Simpson University’s ‘Global Impact Week’ Returns to World Service Roots

Article by SU student Kaitlin Hergert

REDDING, Calif.–Simpson University’s WorldSERVE missions program recently celebrated Global Impact Week on campus with special guests Dr. David Thompson and his wife, Rebecca, medical missionaries for more than 40 years.

The first traditions of Global Impact Week date back to 1921, when the university was founded as Simpson Bible Institute and named after A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). Originally, SU was strategically located in Seattle, because that was one of the fastest routes to China, which would help accomplish the goal of spreading the gospel around the world.

Simpson University’s motto, “Gateway to World Service,” is a great example of how the university has roots in world service all the way back to its origins, with goals having been to train students as missionaries and ministers to be sent out to the world. Current events that are more closely related to Global Impact Week were started in the ‘90s by Jim Bailey, who initiated spiritual formation and many of the related events on campus that have become annual traditions. 

This year’s theme came from Habakkuk 3:2.

This year’s Global Impact Week was themed around Habakkuk 3:2, which states, “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” The 2020 theme “Do it Again” is a call to God telling him that we know of his great deeds and the ways in which he has worked in people’s lives, and asking him to do it again.

Key speaker of this year’s chapels, Dr. Thompson, brought to life the context that Habakkuk was written in, drawing similarities between the exile and Babylonian captivity with the challenges of a global pandemic and so much social unrest. Director of Spiritual Formation Jose Palos said, “At a point in history that has peaked in terms of trauma and overall pain and fear and anxiety and struggle, all the planning for Global Impact Week has made our hearts clear and aware that even through all this, we believe in a God that can move in the midst of all of it.” 

At A.B. Simpson Night, students heard from professor Thomas Middlebrook, Tozer Seminary Dean Patrick Blewett, and Simpson alumnus Greg Collord on the history of A.B. Simpson, the C&MA, and Simpson University.

Global Impact Week kicked off with A.B. Simpson Night, an outdoor evening gathering on the lawn by the cross. Students gathered to hear three speakers go over the history of A.B. Simpson, the C&MA, and Simpson University, highlighting many of the successes of God leading SU back to the roots of why the school was founded nearly 100 years ago. They preached that as God’s children we are to value and thirst for God to do it all again; that SU would “partner with God in faith to do it again.”

Immediately following this Monday night event began 24 hours of continuous prayer by students and staff. This led into Worship Night on Tuesday evening, where students gathered to worship and sing praises to God. Chapel on Wednesday was led by Dr. Thompson, who revealed how the suffering God brought him through strengthened his trust in God even amidst so much pain and heartache. Dr. Thompson also hosted a nursing workshop Thursday to give extra insight into the medical side of his missions work, and to connect with and encourage the nursing students in pursuing their calling.

In decades serving as a missionary doctor, Dr. David Thompson and his wife, Rebecca, grew a small dispensary in Gabon into a full-service hospital.

Roots, a weekly WorldSERVE event on campus this year, also took place on Thursday night, reinforcing the testimony of Mrs. Thompson “trusting God in the midst of losing so much.” Friday’s chapel was the conclusion of Dr. Thompson’s message, where he talked about the cost of not only discipleship and following Jesus, but of pursuing your calling, whether locally or globally. The week wrapped up Friday night with a C&MA-hosted webinar. Students heard about recent updates about what God has put in the hearts of those in the C&MA, and some A.B. Simpson hymns were redone and released in more contemporary styles.  

WorldSERVE is a Simpson University missions program designed to empower students to lead short-term missions trips locally, domestically, and overseas. Due to COVID, WorldSERVE is focusing on the more locally based service opportunities in Redding and Shasta County. Follow WorldSERVE on Instagram at suworldserve, and learn more at simpsonu.edu/missions.

About the author
Kaitlin Hergert is a freshman from Hillsboro, Ore., who is planning to major in nursing. Kaitlin works in the university’s Marketing Department. When she’s not in school, she loves playing softball and piano, singing, and hunting.

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Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding 31 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 20 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally as one of U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West. The university is launching new programs in digital mediacomputer information systems, and engineering, and recently added athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team ranked No. 1 in California and No. 26 in the nation. The university has a highly ranked Veterans Success Center and partnership with the Army National Guard. Simpson University contributes an estimated $50 million annually to Redding’s economy. It offers aggressive scholarships and is working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements. Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu