Eleven countries in the world celebrate a day to give thanks for different reasons and at different times throughout the year. BGU (Bakke Graduate University) has students or alumni in all eleven of these countries. This week the US is celebrating its day of Thanksgiving on Thursday.
This year for Thanksgiving, I want to stop, close my eyes, and imagine the scene and sounds in Revelation 7:9-10:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
And they cried out in a loud voice:
Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
That Scripture depicts the true Thanksgiving Experience like no other. No movie special effects can even approach it. No imagination can picture it. Imagining this scene helps us to find joy in our daily struggles to understand each other’s accents in Zoom video conferences with students, staff and faculty who live on 5 continents. The pre-taste of Revelation 7 is worth the struggle. I wonder if when Revelation 7 happens if we’ll be grinning from ear to ear remembering how difficult it sometimes in our Zoom classrooms, and how natural it is in the presence of our Creator.
BGU is a “network university” which means students can graduate from but they can’t really leave. BGU graduates become the faculty, mentors, dissertation advisors, certificate course developers, subject matter experts and financial supporters for the next generation of students. This year with a new Academic Dean living in France after living most of her life in Africa, and a fast-growing certificate platform and publishing team BGU has been able to involve more alumni than ever before.
At the end of each year we focus on ways for the network to help donate to BGU as each person is able. Many BGU faculty, alumni and students serve in urban ministry environments or live in nations that have per capita incomes that are very small compared to the west.
This year the BGU Board has created a matching fund of $30,000. Several alumni and faculty are giving $1000 each to increase that to $45,000. We are asking that others ask God if they should give at least $150 so that 300 giving units of $150 will match the $45,000.
Would you prayerfully consider giving to BGU (https://www.bgu.edu/giving/) this season at whatever level God prompts you? I realize that as a student that often finances to pay tuition are challenging and that may be all you can focus on this year. Please at least stop and give thanks to God for the generosity of so many who serve and give to make possible the learning experiences we all enjoy.