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Global Focus Week celebrates missions around the world

February 15, 2013 : By Bethany Pico/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University’s biannual Global Focus Week wrapped up Friday, Feb. 15, bringing an end to a week of special Convocations, seminars, and events, but marking a beginning for many students responding to God’s call to join Him in service around the world.

More than 115 representatives from 50 mission agencies visited campus and brought with them a wide variety of international experience and cultural insight used to network, educate, mentor, and recruit students. Students were especially moved by the powerful stories of missionaries serving in closed countries, many of whom had their identities protected during their visit.

The theme for this semester’s Global Focus Week was “Make your Degree Global,” showing Liberty students how they can use their talents, gifts, and passions in every area of study to share the Gospel.

Melody Harper, chair of the undergraduate Global Studies program, addressed students in Friday’s Convocation.

“Search your hearts and look into the future to decide what part you are going to play in completing the Great Commission,” she said. “We’ve encouraged you to make your degree global because we believe that it’s not just those in full-time ministry who will make a difference, but it takes those who are in the marketplace — those people are essential in reaching the world in your generation.”

Students were encouraged to evaluate how they could use their career to carry out the Great Commission. Advisors met with students to custom-design their studies so that their major would have a global focus.

Global Focus Week kicked off Monday with international students entering the Vines Center in traditional dress waving their countries’ flags in a “Parade of Nations.” The parade was followed by a Children of the World choir performance and special guest speaker Joanna Saxton.

Saxton, director of an international discipleship ministry, 3DM, challenged students to follow the example of the early church that was “passionate spiritually” for the Lord, living in a “radical community” of believers with a “missional zeal.”

On Wednesday, Liberty’s first graduate and founder of World Help, Vernon Brewer spoke in Convocation about reaching the world for Christ, reminding students, “the Great Commission is not an impossible mission.”

In Campus Church that evening, students were challenged to be the voices for 27 million slaves worldwide and end modern-day slavery by joining the End it Movement. Afterward, hundreds of students gathered in the Schilling Center for “Taste of the Nations.” This popular event involved international students from approximately 50 countries who prepared and served special dishes in traditional dress.

Liberty’s student body collectively represents all 50 states and 95 countries.

Throughout the week, students participated in roundtable discussions with experts on a variety of topics, including church planting, education, aviation, business, athletics, social, medical, and humanitarian issues.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, “experience” events took place. Experts on the cultures of Japan, Oman, and Senegal discussed their work in the respective nations and allowed students to participate in special cultural traditions.

Liberty students and alumni are constantly engaged in areas all over the world, including the school’s ongoing Restore Rwanda campaign and several short-term mission trips through Light Ministries. Global Focus Week allows students to continue pursuing these options and become more involved in missions.