Henderson, Tennessee — (Dec. 18, 2023) — Freed-Hardeman University spent time learning about and praying for international communities in mid-November as part of the university’s International Student Days (Nov. 13-14).
Dr. Richard England Jr., executive director of FACE (French African Christian Education), gave a presentation about his work and travels in Africa. “Be a bridge – reinforce God’s love for all and embrace diversity,” England said. “Understand peace and joy, and begin to embrace what God has promised us – hope and life.”
England challenged the students – “Are you prepared to do the things that are hard?” He said when someone asks him why he makes trips to Africa, England has a three-point response. “I work in Africa – there’s great food, wonderful friends and beautiful music,” he said. England encouraged students to “go above everything you see and hear – the conflict, the number of the dead and the terrorists – the reality is when we see people coming together to say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for the promises and blessings that we have,’ we can then begin to embrace the reality of diversity and come full circle.”
On the second day of prayer, BRIDGES offered prayer for international communities at work, in need of economical and environmental support. The prayer was led by Dr. Justin Rogers, Dr. Jeremy Northrop and Maurice Williams. BRIDGES aims to foster diversity and inclusion on FHU’s campus. BRIDGES is an acronym for Belonging to the FHU community, Reinforcing God’s love for all, Integrating an inclusive learning environment, Developing a kingdom culture, Growing together, Embracing diversity and Strengthening our communities.
England encouraged the student body to consider God’s word when thinking about how individuals can support one another.
“It doesn’t make any difference whether you’re sitting in a debating hall at Oxford University arguing about the existence of God or if you’re getting to know a 2-year-old in the outer reaches of a village in Africa; we’re all created in the image of God,” England said.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.