February 11, 2013 : By Drew Menard
Liberty University’s biannual Global Focus Week kicked off in Monday’s Convocation with international students entering the Vines Center in traditional dress waving their countries’ flags in a “Parade of Nations.” The parade was followed by a Children of the World choir performance and special guest speaker Joanna Saxton.
|Liberty students from all over the world celebrated their heritage during the "Parade of Nations," a tradition during Global Focus Week.|
The theme for this semester’s Global Focus Week is “Make your Degree Global,” showing Liberty students how they can use their talents, gifts, and passions in every area of study to share the Gospel.
Executive vice president Johnnie Moore said Liberty believes the Great Commission is both for people in the “ministry and the marketplace.”
“The most famous missionary in the world was a tent maker — the apostle Paul; he made tents. That’s how he made his living,” Moore said. “And then he went all over the world preaching the Gospel.”
Moore encouraged students to follow in that example by seeing how their career could be custom designed to have a global focus.
Saxton echoed this goal in her Convocation message by examining the principles of the early church, found in Acts 2:42-47, “that fueled their fire and led them to the nations.”
Raised in the inner city of London and the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant, Saxton received a full scholarship to attend Oxford University. However, she felt like God had another plan for her and turned down the scholarship. She pursued a degree at a local college and started a movement of small groups, eventually reaching thousands of people throughout England and the United States through the ministry of 3DM. She calls herself “a foot soldier in the movement” for Christ.
Today she lives in the U.S. with her husband spreading this movement of discipleship with others.
Examining the Scripture in Acts, Saxton challenged students to follow the example of the early church that was “passionate spiritually” for the Lord, living in a “radical community” of believers with a “missional zeal.”
“Every generation has a call — whether we are doctors, dancers, singers, musicians — we know the Great Commission is for each and every single one of you. We know the nations are greatly in need. The nations need leadership,” Saxton said. “You guys have been spending your time here to be trained as leaders in this nation and beyond. So I ask you: Will you radically go? Will you passionately love the Lord?”
She told students Liberty’s Global Focus Week could serve to celebrate diversity and culture, but it could also be “the start of your calling to the nations.”
This Global Focus Week will be one of the largest Liberty has hosted, with more than 115 representatives and 50 mission agencies visiting campus and bringing with them a wide variety of international experience and cultural insight to network, educate, mentor, and recruit students. Representatives will participate in special mission-focused Convocations and seminars.
Liberty’s Center for Global Engagement, partnering with Liberty’s International Student Center, will offer a series of events throughout the week to expose students to different cultures and help them get involved with missions work.
On Wednesday, Liberty’s first graduate and founder of World Help, Vernon Brewer, will speak to students in Convocation about being active and global servants of Christ in a desperate world.
Liberty’s student body collectively represents all 50 states and 95 countries. Students and alumni are constantly engaged in areas all over the world, including the school’s ongoing Restore Rwanda campaign and several short-term mission trips through Light Ministries. Global Focus Week allows students to continue pursuing these options and become more involved in missions.
Below are some highlights of the week: