November 15, 2011 | 9:28 a.m.
By Samantha Allgood '12
Fifteen Bethel students, led by Associate Campus Pastor Matt Runion and Vice President for Student Life Edee Schulze, attended the three-day G92 Immigration Conference at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio in October. The group was joined by Bethel Trustee George Soltero ’82, assistant federal public defender in the District of Arizona. The conference focused on equipping students with new ideas to raise awareness and call their fellow students to action.
“Christians have a responsibility to be informed and involved as ambassadors for Christ and for the people He loves,” says Schulze, who is placing immigration on her own “learn list” for the year.
“As a campus pastor,” says Runion, “I believe that any justice issue Bethel students face must be formed by godly thought leaders who are teaching about the issue from God’s Word. The G92 Immigration Conference provides such a venue. I’m encouraged by the diversity of perspectives brought by speakers and presenters at the conference as well as the unity under the banner of Christ and the authority of the Word of God.”
The full name of the conference is G92: Equipping the Next Generation for an Effective Biblical Response to Immigration. The event's website explains the reason for the name: "G92 is a reference to the 92 times that the Hebrew word ger occurs in scripture. This word is translated as stranger, sojourner, or alien," explains the It refers to people who have come from another land and scripture says a lot about God’s love for them, and about how we as God’s people are to treat them."
Students were encouraged to make a difference for justice in their own spheres of influence. “This conference not only deepened my knowledge of the challenges we as Christians face to love the stranger and be advocates for justice, but it also reminded me how even the most seemingly insignificant actions we take to serve, to love, and to advocate can truly make a difference,” says junior Sarah Northrup, one of the students who helped plan the trip. “This conference truly embodied many of Bethel’s core values, and I would encourage all students in the future to take advantage of life-changing opportunities like this one” she said.