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Students challenged to reach out to Haiti

January 29, 2010 : Elizabeth Mayhew

At Friday’s convocation, Liberty students were shown an emotional video from World Help detailing the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Haiti. Groups like World Help are hard at work seeking to restore hope and relief to the people of Haiti.

 

“What I’m interested in seeing you do, is sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering. Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins, you will rebuild their foundations, you will be known for repairing the broken places.”

 

Vernon Brewer, founder and president of World Help and a Liberty University alumnus, challenged students at Friday’s convocation with these words taken from Isaiah 58.

Brewer, who is Liberty’s first graduate, made a passionate call to action for Haiti. He pointed out the needs of children left orphaned there.

“In the face of this tragic disaster it is the children who are suffering the most,” he said. “There are thousands of orphans in a life-and-death struggle right now. These are the youngest and most helpless victims — an entire new generation of orphans. They don’t understand and they cannot comprehend what has happened.”

Brewer said he knows the people of Haiti are holding on to the hope that they will be restored. He shared these words from a Haitian: “From the ashes we will rise.”

World Help has rescued 400 orphans and has delivered $3 million in food and medicine in the first few days of the relief effort — and the organization is not stopping there. Brewer stressed that the people of Haiti not only need physical relief in the form of medicine, food and water, they also need spiritual relief.

“Haiti needs us and Haiti needs you,” he told the students.

Brewer said Liberty has been ministering to Haiti since the university’s beginnings and the hospital Liberty helped build there 25 years ago is being used to save thousands of lives. Today, what Haiti needs more than anything, he said, is prayer and support.

“I’m asking you to please give as generously as you can and I promise you that what you give will literally save lives, so please, please pray for Haiti. I ask you to join me … students from all over the world, 80 nations; I call us to pray for Haiti.”

Campus pastor Johnnie Moore announced a pledge from Campus Church, Liberty’s Wednesday night and Sunday services for the student body, to sponsor at least 15 Haitian orphans for the next year through World Help.

With 17 of its own students here on Haitian visas, Liberty has been involved in aid for the country since the news of the tragedy first broke on Jan. 12. At the first convocation of the semester, students were encouraged to give to organizations such as World Help, Gleaning for the World, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision and Compassion International. Liberty immediately began collecting bedding and furniture to be sent to Haiti through Food for the Poor. Mission trips are planned for the near future.

Friday’s convocation was the last day for Liberty’s Spiritual Emphasis Week, featuring main speaker Miles McPherson, pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, Calif. McPherson followed the challenge from Brewer and encouraged students to make their time on earth meaningful, and take hold of opportunities to minister to the world.

“There are no accidental moments in God’s economy of your life,” he said. “ … Let’s create a generation of ‘do-something’ believers.”


World Help, a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian organization founded to meet the spiritual and physical needs of hurting people around the world, has conducted international evangelistic campaigns and rallies in more than 67 foreign countries and has taken over 4,000 people into the mission field. World Help’s headquarters are in nearby Forest, Va. Click here to read Brewer’s blog.