A sea of colors poured into the Liberty University Vines Center on Monday as international students in traditional dress waved their nations’ flags and paraded into the arena to kick off Global Focus Week. They also participated in the special Convocation by reciting Psalm 86:9 (“All the nations You have made will come and worship before You, Lord; they will bring glory to your name,” New International Version.) in their native languages to emphasize the importance of Bible translation.
The biannual conference is hosted by the Center for Global Engagement and Office of the International Student Services. Throughout the week students will be shown how they can use their talents, gifts, and passions in every area of study to take their degree global. A series of events is scheduled to expose students to different cultures and encourage them to get involved overseas.
This Global Focus Week will be one of the largest Liberty has hosted, with more than 150 representatives from 60 different organizations visiting campus and bringing with them a wide variety of cultural insight to network, educate, mentor, and recruit students. Representatives will participate in special mission-focused Convocations and seminars.
|Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs at Samaritan's Purse, speaks during Liberty University Convocation.|
One representative, Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs at Samaritan’s Purse, took a few moments in Convocation to share the importance of bringing the “Flag of Christ” to disaster-torn countries around the world.
“You are not getting your education just to work inside the walls of the church but outside (as well),’ he told students. “You cannot expect that people will always believe the message of Christ, but if you do a good job you can be the light in the secular world.”
Liberty alumnus Dr. Samuel Thomas (’86), president of Hopegivers International gave the keynote address. Hopegivers International is a faith-based nonprofit that aides orphaned, abandoned, and at risk children; equips men and women for ministry; and sends out individuals to serve others and share the Good News.
He said when he graduated from Liberty, he had a desire to go back to his country of India and share the name of Christ.
“Being a missionary is not a sacrifice, but it is the greatest calling that God can give us,” Thomas said. “Our greatest honor is to serve Christ and tell others of what Christ has done.”
|Alumnus Dr. Samuel Thomas ('86), president of Hopegivers International, challenges Liberty students to see missions as a calling from God. (Watch the his message on Liberty's YouTube Channel.)|
Thomas emphasized that missions is not about going overseas, it is about being motivated by Christ’s sacrifice.
“I pray to God that He will call more students from Liberty University to be missionaries who will take the love letter of Christ to those who have never heard it. I am not here to give you a mission update; I am here to tell you that I hope God gives you a mission encounter,” he said.
People do not come to Christ by faith plus works, he added, but they are saved by a faith that leads to work.
“You must first love Christ, then He will give you a love for people you have never loved before,” Thomas said. “I pray that you will say to the Lord, ‘Where you lead me, whatever things you want me to do — even if you want me to be a martyr — I will do it because of my love for you.”
Liberty is home to nearly 1,000 international students this year. Liberty’s student body collectively represents all 50 states and 95 countries. Students and alumni are constantly engaged in areas all over the world, including several short-term mission trips throughout the year. Global Focus Week allows students to continue pursuing these options and become more involved in God’s work across the world.
(View the full schedule)