A ministry formed by a few freshmen is not something that’s heard about everyday on college campuses. When it does happen though, it’s definitely impressive and catches people’s attention. The Honors Quad Missional Community did just that.
CRM Media recently had the opportunity to sit down with three of the leaders from the Honors Quad Missional Community. Now sophomores, Peter Ten Eyck, Melinda Scully and Rachel Larson, told us what it’s like to be reaching out to some of the most highly esteemed students on The University of Texas at Austin campus.
What is HQMC?
The Honors Quad Missional Community aims to minister to the honors students and to get people from the honors dorms out to learn about the word of God and to have fellowship with those around them. Ten Eyck, along with one of his friends, formed the group in the 2012-2013 school year as freshmen around the same idea of wanting community and a group of “people to be Christian with.” Since then however, they’ve found that group was called into existence by God for much more.
“It became much more focused on outreach,” Ten Eyck told us. “As Christians we’re called to speak to people and teach people.”
This community speaks to people in many other ways than just holding a weekly bible study. They’ve really found ways to make being missional a part of their daily lives. Scully, for instance, loves reaching people with food. She keeps candy with her and goes and knocks on people’s dorms or visits them in study lounges. Scully talked to us about how she enjoys going up to people and asking them little questions about their lives. This then causes them to start opening up with her, providing more ways for her to have spiritual discussions with them or invite them to the Honors Quad bible study.
College Cookout Outreach
A creative way that this group has reached out to their dorms is through cookouts. The students from the Honors Quad Missional Community will start a grill in the open area between the honors dorms and make food for anyone that comes. These students put their own money into this and offer the food for free.
They also invite people to the cookouts by going around the dorms and talking to people and posting about them on the Honors Quad Facebook page. The Honors Quad Missional Community has had a lot of success with these cookouts, with having many other students come and being able to build up a presence in the Honors Quad so that people will know that they’re there.
What makes this missional community unique is the people group that they’re reaching out to. Honors students at UT are probably the most elite and most dedicated to their school work. Their majors range across a variety of different fields and values. Furthermore, especially the freshmen, are used to being the top at their high schools, and coming to a university where that was true for everyone can be a huge shock and deterrent. They can easily become overwhelmed with the stress and pressure that they’re under.
Showing God’s Love
The Honors Quad Missional Community Students, however believe that they can help those going through this since they have as well. They can use their community to teach others God’s love and help them experience it.
For Larson, who was already a believer when she entered college, this was especially true. In a very difficult time for her, she turned to her friends in the Honors Quad Missional Community. Even through sometimes leading worship and seeming happy and joyful, she hid what she was really going through. She then felt though that she was able to open up to her community and receive prayer from them.
“In a way, fellowship healed me,” Larson said.
And that’s what this community wants to continue doing for others. They want to help people know that college is not where freshmen lose sight of their faith or who they are, but where God can put people in their lives to help them grow.
“If I’m in my shoebox of a dorm room, God is still with me,” Scully said. Hear more of what these three bold students had to say about their missional community by watching the mini documentary our team made. You too will be impressed by what God is doing through them and why our team wanted to feature them.
Ashlye Elizondo is a media intern for Campus Renewal Ministries. She is a Senior at The University of Texas, studying Public Relations. She also serves with Intervarsity Residential Christian Fellowship (IV Res), one of the five Intervarsity chapters at UT.