“Follow Me!” was the theme of the AIIAS Student Association Week of Prayer, bringing the entire community together for twice daily sessions of corporate worship, prayer, and daily sermons from October 25-29, 2022.
Guest speaker John K. McVay, the president of Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington, focused his sermons on how God generously equips those whom He calls. He supported this with stories from the Old and New Testament of people who answered the call to follow Christ despite having to sacrifice much.
McVay combined biblical concepts with the importance of responding to the invitation of Jesus while taking each purposeful step in one’s spiritual journey. “Christian mission is not so much something we plan, as it is a wondrous journey of discovery into the very heart of God,” said McVay, “The itinerary is bound to surprise. The very one that we might judge to be on the fringe, unimportant to the future of Christian mission, may, in fact, be the linchpin, the tipping point, the crucial figure inducing a paradigm shift in outreach.”
An audience of families including adults and their children appreciated McVay’s sermons. His delivery of stories and parables made the lessons more applicable and relatable to today’s day and age. Despite the downpour of tropical storm Nalgae, McVay concluded the Week of Prayer on Sabbath morning with a final message about the story of Moses and his acceptance of God’s call amidst uncertainty.
McVay retold the story of when the Lord entrusted Moses with a powerful staff that became a tool in the Israelite migration from Egypt to Canaan. He gave two illustrations: the miracle during the sermon on the mount wherein the multitude of 5,000 benefited from five loaves and two fish; and an account to the early Adventist pioneers who purchased 1,500 acres of land to build a school when they scarcely had enough funding. McVay’s examples proved that God provides when he calls.
“The task at hand seems to dwarf the resources in hand, but what is in your hand is not nearly as important as the presence of God. These [things in your hand] become signs and symbols pointing beyond themselves to something far more important and significant. What is in your hand is not nearly as important as to whom it belongs,” concluded McVay.
The AIIAS president also invited Pam McVay to provide a special session for leaders’ spouses. Pam McVay shared her story of being married to a leader, related experiences on family matters and challenges with raising a child with learning challenges, and responded openly to questions from those that attended the session.
“We were treated to a unique week of prayer by a university president who is also a respected theologian and scholar,” said AIIAS president Ginger Ketting-Weller. “The new testament lessons and fresh insights from the stories of people who were called by Jesus will resonate in our hearts. It was a pleasure to watch faculty and staff, students and children all enjoying the sermons.”
AIIAS gives appreciation to the McVays and wishes them God’s blessings as they return to their responsibilities in the United States.
About the Speaker
Dr. John K. McVay is the 23rd president of Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington, USA. He has been serving the position since 2006. McVay felt called into pastoral ministry at a young age and followed in the footsteps of his father, a pastor and hospital chaplain. He earned a doctoral degree in New Testament with a dissertation focused on the theme of the church in the Epistle to the Ephesians.
Week of Prayer Topics
- When Jesus Calls Your Name
- Follow Me!
- The Alabaster Disaster
- The Cornelius Files
- Come Up Here!
- Fish & Chips
- Waging Peace in the Cosmic Conflict
- What is That in Your Hand?