Nov. 17, 2015
For Immediate Release
By Mallory Vest, student news writer
| Pastor Mark Harrell of Victory Christian Fellowship in Somerset, Ky.,
speaks on hope during Campbellsville University’s FIRST CLASS. (Campebellsville University Photo by Sheng Huang)
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Pastor Mark Harrell of Victory Christian Fellowship in Somerset, Ky., breathed new life into Campbellsville University freshmen’s dreams at the FIRST CLASS large group service in Ransdell Chapel.
Harrell started off by asking the freshmen a simple question: “What is your dream?”
He had students reflect for a moment on their dreams, no matter how big or small, or how impossible or out-of-reach they seemed.
“To have hope in this dream of yours, you have to hope against hope. It’s our job to keep hope alive,” Harrell said.
He read from Romans 4:17-21, a passage where Abraham is applauded for his faith in the Lord and His timing.
Verse 18 says, “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be” (ESV).
Harrell talked about Abraham’s story, how a 100-year old man trusted the Lord and finally bore a child.
“Abraham lived with such infectious hope that he defined his surroundings,” Harrell said. “In the atmosphere of your contagious hope, a miracle can take place.”
Harrell noted that Abraham was not the only one who trusted the Lord and hoped in his promises.
“There seems to be an implied truth throughout the Bible that infectious hope creates an environment for legacy,” he said.
Harrell shared a story about how his church went to a mission trip to Russia and handed out over 10,000 Bibles in the Russian language. One elderly woman stood out in the crowd to Harrell as she made her way toward him. Through translators, he learned that her Bible had been taken away from her at age 12 after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Receiving her Bible, she wept tears of joy as she praised God for keeping her dream of having a Bible again alive.
Harrell encouraged students to spend time with the Lord, worship Him and be quiet before Him, so as to keep hope alive.
“The person to find a cure for cancer could be in here. The next president of a nation could be in here. The next Nobel Prize winner could be in here, in this very chapel at Campbellsville University,” Harrell said.
“Anything that tries to keep you from fulfilling your dream, any doubts or fears, allow divine hope to swallow them up. When God gives you a dream, live in hope and make it happen.”
Harrell’s message connected perfectly with the first day of the Operation Christmas Child Collection Week.
As a service project, each FIRST CLASS small group of about 20 freshmen, an instructor, and a student mentor filled OCC boxes. They were challenged to fill as many boxes as they could, and Monday, Nov. 16, was the first day to bring them into the chapel.
The hundreds of boxes set on the chapel altar created a fitting backdrop for Harrell’s word on hope.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.