Next week is big for our university! The peer review team from SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) will be on campus for our reaffirmation of accreditation, which happens only once every 10 years. They will affirm what we are doing well and point to areas where we can improve.
They will remind us that "Q-E-P," (Quality Enhancement Program) is a commitment we are making to improve the writing skills of our students across campus.
I'm looking forward to this special time, and I'm so happy for the many who've invested hundreds of hours in preparation for this visit.
Stephanie Kirschmann, John Lommel, Larry Frazier, and Randy Compton are four heroes that immediately come to mind. To each of you, the entire university is grateful for your leadership on our accreditation reaffirmation.
But even with the excitement of next week, let's not look past the significance of this most holy weekend.
The Son of God went willingly to the cross where he was murdered. He now asks us to take up our cross and follow him. The Christian walk is joy. But it is also sacrifice. Often, great sacrifice.
I learned this week of the murder of four Wycliffe Bible translators. Islamic militants stormed their translation office in the Middle East. Equipment was destroyed. Books and papers were burned. Two of the workers sacrificed their lives to save the lead translator by lying on top of him.
The slaughter of Christians is happening all over the world. The bloody war of terror continues as we witnessed again in Brussels this week. Closer to home, the religious liberty of Christians is threatened daily.
How do we respond? I'm in awe of the response from Wycliffe Associates: "The remaining translation team has decided to redouble their efforts to translate, publish and print God's Word for these eight language communities."
Easter reminds us to look beyond today's struggle and claim the eternal life with God that awaits us. When our cross is heavy and sacrifice is expected, Easter give us hope. As the familiar song rings out: "It's Friday, but Sunday is a comin'!"