Maybe loving Waco is as simple as crossing the highway, scoring a laugh out of the quietest kid, and then saying with certainty, “I’ll be back.”
Lindsey Burnett leads a Baylor Urban Missions Team of students who, week by week, do just that. It is through that consistency of being a “returner” that Lindsey says kids begin to truly believe they are loved.
“It’s so much more about consistency than anything else, because that’s what’s going to change them, and that’s what’s going to change you. There’s something about being consistent that makes the kids trust you.”
Lindsey has lived out this consistency for the past three years as she has served and loved the kids at the Kate Ross Apartment Complex as a part of King’s Club. She lets the laughter and trust of the kids remind her why she comes back each week.
“The experience of spending a week living your daily life and then all the sudden going across the highway – such a close location, and seeing that there is a life totally different from yours that is happening; that these kids desire just a little bit of attention, and I think it’s amazing to see the need that is so close to Baylor campus.”
But Lindsey does not put the relationships she has built at King’s Club in a box that she only unpacks on Thursday afternoons and shelves the rest of the week. The most powerful experiences for her have been beyond the boundaries of what is “expected.”
She has learned that the trust she is building does not stop with the kids, but impacts whole families.
“I traded numbers with one of the moms at King’s Club who was about to have a baby, and she already had four kids. She texted and asked my friend and I to watch her kids while she was having the baby in the hospital. So we got to go pick them up, and took them to H-E-B to make a care package for their mom… Just being with them and watching them take care of their mom and was such a cool experience.”
As a senior communications major, she is fully aware of the thousands of directions she could go, and as many activities that beg for her time and allegiance. But Lindsey continues to go to King’s Club because she continues to see change and be changed.
“It’s really cool when you start serving and you realize maybe it’s not so much about what you’re giving, but maybe you are receiving so much in exchange, and you’re learning from these people more than they’re learning from you.”
By Audrea Sprinkle