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Friday, December 1, 2017 A Heart of Service

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. This is your true and proper worship.” - Romans 12: 1 (MSG)

Community is the safe haven through which individuals flourish and as such, Liberty University has welcomed a melting pot of cultures and experience, bringing together a people united under the common goal of reaching the world with the hope of the gospel. Among these groups of commissioned and purposed people are service members, veterans, and families of those who serve or have served, which make up over 30% of the total student population today.

During the month of gratitude, November, the Office of Military Affairs has the opportunity to highlight these individuals and also those in the Greater Lynchburg area through Military Emphasis Week: a string of events focused on honoring the sacrifices of those who have served. From the Military Appreciation Hockey Game on November 4th to the Football Game on November 11th, the University, as a whole, rings of national pride and remembrance. Past and present students, staff, faculty, and community members come from near and far to participate in the camaraderie.

This year’s Military Emphasis Week was a huge success, reaching more individuals than any of the years past. The momentum from the community provided a very unique opportunity for veterans to serve other veterans during some of the slated events and, one after another, men and women voluntarily gave of their time. Despite the fact that this week was meant to venerate their own service, service members and veterans alike chose to embody the commission Jesus gave us to be the hands and feet of the gospel, serving all people as Christ does the church. Their sacrifice and dedication, strength and valor, makes clear that service is not just a part of their names, but rather woven into the core of who they are as people.

Jerome Krejcha (right) at the Veterans Appreciation Reception on Nov. 8 at Liberty University.

Jerome Krejcha, a beloved member of the Liberty community and veteran of the Marine Corps, exemplifies this principle, putting his heart and soul into serving his brothers and sisters in Christ. He not only does so as a staff member at Liberty’s Veterans Center, but also as a volunteer during Military Emphasis Week. He assisted with set-up and break-down needs and personally engaged each and every veteran that attended the Night of Remembrance, Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Reception, and the College For A Weekend activities. Jerome very well could have chosen to enjoy the various events of Military Emphasis Week as a participant, but he made the conscious decision to encourage and uplift those around him with his witty humor and infectious joy. He went out of his way to lend a hand and make welcome all those who wear and have worn a uniform in service to our great nation. Jerome truly embodies what it means to live a life that reflects Jesus: his words, work, and worship all display God’s goodness and point back to the power of the cross.

When God created those who serve our nation in the armed forces, he instilled in them a special gift – a heart of service – which transcends denominations and ethnicities, experiences and locations. Even after their tenure with the military has come to an end, they continue their commitment to serving God’s people. Jerome and his compatriots remind us to think of ourselves less and devote time to God’s kingdom purpose through loving His people. When we do so, our hearts are then transformed into the likeness of Christ.

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

About the Author:

Cailah Garcia Lopez serves as the Office of Military Affairs Outreach Coordinator, partnering with and equipping military affiliated students, staff, and faculty as they pursue their educational and personal goals. Through student focused event planning and community engagement,  she facilitates intentional spaces where service members, veterans, and their families can interact with those who share in their experiences and love of country. Cailah is the granddaughter, sister, and niece to several Air Force and Army veterans and holds her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rollins College. She has a passion for student success and higher education and in her spare time, plays guitar, leads worship, and spends time with her incredible husband, Gabe. 

Posted at 9:53 AM | Comments (0)
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