I have been in Mexico City this week to inaugurate a new ministry for children of mothers who are in prison in collaboration with Iglesia Bautista Horeb. I’m coming off of two packed days of preaching at Horeb, visiting a drug rehab center, a feeding ministry, and a federal prison for women. It has been an incredible experience. I will blog on that experience later this week.
While I was in Mexico City I received two emails that made my day. First, I received an email from Felipe Garza, a member of the Hispanic Education Task Force, who offered to collaborate with the BGCT much like we did with the ISAAC (Immigration Services and Aid Center) Project. Buckner is offering to provide ½ of the salary for a Hispanic Education Consultant to begin to work on the Hispanic High School Drop-Out Issue and BGCT will be asked to provide the other ½ as well as office space, etc. much like the agreement we have with the ISAAC project. The Hispanic Education Task Force was to have taken this recommendation to the Executive Board of the BGCT on Tuesday for consideration. Since this recommendation had been approved previously but not funded, the Executive Board affirmed this previous decision and agreed to the funding recommended by Buckner.
If we work diligently on this project we would be in a position to present an agreement that might be signed at Convencion in Wichita Falls this June. A search for the right person would naturally follow this summer. This would be a great step and a strong statement that the BGCT and Buckner are ready to get moving on this issue.
We must realize that hiring an education consultant is a great first step but is not the only step. Some of you have offered suggestions on this blog, others have provided comments indicating what you are currently doing in your local church to improve high school completion, college enrollment, college graduation rates, and graduate school enrollment. All these efforts will help Hispanic families become healthy and will help them achieve economic stability. This kind of solutions cuts off lots of huge social problems in the future. It is the right thing to do, it is the kingdom thing to do, and we are way over due to give this issue our best attention and effort.
So let me offer some other solutions besides hiring a fulltime education consultant:
Create a Hispanic Education Advisory Board
We need to retain the Hispanic Education Task Force members, those willing to continue to serve, as Advisory Board members. We also need to invite new players to the table to ensure that all nine of our universities are represented.
Highlight Education at all Baptist Youth Meetings
We have three major meetings a year that bring the Texas Baptist Hispanic community together. They are Congreso, Youth Convocation at Convencion, and the Hispanic Evangelism Conference. We need to make Hispanic Education a major theme at these meetings as well as youth camps and other meetings like the Hispanic Singles Camp.
We need the Baptist Standard to devote time and space to this issue. I know that Marv Knox shares the concern over this issue as well. The new BGCT Spanish Website should also carry this theme. Perhaps we can feature a website where students, parents, and pastors can get the help they need to help youth finish high school and get into college. We need to inventory all programs that are impacting this issue like the Sigueme Program at Baptist University of the Americas. Most of all, we need to pray that the Lord would give us wisdom to make a difference in the lives of our youth now.
What other suggestions do you have?
Oops, almost forgot. The second email was from my wife, Belinda, indicating that the Spurs won the first round of playoffs and will face the Lakers in the second round.