Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Students challenged to pray for Syria

CGE, Campus Church and WorldHelp will host an interactive night for students to understand the Syrian crisis

Political strife, violent protests, millions of refugees and full-scale civil war have been defining the nation of Syria for the past four years.

In order to address what has now become an international issue, Liberty University’s Center for Global Engagement (CGE) will partner with Campus Church and the faith-based humanitarian organization WorldHelp Wednesday, Feb. 19 to present Engage Syria.

NEED — Students can help the Syrian war by pledging to pray for peace and healing. Photo provided

NEED — Students can help the Syrian war by pledging to pray for peace and healing. Photo provided

According to CGE, Engage Syria is designed as an interactive cultural encounter and will provide students with the opportunity to walk through the sights and sounds of the Syrian civil war. The event will feature Liberty student art in an effort to aid students in better understanding the complexities of the current civil war, the involvement of the United States and the United Nations and the resulting refugee crisis for the millions of affected Syrians.

According to WorldHelp, more than 2.5 million Syrians have fled the country since the onset of the civil war in 2011. Ten percent of the population has been displaced, and more than 130,000 deaths have occurred since the conflict began.

In addition to walking through a simulated war zone, CGE and WorldHelp will provide students with the opportunity to learn about the diverse cultural and religious background of Syria while hearing personal stories and firsthand experiences of the facts and statistics of the war-torn nation.

Campus Church Director Ian MacIntyre said he believes Engage Syria is the perfect representation of Campus Church’s mission statement: to bring God’s glory on this campus and his fame among the nations.

“Every year during the spring Global Focus Week, Campus Church leadership gets together and decides one cause that the church body can stand behind, one we feel God is moving in,” MacIntyre said. “Engage Syria is an opportunity for us to mobilize our congregation to make a difference in the world with the gospel message.”

According to MacIntyre, integrating the Syrian cause into Campus Church will help students to see what is really going on around the world.

“A lot of times, especially at Liberty, we are isolated from persecution and hardships,” MacIntyre said. “Engage Syria is going to be an opportunity to give not only financially, but in prayer.”

According to CGE, students participating in Engage Syria will be asked to commit to a 10-week prayer challenge for peace in the nation of Syria.

MacIntyre said Campus Church will donate all proceeds to the Syrian cause in conjunction with WorldHelp.

“Wednesday night’s offering will all go to WorldHelp to aid in Syrian relief,” MacIntyre said. “It is going to be a powerful demonstration of God’s grace to people in Syria. It lets people in Syria know that there is a school and a church in Lynchburg, Va. that hasn’t forgotten about them. It gives a global perspective to the church body.”

The Campus Church message will be delivered by Senior Vice President for Communications Johnnie Moore. Engage Syria will follow directly after the service in Thomas Road Baptist Church from 9-11 p.m.

For more information on Engage Syria or to donate to the cause, visit liberty.edu/globalfocusweek or worldhelp.net/engagesyria.

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