"Liberty alumnus Dr. Samuel Thomas ('86), president of Hopegivers International gave the keynote address. Hopegivers International is a faith-based nonprofit that aides orphaned, abandoned, and at risk children; equips men and women for ministry; and sends out individuals to serve others and share the Good News.
He said when he graduated from Liberty, he had a desire to go back to his country of India and share the name of Christ.
'Being a missionary is not a sacrifice, but it is the greatest calling that God can give us,' Thomas said. 'Our greatest honor is to serve Christ and tell others of what Christ has done.'
Thomas emphasized that missions is not about going overseas, it is about being motivated by Christ's sacrifice.
'I pray to God that He will call more students from Liberty University to be missionaries who will take the love letter of Christ to those who have never heard it. I am not here to give you a mission update; I am hear to tell you that I hope God gives you a mission encounter,' he said.
People do not come to Christ by faith plus works, he added, but they are saved by a faith that leads to work.
'You must first love Christ, then He will give you a love for people you have never loved before,' Thomas said. 'I pray that you will say to the Lord, ‘Where you lead me, whatever things you want me to do – even if you want me to be a martyr – I will do it because of my love for you.'"**
**Article text from Liberty University News Service article February 10, 2014. Read the full article here http://www.liberty.edu/news/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=111871