Off-Campus Programs Holds Prayer Vigil For World Events

Photo+by+Katelyn+Bosch

Photo by Katelyn Bosch

Last Thursday, over 100 students, faculty and staff gathered throughout the day to pray for the troubling events occurring throughout the world, the Calvin students and alumni in the troubled areas and the greater body of Christ around the globe.

The prayer event was co-sponsored by off-campus programs and campus ministries. The Meeter Center lecture hall was opened from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for personal prayer, and there were three worship services throughout the day.

In addition to the quiet, contemplative atmosphere, many prayer resources were provided such as themed prayer boards and lists of descriptions of the highlighted world events.

The list included the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crises, the conflict in Ukraine, the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the persecution of Christians in China, among others.

The man behind the event was Don De Graaf, director of off-campus programs. “We wanted to create a space,” he said. “A space for people at Calvin to enter in and to let God enter into that space as well, a place for us meet God and talk about what’s on our heart and what’s on his heart, and I think we did that.”

“Dave Ellens (off-campus programs) and the folks from campus ministries did a great job of thinking about visual images and creating the ambience that we wanted,” De Graaf continued. “I think it was a real cool space to be able to enter and reflect and be in the presence of God and pray for the world events going on right now.”

Dozens of students participated throughout the day, as many of the issues weigh heavy on their hearts.

Sophomore Alyssa Muehmel came during a time of personal prayer, “There’s a lot of horrible things going on in the world and I think that it’s important that we at least think about them and pray about them if nothing else.”

Muehmel continued, “I hope that here [at Calvin], people will be more informed, and I hope the Spirit moves across the world in healing people.”

Freshman Courtney Zonnefield shared why the event was important, “Our world is so broken right now,” she began. “As Christians, we get so wrapped up in what we are doing and what our [local] church is doing in our city, so I think it’s really important to have a time set aside to pray for the body of Christ around the world.”

The organizers hope that people are reminded of the power of prayer and the importance of being informed about the events abroad. They also hope that we would pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in those areas, as well as for those who aren’t necessarily Christians but who are still caught up in these crises.