Husband and wife team Ben and Sherry Booz spoke during OBU chapel services Wednesday, Sept. 11. Their message was part of GO Week and took place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. GO Week (Global Outreach) is an annual week dedicated to mobilizing students to serve in global missions’ efforts. The theme for the week was “Reach Beyond” and the scriptural basis for the week was Matthew 25:35-40.
Ben and Sherry Booz have lived and worked overseas for 25 years. They have worked in eight countries spread over four continents. They have three children, all adopted from overseas, who are current students at Christian universities, including a daughter attending OBU.
Sherry began the message by recalling her time attending chapel services in college, on a small Christian college campus in Texas. She talked about sitting through many chapel services during college, yet not being able to remember many important details about them. Sherry urged the students to truly engage in chapel.
“We have entered this day with one specific prayer. Today our prayer is that one statement, one comment, one challenge, one something from what we share today would impact you in such a way, that it will cause you to begin to engage in action.”
The couple worked on OBU’s campus in 2017 through the Spiritual Life Office. They currently work with forcibly displaced people, or refugees, around the globe. They focus on people whose lives and families have been torn apart by war or oppression due to religion, nationality, race or political identity.
The couple addressed two questions throughout their message, “Why does this happen?” and “What does it have to do with you?” Sherry addressed the “why” of how people arrive at refugee status by talking about wars, economic collapse, persecution, prejudice and the fact that we live in a fallen world, as well as the long lasting implications of this turmoil.
“The majority of refugees remain so for the rest of their lives,” she said.
Ben then discussed that loving refugees is best accomplished through offering them hospitality and friendship.
Quoting from Leviticus 19:33-34, Sherry said, “When a stranger resides with you, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”
The second question, “what does it have to do with you?” was answered as Sherry explained that students can start making a difference on their own campus by reaching out to international students, through inviting them into their homes and being a friend to them.
“Seventy-five percent of international students have never been invited into an American home,” she said. “Eighty-five percent of international students have never had the chance to get to know a genuine believer.”
The Boozes concluded their message by challenging the students to find a place to take action.