UTRGV BSM hosts a dorm Christmas party to connect with students on campus

by Meredith Rose on December 16, 2021 in News

For the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in Edinburg, dorm ministry is an important part of their mission to reach the campus for Christ.

“In the dorms there’s lots of different people — local students, international students, people from outside the valley, athletes and even some Christians that aren’t plugged into a church. We want to help them find a community and, if they’re not believers, to have an encounter with Jesus,” said Isabela Chavez, campus missionary intern with the UTRGV BSM.

The BSM recently had an opportunity to connect with students in the dorms by hosting a Christmas party right outside the students’ living quarters. Instead of hosting a party somewhere else on campus, they met students where they are.

“It took place right outside the dorms, and we had about 150 students participate,” said Chavez. “We co-hosted with the dorm staff. They actually invited us to do the party after we did something similar for Thanksgiving earlier in the fall.”

At the party, student volunteers led a time of worship to traditional Christmas hymns and played some classic Christmas songs. There was also hot chocolate, a photo booth with Santa and a BSM connection table.

“We connected with lots of people,” said Chavez. “Many students approached us and asked questions. We let them know what we do and helped them sign up on a list to receive updates next semester.”

One of the goals for the BSM in the new year is to restart Bible studies in the dorms, which were active before the pandemic. Chavez hopes that the recent partnerships with dorm staff to host these holiday parties will be an avenue for the BSM to reestablish a presence in the dorms next semester.

“It’s been hard during COVID because of the restrictions, but we’re encouraged by these two successful events,” she said. “And we have dorm students and athletes who have expressed an interest in restarting Bible study next semester. The dorms are an important place to do ministry because there are so many students there. Some of them are coming here and have no family, especially international students. We want to be that family to them outside their home and give students a place to connect with others and learn about Jesus.”

The Texas Baptists Center for Collegiate Ministry operates Baptist Student Ministries on over 130 campuses across the state. To learn more or connect with the BSM on your campus, visit txbsm.org.

Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.

The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.

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