A Heart for All People: WNAC Scholarship Program Expands
By Elizabeth Hodges
With the changing landscape of missions, the ease of travel, and the increase in technology, international students often study in the United States or enroll in online classes in the U.S.
In an effort to be wise stewards of the money given by Free Will Baptist women and to meet the changing needs of our international students, WNAC has adopted the following guidelines for the International Student Scholarship:
Recipient must be from a Free Will Baptist church
or mission outside the U.S.
Recipient must be enrolled in a Free Will Baptist college.
Recipient’s application will be processed through the WNAC office.
Recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Missionary personnel will submit a recommendation.
$3,000 per year will be available for these scholarships.
The WNAC board will approve the distribution of these funds.
To respect International Missions protocols, and ensure the integrity of this program, we ask that all requests coming from international fields for a student to receive this international student scholarship pass through the regional director directly to the WNAC Director and copy the IM General Director.
Keren Delgado, a freshman at Welch College, daughter of Keila and Rolando Delgado, is the first recipient of this scholarship. Keren was born in Cuba and grew up in a pastor’s home. When she was about nine years old, her parents sensed the Lord’s missionary call upon their lives. They left Cuba and went to Panama, where her father assumed responsibilities as pastor of First FWB Church in Panama City. Rolando not only pastored the church, but he also ignited a missionary flame in other Free Will Baptists churches that still burns brightly today.
Judy Lytle, retired missionary to Panama, watched Keren grow in the Lord and says, “She shares the missionary heart and passion of her parents. She is a humble, willing servant. Her growing, personal relationship with the Lord is evident, and her walk with the Lord is genuine.”
In 2012, Panamanian immigration refused to renew visas for the Delgado family when Cuba all but denounced their citizenship, and Panamanian immigration laws became particularly harsh towards Cubans. In 2013, the Arkansas State Association of Free Will Baptists began the process of bringing the Delgados to Arkansas to plant Hispanic churches. These were hard, stressful years. The Delgados are people of great faith, but Keren’s mother told Judy, “It was Keren who motivated the family to keep trusting God’s timing, that it would be perfect.” The family arrived in Arkansas in July 2014.
Photo (left to right): Clint Morgan, director, International Missions; Matt Pinson, president, Welch College; Keren Delgado; Elizabeth Hodges, director, WNAC.
Don Matchett, missions director in Arkansas, wrote, “Keren moved here as a senior in high school. Because of the differences in classes, the local public school told Keren she would probably have to start in the 10th grade. The only way she could start classes with her own age group was to pass all entry tests. They told the family not to get their hopes up because it was very difficult, and she probably could not pass. They underestimated Keren’s aptitude and resilience. She passed all the tests with flying colors. She is a gifted student and a special young lady who has a big heart for all people. She is bilingual and makes friends easily.”
An example of Keren’s heart is evident in the recommendation from Don Matchett. “A few weeks after Keren started high school, I asked her how many new friends she had. She said, ‘Just one.’ I was a little panicked and said, ‘Just one? What happened?’ She said, ‘Oh, nothing has happened really. A Guatemalan student started about the same time I did, and no one will talk to her because she looks different than everyone else. She’s rather small and looks more native than the other Hispanics. Not even the other Hispanic students will associate with her, so I’ve been spending most of my breaks with her.’”
Keren served on E-Team Chicago 2015. She has been accepted to the College Missions Program in July 2016, and she will teach Syrian refugee children.
Clint Morgan, general director for Free Will Baptist International Missions, shares that, “Keren has a heart for the world, but especially India. She is an excellent choice as the first recipient for this scholarship.”
Keren, thank you for allowing God to use you to touch those
in your world and beyond. We are thankful He has chosen you to be
the first recipient of this scholarship.
Learn more about WNAC scholarship opportunities: www.WNAC.org