Discover, Imagine, Repond: Global Vision Week 2006

by Rachel Pledger '07

More than 450 people celebrated on Trinity Lawn Friday, November 3, enjoying the song, dance, and food of many nations during the Global Fest Dinner and Celebration, marking the end of APU's most ambitious Global Vision Week ever. Since October 30, the Office of World Missions hosted 31 events to reorient the student body toward God's global perspective, uniting under a solitary theme: Discover, Imagine, Respond.

Each morning began with a communal Prayer for the Nations in the East Campus Prayer Chapel. At Monday morning chapel Director of Study Abroad Dan Waite addressed the Discover theme during his sermon, urging individuals to cross boundaries. "If it's good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for us," Waite said, going on to describe the relationships Jesus pursued with foreigners. His example, Waite argued, should encourage Christians to reach out with a heart of love and service to people whom they never thought to encounter.

Monday evening the LAPC Board Room brimmed with 65 people who attended the Stop Human Trafficking lecture and campaign. Students were made aware of the prevalent exchange of men, women, and children as sexual commodities and slave labor, worldwide — a number speculated at two million each year. After its conclusion, students took time to preview the 2007 missions teams in Wilden Hall. Representatives introduced twenty-five mission team opportunities for the coming spring and summer.

Mission information tables took up residence Tuesday, October 31, on the Cougar Walk. Forty-six different mission organizations and nearly twice as many missionaries populated East Campus. Upwards of thirty classrooms received visiting missionaries. That evening, a Matheteis Forum and Dinner with 65 attendees focused on the mass killing and displacement of Sudan’s black population, a conflict especially deadly in the nation’s western region of Darfur. Panelists Teddy Omondi and Keith Buck took questions before concluding.

Wednesday's chapel speaker and APU alumni J. Wesley Bassard '96 shared his passion for filmmaking and crossing boundaries to epitomize the day’s theme, Imagine. It was certainly a day filled with innovation and creativity. After chapel, students encountered the scent of home-cooked cultural dishes, stunning jewelry, and colorful keepsakes from fifteen different nations to celebrate culture at the World Fair Market on Cougar Walk.

That evening, students picnicked on Trinity Lawn to view Jim Hanon's Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a documentary film depicting the martyrdom of five young missionaries seeking to minister to the Waodani tribe in Ecuador.

The Imagine theme carried into Thursday as students participated in lectures on artistry abroad by George Haraksin and Eric Herron, from New Song Church, San Dimas and the gradual dissolution of language and culture in a more globalized world by professor Richard Slimbach, Ph.D. The evening concluded with the screening of Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, a documentary following the role of music in the South African struggle against apartheid throughout the mid to late 1990s. Executive Producer Sherry Simpson attended and answered questions.

Friday's theme was Respond. Adele Booysen, a writer and photographer for Empowering Lives International in Kenya, urged students to reach out and spread the joy of Christ with the world. That evening, the Global Fest Dinner brought students out for the week's final celebration.

Global Vision Week is one week from the entire academic year which seeks to challenge the student body to take initiative in their global community. "We wanted people to walk away and say, I have to get involved. How do I go? How do I send? How do I pray?" said Director of World Missions Chiraphone Khamphouvong. The Global Fest finale dinner attendance exceeded expectations.