The Student Association hosted the Developing Love for a Developing World prayer event on April 20-24.
Every weekday last week at 7:00 a.m., students met in the McInteer rotunda to pray for various nations. A specific continent was assigned for every morning. Africa was on Monday, Latin America on Tuesday, Europe and Oceania on Wednesday, Asia on Thursday and America on Friday.
The new president of the Student Association, junior Kyle Johnson, said he was impressed by the amount of students that came to the event.
“We averaged right over a 100 people a day, which is crazy,” Johnson said. “I honestly was expecting us to have 20-30 people every day, and we were totally okay with that. We weren’t going for numbers. But we were shocked the first day when over 100 people showed up.”
Johnson said there were some people who came every day to hear stories and to pray. Every day, the Student Association wanted to focus on a general continent, but also have students and faculty share experiences with specific countries. Johnson said the purpose of this was to include more people.
“If we just prayed for Ethiopia, a lot of the people that had been to Africa might not have come if they had never been to Ethiopia,” Johnson said. “But if you say, ‘We’re praying for Africa,’ then that brings in more people and they can focus on whatever their experience is.”
On Monday, the day focused on Africa, students and faculty shared stories from their time in Zambia and Tanzania. Midnight Oil workers also talked about the Kibo group they support.
The idea of gathering people together to talk and pray about various nations was not an original Student Association idea, though. A student first approached Phil Habegger about this idea. It was originally entitled “Developing Love for Developing Nations.” Johnson, chair of the spiritual life committee at the time, thought the name sounded exclusive and condescending. This is how the new name and including America on the list to pray for came about.
“(This event) could’ve come across as, ‘We have everything together, so we’re going to pray for everyone else,'” Johnson said. “So the idea I pushed was that we were not praying for everyone else because they’re the only people who need help. We’re praying for ourselves, too, because we need help. We all need help. This was a way to make this truly global.”