Convo highlights Global Focus Week
Liberty University’s Convocation series during Global Focus Week featured two speakers, Dr. Billy Kim and Jey Mbiro, whose messages encouraged students to choose Christ and showed them the importance of compassion through sponsorship.
On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Kim, a South Korean evangelist, took the stage alongside the Korean Children’s Choir to speak at Convocation.
Kim began by reflecting on the spiritual transformation of South Korea over the past century, emphasizing that there are more than 30,000 Korean missionaries out on the mission field today, carrying the message of Jesus Christ to people around the world.
“One hundred thirty years ago, Korea had no Christians,” Kim said. “Now, Korea has one of the largest churches in the world with the help of your graduates and your student body. We are grateful. We thank you, Liberty University, for standing for the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Referencing Joshua 24:14-15, Kim encouraged students to make choices in their lives. He emphasized that life is full of choices, some of which are within our control, and others that are not. “Choose yourself this day whom you serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” Kim said.
Addressing the students directly, Kim emphasized the challenges they will face in the world.
“The world does not welcome you with open arms,” Kim said. “It’s a consuming world. It’s a chaos world. It’s an unfriendly world. It’s a selfish world.”
However, Kim encouraged students to look to Christ. He said, “If you choose Christ as your leader, you will never go wrong.”
Reflecting upon the life of Jesus, Kim said, “This man Jesus touched the slave, and the shackles fell off. He touched the weak, and they became strong. He touched the eyes, and they saw. He touched the ears, and they heard. He touched the hands, and they worked. He touched hearts, and they rejoiced. He touched the mouth, and they spoke. We need the touch of Jesus today.”
Kim made the decision to follow Jesus at age 17. He shared his testimony to the students of Liberty.
From a houseboy during the Korean War to becoming a faithful Christian evangelist, Kim recalled the guidance of American soldier Sgt. Carl Powers, who encouraged him to go to the United States for an education. Feeling homesick and lacking faith, Kim came to the United States to study at Bob Jones University in 1951. After a life-changing conversation with a ministerial student, Kim prayed the prayer of salvation in Korean and became a Christian. In 1959, Kim’s family members dedicated their lives to the Lord, and he followed God’s calling for him to serve as a minister.
On Friday, Sept. 29, Mbiro, a former impoverished child from Kenya and speaker for Compassion International, addressed Convocation.
Mbiro began by recounting his tough upbringing in his impoverished community in Kenya, where hunger was constant.
“I remember going to bed hungry … my mom would look at our faces and say the hardest thing any parent would have to say: ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have anything to eat,’” Mbiro said.
On the streets of Nairobi, Mbiro’s desperation led him to become a beggar and eventually a thief. Mbiro recalled the harsh consequences of theft in Kenya, describing the brutal realities of the mob justice mentality. At the age of 9, Mbiro entered what he referred to as the “darkest moment of (his) life” in prison.
While in prison, Mbiro was inspired by the Kenyan preachers who would constantly proclaim the message of God’s love. Under their impact, Mbiro prayed and asked God to release him from both prison and poverty.
Mbiro said, “We serve a living God and he’s alive. He hears our prayers, and so for me, when I knelt down and I prayed to God, he heard my prayers. And I was released from prison, and I was happy and excited that I was finally free.”
Although he was released from prison, Mbiro shared how he was still not free from poverty. “I went home and nothing had changed in my family. There was nothing that had changed. And I thought to myself, ‘What’s going to happen next?’” Mbiro said. That is when Compassion International intervened.
According to Mbiro, Compassion International “is an organization that goes all over the world” and operates in the poorest neighborhoods, selecting children through local churches to provide them with support and opportunities. Mbiro emphasized the impact of education, love and salvation in Jesus, which he gained through Compassion International’s programs.
As the father of two daughters, Mbiro shared the depth of Compassion International’s impact. He said, “If nobody sponsored me, those two little girls would be born in poverty. But because somebody was obedient to the Holy Spirit, because somebody was willing to sacrifice, my life, their lives, their children’s lives were rescued from poverty in Jesus’ name. And that is the power of the gospel. That’s the power of sponsoring one child.”
Mbiro encouraged Liberty students to sponsor a child through Compassion International. With Compassion International representatives scattered throughout the Vines Center, Liberty students raised their hands to receive a packet from among 500 children who had been waiting the longest to be sponsored.
“Right now, there are thousands and thousands of kids like me who are hoping that someone today at Liberty University is going to pick up a packet and rescue them from poverty,” Mbiro said.
To sponsor a child from Compassion International — like Mbiro once was — visit this website.
Solem is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X