Annual Global Vision Week challenges students to serve

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A missions tent was set up on Cougar Walk all throughout the week.
Photo by Nick Phillips

The Center for Student Action challenged APU to stop talking and start acting last week as they hosted their annual Global Vision Week. Several events featured opportunities for students to get involved and connect with mission groups focused on serving internationally.

Associate Vice President for Internationalization Matt Browning kicked off the week during Monday morning chapel by challenging students to engage in the week’s activities. He reminded them of the meal packaging service project scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday and encouraged them to participate by giving money and helping package 20,000 meals.

CSA bought the meals from Friends and Family Community Connections, an organization that has provided millions of meals consisting of vegetables, seasoning, soy protein and rice to people around the world.

Students and other volunteers combined the ingredients into small plastic bags, which were individually weighed, sealed and placed into boxes. More than 65 volunteers finished the project in less than three hours.

Campus Crusade, CRU Director of Strategic Alliances Joe Hanford originally came to campus to promote a summer trip to El Salvador during Missionaries on the Walk, which ran Wednesday through Friday. But he ended up helping out with the packaging effort as well.

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Students and other volunteers came together to package 20,000 meals to be distributed here and abroad.
Photo by Nick Phillips

“I love the people in the Center for Student Action. Those guys just bleed missions,” Hanford said.

CSA Graduate Assistant Laurelyn Shaw was the logistics lead of the Global Vision Week committee and made sure everything ran smoothly.

“We desire to be consistently bringing awareness of what God is doing around the world,” Shaw said. “The purpose of this week is to connect students with the opportunities APU and other organizations have and to go be a part of that.”

Shaw explained how easy it is to get caught in the APU bubble and that it’s good to try and expand it a little bit.

Lisa Espinelli Chinn, National Director of International Student Ministry for InterVaristy USA, spoke during Wednesday’s chapel session and shared her heart for students to expand their horizons and go out into the world.

“God is on the move, don’t be left behind,” Chinn said. “APU, don’t live small lives. Be part of God’s transforming work.”

Chinn focused on the importance of Christians placing themselves in situations of voluntary and purposeful displacement. She challenged students to be proactive toward mission work.

“How big is your world? How small are your ambitions?” she asked the students.

Junior liberal studies major Carly Hansen later talked to Chinn and received the plant she used as a visual aid during chapel. It symbolized the growth and change of experiences when Christians go abroad. Hansen said in previous years, Global Vision Week never meant anything to her, but that this year she’s been realizing for the first time how her world could be so much bigger than just at home and school.

“I’ve practically never left southern California so it is really big for me this year,” said Hansen. “I’ve been getting really passionate about my major and we have a couple of mission trips that are focused on teaching and teacher training. One particularly in Indonesia is really calling me.”

At another event, action team leaders sat at tables lining Cougar Walk to talk to students interested in mission work in specific places on Tuesday for the Action Team Fair. Leader of the Firelands action team and senior music major Eric Price said team leaders would contact students who signed up to give them more information.

The week ended with Global Fest Woven Together, a celebratory event held in UTCC from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Students putting on the event helped serve a buffet of food, fashion and performances. The audience clapped, shouted and showed appreciation and support for APU’s international community after Friday morning’s Celebration of Nations chapel.

Global Vision Week ended in a celebration, but not before students experienced a little of what CSA had hoped for: a broader perspective of the world and how they can interact with it and make a difference.