Have you ever wondered what life is like for Christians in nations of the persecuted church?
Global Opportunities Week, Oct. 2 through Oct. 6, will offer multiple opportunities for students to gain perspective on the persecuted church and learn how to minister to persecuted Christians.
Mark Vowels, director of the Center for Global Opportunities, said the chapel theme for the week will be “Sound the Battle Cry.”
The theme is a reference to II Timothy 2:1-4 which speaks of being a good soldier of Christ and enduring hardship.
Events and messages throughout the week will reflect the theme and emphasize missions to Christians enduring hardship.
Vowels said Missions Advance will hold secret church, a simulation of a church meeting in a persecuted country, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 9 p.m. in War Memorial Chapel.
“It’s going to simulate what it’s like to have to meet in secret,” Vowels said. “It will show what church looks like in a persecuted country.”
Students may participate Friday, Oct. 9, in the Exile Experience, an all-night event to conclude the week simulating a night in the life of a Christian refugee.
Matthew Wells, coordinator of the Exile Experience, said the event will be the climax of Global Opportunities Week.
“We will have a whole week of missions, sermons, workshops and special events with this sort of a climax on Friday night with the Exile Experience,” Wells said.
The simulation will start at 10 p.m. and will end Saturday morning with no promise of a good night’s sleep.
“We’re going to try to get sleep, but it won’t be guaranteed,” Wells said. “The whole point is to basically put yourself in the shoes of Christian refugees in the Middle East and to try experience a small part of what they experience.”
Students who choose to attend will be permitted to bring three items from a list they will receive prior to the evening. The list will include possessions like a tooth brush, a sleeping bag and a flashlight.
Wells said students will be fed a meal similar to a meal refugees might eat, perhaps pita bread, hummus and an apple. Students will attend sessions on the persecuted church, assemble packets to send to Middle Eastern Christian refugees and have a time of prayer for the persecuted church.
Men and women students will then make “refugee camp” on opposite ends of the athletic fields. Wells said the event will be hosted by the Ministry Chapel and will cost $5 to attend.
The chapel hour during the week will be divided into two days of collective chapel in the FMA and two days of individual workshops.
Vowels said Dr. Phil Hunt, president of Central Africa Bible College in Zambia, will be the keynote speaker during the collective chapel meetings.
The 14 workshops will be divided into three categories: “General,” “Your Major/ God’s Design” and “That They Might Be Saved.”
General category workshops will include a video presentation, a lecture on ways to do missions “outside of the box” and a lecture on how to minister through poverty and relief outreach.
“Your Major/God’s Design” workshops will feature six BJU graduates who have used their degrees in missions around the world.
Vowels said the graduates will give lectures on how they have used the arts, medicine, business, education, short term missions and cinema.
“That They Might Be Saved” workshops will feature lectures on how to minister to members of other religious groups.
Vowels said the religions covered in the workshops will be Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism.
Global Opportunities Week will be the second week of missions emphasis hosted by the CGO since its opening in fall 2016.