By Nathan Driskell, Student Reporter
This week the International Justice Mission seeks to promote awareness of social injustice and raise funds during its first awareness week of the semester, themed “Give Hope.”
IJM will have a booth set up in the Campus Center until Friday for students to learn more about the group. It will also sell light blue bracelets that say “Hope” in eight languages, in keeping with the week’s theme. Spiritual Life Director Mark Lewis said he hopes this week will be a reminder of the injustices occurring in other parts of the world.
“I am hoping that all who hear will be reminded of the truth of the degree of suffering that is taking place throughout the world, and that we as Christians are not given the luxury of ignoring it, but we are given the opportunity to do something about it,” Lewis said.
The awareness week began Tuesday night with a screening of the movie Hotel Rwanda in Hart Auditorium. It will conclude with a time of intercessory prayer after Chapel on Friday around the GATA fountain, said Brandon Smith, special events coordinator for IJM and sophomore political science and international studies major from Overland Park, Kan.
David Altuna, an IJM member and sophomore biochemistry major from Austin, said the reason most people don’t help the cause of IJM and other similar organizations is that they don’t know how.
“I think the hardest thing is there’s not like starving children on our campus that they can walk up to and feed,” Altuna said. “I think students want to help; I think they don’t always know the best way to help.”
Students can support IJM by buying a “hope” bracelet for $1. Lewis said that any contributions the group receives would be an immense help.
“I think anything financially that can be done will be a blessing, because that money will go directly to helping people who are in an unjust situation,” Lewis said, adding that he hopes any contributions people make also serve to sow seeds in their heart to help similar causes later in life.
Smith said IJM is planning a second, bigger awareness week for later in the semester, when Larry Martin, vice president of education for IJM, will visit campus to speak to the student body.
ACU’s chapter of IJM began unofficially in April 1999, and was recognized as an official committee by the Students’ Association in 2000. ACU was the first college in the nation to organize a student chapter of International Justice Mission, Lewis said.