I sit in a hotel room in Dallas, 11:30 at night, about to begin a new era in my own life and ministry tomorrow. Tomorrow I will report to Buckner Children and Family Services for day 1 of a new ministry role. I'm excited, and not sure I'm going to get much sleep tonight...
I cannot begin to tell you how hard it has been to say "adios" to the people at Baptist University of the Americas. I walked through the doors at what was then the Hispanic Baptist Theological School almost 5 years ago, awestruck at what God was doing with this little place with big dreams and muchas ganas. I was able to come in on the tail end of state certification to offer higher ed degrees and accreditation with ABHE. I helped structure the rollout of the name change to BUA. And I'm most proud of how our development team was able to build a stable base of financial support for the university--although more is always needed!
But what is really striking about BUA is the people. Staff and students came from as many as 20 different countries over the past few years. At one time 6 different languages were spoken on campus. There are immigrants, Tejanos, 3rd generation Hispanics, Anglos with cross-cultural sensitivity, Asians, African-Americans--the list could go on. There is nothing like the atmosphere of BUA's campus. Each of the other 8 BGCT related universities is important to the accomplishment of Christian higher ed, but I will tell you that none of them can duplicate what is found on San Antonio's southside. It is truly unique, and needs the support of all Texas Baptists.
BUA has marked me, branded me. I bear on my body the blessings of my 5 years in San Antonio. Not always easy, frequently challenging but always a place of calling and passion, BUA will be missed as a part of my daily life. I'm still in the family, and I know I'll see my friends at convention and such, but my daily life will ache with the empty spot that was filled by folks at BUA.
Adios. For now.