Hunter Smith Scholarship


Hunter Smith, a loyal and strong supporter of Arise Africa, passed away in April of 2016. He came on several mission trips with Arise and Kershaw’s Challenge, and from the moment his feet hit the dirt of Lusaka, it’s safe to say that his life was forever changed. Hunter sponsored several children through Arise and was always very involved with the organization.

With the help of the Smith Family and Kershaw’s Challenge, the Hunter Smith Scholarship was established in 2016.

The scholarship has one goal in mind: to send someone to Zambia with Arise Africa every year in Hunter’s honor. We know how much he loved Zambia and feel that the most fitting celebration of him is to SEND and GO back to Africa every single year.

Hunter had a larger-than-life personality. He was a magnet for children. On our trips, he would be first off the bus and the last to get on, always with multiple children laughing and hanging onto his arms.

He was dearly loved because he loved so ferociously. He was the tangible love of Christ to the children he met in Zambia. He held them, he tossed them in the air, he sat down and let them take a nap against his chest. That was Hunter: 110% all the time, all heart, for the glory of God and joy of children.

Hunter Smith
Photo by Someone’s Name

He was deeply committed and was quick to make new and dear friends in every chapter of life.

Hunter was a natural and humble leader, never asking anyone to follow. However, because of the way he imitated Christ in is words and actions, people naturally did.

He had a gift for making others feel known and wanted to be known by others as well. He was confident in the Lord’s constant and mercy-filled work in his life, allowing others to be part of the journey. Hunter lived with passion on his sleeve for the world to see.

Past Recipients

Jessica Hayes, 2019

Texas A&M University – Commerce
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

“I am so grateful and humbled that God would allow me to have such an opportunity as this. To share the Gospel with the children, build new relationships, and experiencing the faith, love, and hope they have in Christ has been the most beautiful thing I have ever encountered. Their passion for Jesus is evident and I love it!”

Kirbi Ward, 2018

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

“That place and those people can teach you a million things you never knew in as little as a day. To say this trip grew me as a person would be an understatement.”

Natalie Lawson, 2017

Dallas Baptist University
Hometown: Lubbock, TX

“An incredible opportunity to be able to experience new cultures, share God’s love with His people, and grow in relationship with some of the kindest, most loving people”

Andy Gonzalez, 2016

Houston Baptist University
Hometown: Houston, TX

“Laughter and joy come from the Lord, and a single day didn’t go by where both were not happening. Altogether, it was Challenging, Humbling, and 100% Worth it”

Apply For The Hunter Smith Scholarship

If you are interested in applying for the Hunter Smith Scholarship, please download and complete the application below and email to alissa@ariseafrica.org.

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