For Immediate Release
June 20, 2007
On Friday, June 15, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) International Director Geoff Tunnicliffe received an honorary doctorate degree from Olivet University, a Bible-based institution of higher learning based in downtown San Francisco.
"I am deeply humbled by this special award,” said Dr. Tunnicliffe. “In receiving it, I want to acknowledge the partnership of my wife Jewel who has served as a life-long partner and has always given her full support and wisdom in my ministry pursuits. I also want to recognize the gifted team of staff and leaders who have worked in Kingdom partnership with me in serving the global body of Christ. The Lord has been so gracious in my life and I give him the honor and the glory. I feel blessed beyond words."
Dr. Tunnicliffe, who was chosen to receive the award in special recognition for service, leadership and achievement in the Christian community, also delivered the commencement speech in which he shared with the audience some of the guiding principles that have helped him seek to make a difference in the world.
“I want to talk to you about cultivating our heart for the world, because when our hearts aren’t engaged our strategies won’t matter. I think impacting the world is a matter of the heart,” began Dr. Tunnicliffe, who used the story of Jesus on the Good Samaritan in laying out the principles. He followed by highlighting various statistical figures on global issues to encourage the graduates to become further involved in these matters and to do what they could to make a difference as they go out into the world.
“More than 6.5 million children under the age of five years of age die each year because of hunger related causes. An estimated 30 percent of world’s population will have trouble with drinking water by 2025. Over 33 million people worldwide are living with HIV and Aids - 14 million children have been orphaned by Aids. And there are between 100 and 200 million children estimated to be involved in slavery or child labor, while over one million children are forced into the sex trade every year,” said Dr. Tunnicliffe.
“When you think about those facts, they can be just facts. But we need to let our hearts go out. If we are going to make a difference in the world, we have got to come close to the problems. We must open up our hearts.”
Dr. Tunnicliffe concluded by leaving the graduates with the following exhortation:
“Friends, this is your day and this is your chance. This life is the one life you have. So which it is going to be? Are you going develop the heart for the world? Are you going to make a difference for Jesus Christ? If you are, then you’ve got to come close. You’ve got to connect with people with real needs.
“I’ve come to realize that I can’t do so many things. It’s only with God’s help I can do something. I can’t do everything. I can’t fix everything. But I can do something. So I encourage you to be men and women who make a difference in the world and follow the example of the story that Jesus gave of the Good Samaritan. Congratulations and God bless you.”
World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.
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