COBA business missions reach out to other nationsIn 2007 the Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration founded
the Harding Character Initiative to provide support for business
missions efforts conducted by the college. This summer Harding
University students and faculty will travel to Tegucigalpa, Honduras,
to host two business seminars.
For 17 years most of the business missions efforts were focused on
Eastern Europe, taking students on spring break mission trips to the
Ukraine. But for the past four years the efforts have been
concentrated in Central America, taking advantage of proximity and
using as a resource students in the Walton International Scholarship
Program at Harding. The program, launched by Sam and Helen Walton,
funds 60 scholarships for students from Latin America to each of three
faith-based Arkansas universities annually.
In 2010, with the support of HCI, the business college conducted its
first business missions seminar at the Baxter Institute in
Tegucigalpa. The group will return July 5-7 for two seminars. Dr. Budd
Hebert will discuss “Work as a Ministry,” and Drs. Al Frazier and Mike
Oliver will conduct seminars on how to set up a business.
“The purpose is to help students understand the sacredness of work;
that it has always been God-inspired and a means of glorifying him
with our talents. We hope to help students understand their talents
and learn how to apply them in earning a living — one in which they
can glorify God,” says Hebert.
HCI will be involved through partially supporting some of the staff
and also assist with exploratory work in Managua, Nicaragua and Panama
in August to support the college’s new Global Economic Development
Program, a program that stems from business missions work with the
purpose to provide students with business tools to use as missionaries
in foreign and domestic fields. They will focus on locating summer
internships, initiate contact with institutions through which they can
conduct additional business missions, and build relationships for
business activities that could lead to financial support for HCI.
According to Hebert, based on seminars the group held in Donetsk,
Ukraine, the church saw some growth in their assembly.
“The greatest value came from Harding students becoming friends with
local students,” he says. “Bible studies evolved from these
friendships, and the local students saw for the first time specific
examples of service through the projects in which Harding students
Next year HCI will continue supporting these activities while
rekindling similar projects in El Salvador and Guatemala that began in
1996. The group hopes to play a role in helping families out of their
poverty struggles through the power of scripture and a better
understanding of business.