Global Focus Week highlights Rwanda and Eastern religion

  • Liberty students heard from comedian Jeff Foxworthy and sponsored over 660 Rwandese children through Compassion International.
  • Events discussing folk Islam and the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism also informed students about Eastern religion.

Liberty University reached outside of its bubble by hosting LU Serve’s biannual Global Focus Week Sept. 24-27, which promoted cultural engagement and encouraged missions involvement in the student body.

Over 160 organizations that were looking for Liberty student involvement came to the university throughout the week. Between the events, engagement, Convocation and artistic showcasing, there were two major themes of this semester’s Global Focus Week: Eastern Religion and Liberty’s involvement with Rwanda.

This year, the Office of Spiritual Development announced the G5 project from the convocation stage. The initiative is meant to focus Liberty’s platform and resources on a different country during Global Focus Week every year.

G5 stemmed from Galatians 5, more specifically, the fruit of the Spirit, and is purposed to show those characteristics to a certain people group every semester. G5 essentially gives Global Focus Week a more concentrated theme, and, for the fall 2017 semester, Rwanda was the country chosen to be featured.

Rwanda was highlighted throughout the week by multiple events and exhibits featuring the east African country.

An art exhibit in the Center for Multicultural Enrichment space showcased the modern art of Rwandan native Pacifique Niyonsenga.

In a Facebook video on the Liberty OSD page, Niyonsenga explained a painting representing Rwandese coming back to the homeland.

“We’re just sharing our experiences with the American people,” said Niyonsenga.

The new School of Music concert hall held a concert highlighting Rwandese National music that showcased traditional drummers performing alongside Rwandese dancers and singers.

The performers then shared their hearts for their country with the audience. One of them, Esther Cyubahiro, a psychology major, wants to go back home with her degree and help those mentally affected by the genocide.

“There is a gap between the people in the genocide and the people born after the genocide, my reason for doing psychology as my major is to actually mend that gap,” said Cyubahiro. “How can a mother be able to make the child understand what she’s going through during those times when we remember genocide?”

Liberty also showed a viewing of the film “Facing Darkness,” accompanied with an interactive Q&A about the Ebola outbreak of 2014 in Liberia. The film followed American Samaritans Purse doctors who went into Liberia to stay one step ahead of the horrifying disease which swept the nation. The doctors ended up contracting Ebola and “Facing Darkness” follows their stories.

Liberty students also sponsored more than 660 Rwandan children through Compassion International on. Convocation attendees were implored by Jeff Foxworthy to consider sponsoring a child, and President Falwell also announced that his family decided to sponsor five Rwandan children through Compassion International.

Global Focus Week spent a vast amount of time equipping students to minister to the ever-growing Eastern religion population. Seminars and interactive experiences centered around understanding Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism on a greater level. Liberty’s own Dr. Chris Gnanakan took the platform at the Center for Multi-Cultural Enrichment to guide students through the Eastern mindset when it comes to faith and spirituality.

Global Focus Week will be hosted again in the spring 2018. For more information, contact LU Serve.

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