President Balzer's Response to Our Nation's Tragedy

Siloam Springs, Ark (September 21, 2001) — Dear Alumni and Friends:

As I write this more than a week after the attack on our United States, we continue to be filled with grief and incomprehension. At the same time, it seems appropriate to update you on the status of our community in relation to these events.

When word of the attack became known, we held a special chapel for sharing information and prayer. Each day of that week, we held one or more special gatherings for information and prayer. We observed President Bush’s Day of Prayer on Friday by canceling the noon-hour classes and holding a special prayer service. In each service, the Cathedral was packed.

Throughout campus you see impromptu discussions, group prayer and our faculty and staff members listening to students. In fact, one night last week faculty members provided a panel on related historic, religious, and cultural issues. Again the meeting area was packed, and students remained for hours with questions.

To our knowledge, there has not been a student, faculty or staff member that has had immediate family members killed or injured in the disasters, though we know of a number of “close calls.” We know of no alumni deaths or injuries, and have inquired via email. One alumnus was in the World Trade Center, but escaped unharmed. We are certainly thankful for these good reports.

On the other hand, we do know that our changed world will affect some families through direct military service. About 10% of our students enrolled in the Advance Program serve in the armed services, and a few traditional students here on campus are reservists. As members of the JBU community, we need to keep these students and their families in our prayers.

As we all know, this incredible attack changes many, many things about our lives that we cannot yet predict. At JBU, we are reminding ourselves to work through this experience with a biblical and educational perspective.

May God bless each of you in the days ahead,

Dr. Lee Balzer,

President

Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”

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