acts that change lives every day. When added up, they make a huge impact on those we serve.”

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

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