October 5, 2022 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
During Wednesday morning’s Convocation in Liberty University’s Vines Center, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Winsome Earle-Sears brought a message of boldness, encouraging the student body to live in faith as they trust God, looking to the examples of Christians who walked before them for inspiration.
Earle-Sears made headlines when she became the first female Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the first Black female elected to statewide office. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, she immigrated with her family to the U.S. at the age of 6. She has served in the United States Marine Corps and in addition to her various appointments, she has served as Vice President of the Virginia State Board of Education, as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Census Bureau, as co-chair of the African American Committee, and on the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. She also serves the community through leading a men’s prison ministry and is the director of a women’s homeless shelter.
Earle-Sears’ visit was in conjunction with the School of Business’ CEO Summit, being held on campus through Friday.
She began her message by telling students that she values education.
“Without a good education you will get nowhere and you will get there very fast,” she said. “So thank God that you are (at Liberty), getting the education that you need so that you can launch into this world that the Lord has given to us.”
Then she reminded students that Christians are tenants, and that God is the landlord.
“These bodies of ours, they don’t even belong to us,” she said. “We are living in a rental acting like we own it.”
While many in the world act entitled, as if they “brought themselves here,” Earle-Sears said they will one day discover that that is not the case.
“They do have a Maker and they will answer to Him someday,” she said.
She then shifted to a message centered on keeping the faith, sharing parts of her own journey. She said she grappled for years with what having faith truly means before eventually coming to recognize, through in-depth study of Scripture, that faith is trusting in what God says even when the way ahead looks confusing or appears daunting.
She referenced biblical examples such as Abraham, Rahab, and the woman in the Gospel of Luke infected with a blood hemorrhage — all broken people who trusted that the Lord was who He claimed to be.
“(The Bible) says that without faith it is impossible to please God,” she said.
In her own life, especially through her political career, Earle-Sears said that she has seen fruit from the seasons of life where she has exhibited strong faith.
She was first elected 20 years ago to the House of Delegates and, soon after, felt God calling her to run for Congress. Although she lost, Earle-Sears said she knows in God’s eyes she was victorious.
“That was a successful race,” she said. “You know why? Because I obeyed. Man looks at the end of the thing and then they’ll tell you if you were a success or not. But God, all He wants to know is ‘Did you obey Me?’”
“So, I won that race,” she added. I won it in the spiritual realm.”
Before closing, she noted a quote spoken by missionary martyr Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”
Elliot and his four companions were killed by Huaorani warriors in Ecuador in 1956 while sharing the Gospel. In the years that followed, as more missionaries continued to carry on the work of Elliot and his comrades, many of the tribal people surrendered their lives to Christ.
“(Elliot) lost his life because of that,” Earle-Sears said, reminding students that his faith is an example of a man who trusted in the Gospel and laid his life down for It.
Friday’s Convocation also featured brief remarks from former president of Ghana John Mahama, who is participating in the CEO summit along with other African business leaders.
Mahama, a Christian, reminded students of the importance of witnessing to the lost. While he acknowledged that the country of Ghana is a relatively peaceful one, its calm spiritual state is not true for the majority of Africa.
“We have a duty to let our lights shine across the world,” he said. “Ghana is an island of religious calmness in a sea of turbulence.”
Amidst the difficulties that his home continent is undergoing, whether it be spiritual persecution, drugs, or fighting among countries, Mahama touched on the pivotal influence and means of change that government has the potential to provide in every country. He said ensuring that young people are employed at quality organizations reduces their chances of being pulled into illegal employment opportunities that often lure them away from poverty and into a dark, yet financially more stable, living situation.
“Government always has a responsibility to do all they can to secure the peace and safety of the nation, but above all, to reduce youth unemployment,” Mahama said.
Follow more news from the CEO Summit at Liberty.edu/News.