HPU’s Dr. Craig Younce to return to Zambia with students

BROWNWOOD – February 20, 2019 – After a mission trip to Zambia in fall 2018, Dr. Craig Younce, assistant professor of biology, will return this March with a group of students to serve at a local orphanage. The trip, which will be from March 7-20, will help students unite their education with God’s call on their lives.

“In the fall of 2017 I attended a class offered by my church, Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, that changed my mind on what our purpose is.” said Younce. “That purpose is to show God’s glory to all the nations.”

The class, called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, prompted Younce to begin asking God how he could be a part of His purpose. That question was answered the following March, when Bryan Allen, a member of Younce’s Sunday school class, was unable to go on the 10-day trip to Zambia. Allen asked Younce if he was interested in taking his place.

“From the moment I got his text, I sensed God was telling me, ‘That’s what you need to do,’” said Younce. “You need to go on that trip.’”

Younce and members of his church left for Zambia in August 2018 and were able to share the gospel with community members of Namwala.

“We shared the gospel with locals and invited them to church. It was fascinating seeing members of the Zambian church talk because people would start to gather to listen,” said Younce. “It just kind of gives you a glimpse of what it might have been like when Jesus was preaching.”

While in Zambia, the group stayed for a few days at New Day Orphanage, which takes in children of all ages, cares for them until they become adults and provides them with education. The goal of the orphanage is to raise children to be like Christ so they can impact their communities when they grow up.

“I could hear God telling me that we needed to do something with them,” said Younce. “I began talking to Wes Wilcox and told him that HPU might be interested in helping the orphanage. When we were leaving he told me, ‘You say you’ll come back, but a lot of people say that because it sounds good when they’re here. I’m going to challenge you to actually do it.’”

When Younce came back to Brownwood he wrestled for a while with the question of how he and HPU could assist in Zambia.

“I talked with the orphanage and with my dean about what we could do,” he said. “We also coordinated with Sam Goff from Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, who has been teaching a series called Helping without Hurting. The key thing was figuring out how to provide support that they can take ownership of.”

Younce and Dr. Pam Bryant, dean of HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics, coordinated with New Day Orphanage on a plan to bring chemistry and biology majors from HPU to Zambia. While there, students will help the orphanage refine its science curriculum and help with science demonstrations.

“This year, the university is really stressing the life of the mind and the life of the Spirit,” said Younce. “It’s fascinating that, when all of this was coming to fruition, I wasn’t even aware that was going to be a focus.”

Younce hopes this trip will help show students how to bridge the gap between the life of the mind and the life of the Spirit by allowing them to incorporate both their education and God’s vision while serving.

“We are all created for a purpose and that is to carry out his mission,” he said. “If nothing else, one of the biggest things that Christ calls us to do is to serve. We all have different skills with which to do that. These students are getting an education and now they can apply it in a way of service.”

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Cutline: HPU’s Dr. Craig Younce poses with two Zambian children while visiting a church in Namwala, Zambia.