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On April 3, four ACU students, accompanied by Dr. Vic McCracken, traveled to Washington D.C. in order to attend the IJM Student Conference and Global Prayer Gathering. These students made the trip as part of their involvement in ACU’s chapter of International Justice Mission, or IJM. IJM is committed to raising awareness and stopping trafficking around the world, whether that be sex trafficking, child soldiers, or forced labor.

Kayla, Carlee, and Sarah in D.C.

Kayla, Carlee, and Sarah in D.C.

The Global Prayer Gathering, an event at which students gather to pray and hear the stories of former trafficking victims and caseworkers from the field, was very meaningful to Carlee Finkelstein, a junior marketing major from Plano.

“For me it was really amazing to pray with people all across the world for IJM and their mission,” she explained. “As a college student I know that I can’t just write a huge check to IJM to help with their work, but I can pray and that is what God has called us to do.”

Kayla Lawrence, senior accounting major from Cross Plains, felt that the student conference provided a lot of insights on running an event like Justice Week, ACU’s annual event focusing on social justice.

“I learned the most at the student conference by hearing ideas from other schools on how we can improve our Justice Week even more,” she elaborated. “It was very interesting to talk with students from across the states and hear what events and strategies have worked on their campus to spread awareness and what earned the most success. I thought it was very helpful and we plan to incorporate some of those cool ideas into ACU Justice Week 2014!”

In addition to learning, a couple of ACU students were asked to speak at the Student Conference about Justice Week and the way their social justice organizations are run here on campus.

Sarah Ratliff, a senior marketing major from Lake Kiowa, who was asked to speak at the Student Conference, said she really enjoyed getting to talk about what IJM is doing here at ACU.

“Getting to go is so exciting,” she said, “but being asked to speak and display our leadership is another thing. I hope that we can continue to have great leaders that can continue to set a great example on campus and off so we can make more trips like this.”

There’s a lot of opportunity for COBA students to make a difference in the world, so be sure to check out opportunities like IJM!


The IJM Group in Washington D.C.

The IJM Group in Washington D.C.