Liberty University celebrates cultures around the world during Global Focus Week
Liberty University’s spring Global Focus Week offered a score of opportunities for college students to learn about life overseas and contribute to missions around the world. With dozens of outreach organizations represented on Liberty’s campus, students were exposed to the common goal of meeting spiritual and physical needs across the globe.
Representatives from Compassion International and Christar epitomized the heart of Global Focus Week by making others aware of outreach opportunities to address poverty and hopelessness in an international
The Compassion Experience allowed students to see life through the eyes of a child in an impoverished country. Visitors engaged in an audio-guided tour of an accurate replica of the child’s living conditions. At the end of the simulation, visitors had the opportunity to select a child for sponsorship.
Monica Foutty travels around the nation with the Compassion Experience, advocating for child sponsorship as a Go Rep for Compassion International.
“The goal (of the Compassion Experience) is to allow people to (set) foot in another world,” Foutty said. “A lot people in the U.S. might not be able to experience a third world country. This allows people to immerse themselves in another culture without leaving their culture. This also leads to more sponsors and more lives changed.”
The experience featured the true stories of Yanelly from the Dominican Republic and Jey from Kenya and showed how a Compassion sponsorship changed the trajectory of their lives, introduced them to Jesus and gave them the opportunity to receive a quality education. Compassion International equipped Yanelly and Jey with the means to rise from their impoverished upbringings. Yanelly has become a doctor and Jey a musician.
“What Compassion means to me is change,” Foutty said. “Compassion is change for the better and for Christ.”
A Compassion International child sponsorship proves that change is possible. Jey shared that he believed the story of his life was over when he ended up in child prison for stealing food, but through Compassion International, he realized that God writes the story of his life.
“People walk away from this experience seeing how blessed they are and seeing how God has given (them) so many benefits financially and how they can give back through that,” Foutty said.
A sponsorship of $38 per month provides meals, medical care, school fees, Bible teaching, counseling, tutoring and vocational training for a child in an impoverished country. Sponsors also have the opportunity to interact with their child through exchanging letters. Over 2 million children from 25 countries are currently in the sponsorship program.
Group sponsorships allow frugal college students to financially commit to a monthly sponsorship. Go Rep. Rachel Baker co-sponsors 11-year-old Jeanpool from Ecuador with three of her friends to decrease the cost.
“Compassion is an opportunity to disciple children that you would never get to meet in any other capacity,” Baker said. “It really is carrying out the Great Commission. You can either spend $2,000 on a mission trip, or you can change the life of a child for $400 a year.”
Global Focus Week also integrated the G5 Spain initiative through Christar’s Refugee Supply Store.
Christar and LU Serve formed a partnership this year with the goal of loving the nation of Spain and serving its refugee population. The Refugee Supply Store is a new venture for Christar, and their first Refugee Supply store was during Global Focus Week.
With around 167 refugees entering Spain each day, there is a need for clothing and daily essentials. The supply store allows customers to buy items that will directly go toward the refugee population.
Over spring break, a team of Liberty students will distribute the supplies purchased for the supply store to refugees in Malaga, Spain.
Bethany Coffey and her husband graduated from Liberty University and began a life on the mission field. Coffey is now in her 30th year of ministry with Christar where she serves as a Community Care Coordinator. Coffey loved serving Muslim countries overseas, but she realizes there is also a mission field in the States.
“The thing I tell everyone is that if you’re interested in missions, you need to be involved right now,” Coffey said. “Don’t think by getting on an airplane and by flying across the ocean, you’re going to wake up a missionary. You need to be reaching out to internationals right now. God has brought the world to America.”
Visit Compassion International’s website for information on how to sponsor a child. Check out LU Send for more information about the G5 initiative or how to assist the refugees in Spain.