September 27, 2023 : By - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University is observing Global Focus Week this week, an annual event that aims to raise global awareness among students, faculty, and staff. Students have unique opportunities to connect with global workers, experience a variety of cultures, participate in interactive events, and hear from special Convocation guests.
Representatives from over 40 organizations, including Compassion International and Operation Blessing, are available to meet with students on the first and second floor of Montview Student Union. Workshops are being offered on fighting global human trafficking, providing humanitarian aid in crisis, and disaster relief skills. All week, students can tour a Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Unit Trailer in the Speakman Lot by the School of Business. On Thursday night, a Global Night of Worship is planned in the Center for Music and the Worship Arts, Concert Hall, and the popular Taste of Nations event returns to the Vines Center on Friday night, when students can enjoy authentic food from over 20 countries. (For dates and times, view the full schedule of Global Focus Week events.)
Wednesday’s Convocation featured world evangelist Dr. Billy Kim and The Korean Children’s Choir, who filled the Vines Center with joyful songs and a call to choose a life for Christ. Clothed in colorful, traditional Korean garments, the choir members danced and sang Christian songs as well as the American classics “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful,” and the fitting ballad of “It’s a Small World.”
After the choir’s performance, Liberty’s international students participated in a Parade of Nations, waving the flags of their countries. Liberty has over 70 countries represented in its residential student population and 100 nations in the online program.
Kim was welcomed to the Convocation stage by Liberty President Dondi Costin. Kim shared his gratefulness for the first missionaries who came to Korea 130 years ago and established one of the largest churches in the world. He added that Liberty has contributed to that reality by standing for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and impacting many Korean students throughout the decades.
Kim began his message with Joshua 24:15 and the instruction to “… choose this day whom you will serve.” He warned students that the world won’t welcome them with open arms because it is unfriendly and selfish, but life is made up of choices, and there are two choices that will bring peace and eternal life amid a fallen world: choosing Christ as their Savior and choosing to have an active prayer life.
“Many people follow Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius … if you choose Christ as your leader, you will never go wrong,” he said.
Kim expounded on Jesus’ life and ministry, saying he was a man that boasted neither wealth nor influence, yet, although he never wrote a book, all the libraries in the world couldn’t hold the stories written about him. Although Jesus never released a song, there are countless songs that praise Him, and although He never practiced medicine, Christ alone has the power to heal hearts that are broken.
“This man Jesus touched the slave, and the shackles fell off,” Kim said. “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, and He touched the hearts and they rejoiced.”
Kim then shared part of his testimony, about serving as a houseboy at age 16 for an American soldier who encouraged him to pursue an education in America. With all expenses paid for by the soldier’s family, Kim left his home country with a promise to return. He found himself scared and homesick after three months of studying at a Christian college in South Carolina. A visit from a ministerial student and the explanation of “simple salvation” brought Kim to the moment at which he accepted Jesus as his Savior and chose a life for Him.
In emphasizing a life of prayer, Kim reflected on the lives of Martin Luther and John Wesley, through whom God brought about great reformation, as well as the lives of the biblical figures Moses, Abraham, King Hezekiah, and Paul, whose prayers God answered in miraculous ways.
“Every miracle in the Scripture is a result of a fervent prayer,” Kim said.
In conclusion, Kim left the student body with an encouragement and exhortation to trust in God’s provision.
“God said that He will supply all your needs according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus. May this great institution produce many men and women of God to get the Gospel to the region beyond.”
Liberty Chancellor Jonathan Falwell thanked Kim for coming to America to share his story, one of the many global testimonies that Liberty students will hear as Global Focus Week continues.
On Friday, Liberty will welcome Jonathan Almonte, a Compassion International alumnus, to the Convocation stage.