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World Christian Week

March 19, 2012

Thoughts from CIU Sophomore Jacob Given

World Christian Week is a big event here on the CIU campus. Every year, a week is devoted to hearing what God is doing among the nations. Various missionaries and alumni can be found on campus. Mission agencies have booths set up in the student center, and you can speak with a representative almost any time of the day. Needless to say, World Christian Week is a very special time.

This year, we had a chapel speaker named Steve Richardson, president of the mission agency Pioneers-USA.  He is the son of Don Richardson, a famous missionary.  Don Richardson is also the author of the popular mission book “Peace Child,” – the story of how he and his wife Carol lived among, and shared the gospel with, the Sawi people of Indonesia – a tribe of headhunting cannibals. 

The topic throughout the week was “The Journey of Obedience.” Each day during chapel time, Richardson spoke about what it means to take a journey of obedience toward God, and what that looked like in his own life. He encouraged us as students to simply obey and trust God, and to always focus on the destination. Richardson also spoke of God’s surprises. God works in surprising, and sometimes even humorous ways. I have found this to be true in my own life, so I definitely resonated with his perspective.

But above and beyond any specific detail, World Christian Week always gives me an overwhelming sense that we have a great God who is in control of all things. Seeing all of the missionaries and alumni visiting from their homes in remote nations, hearing what the missions agencies had to say, and being in chapel for great worship and encouragement all contributed to an assurance that God is in control of all things in every nation. Many nations were represented by the people attending World Christian Week, and each representative could vouch for God’s providence in their respective area.

So what is my response to World Christian Week? Do I pack up everything and head for India? Should I leave everything and live in the Amazon among unreached peoples? Should I head to Africa and preach the gospel? The great thing about the body of Christ is that not everyone has the same function. Not everyone is called to do exactly the same thing. I don’t feel that I am called to foreign missions, however after World Christian Week, I am far more aware of what is going on among the nations, and I am certainly not going to rule out participating in that area of God’s work.

To hear messages from World Christian Week go to: http://podcast.ciu.edu/03062012-stephen-richardson-preparation-for-t?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ciupodcast+%28Columbia+International+University+Chapel+Podcasts%29  

See photos from World Christian Week at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36922281@N05/