Do you remember the first time you went to college or left home and were a stranger in your new setting? Do you remember the awkwardness, loneliness, and isolation you felt? Now add another stress of speaking a foreign language and being surrounded by people whose conversation and culture you barely know.
All over the United States, international students are coming to study in our universities by the hundreds of thousands, and many are feeling overwhelmed.
Have you ever thought about being a friend to them?
“I was a stranger and you let me in,” are Jesus’ words of commendation for those who welcome the international into their homes and communities.
But how do we do that?
We met Linfeng when he came to our weekly event at Kansas State University, the Conversation Café. Linfeng is a good student who enjoys meeting people. He participated in the Café Bible discussions, an Alpha course, and fun events we sponsored. His questions were always good. You could tell that he was reading the Bible on his own.
After one year, he moved from Manhattan, KS to the K-State campus in Salina. There he connected with more Christians, both college age and older through the church and campus ministry. One older couple regarded him as a son, including him in family events and helping him with his car. The friendships of Christians so moved him that when he found himself in a very difficult situation, he turned to Jesus himself.
Here are a few suggestions to help you connect.
Sharing experiences and ideas helps all of us grow to be humble but skilled servants in the kingdom of God. I would love to hear about your journey to befriend international students. Please comment below – I’d love to chat more!
My hope is that these resources will help you deepen your friendships with internationals and in doing so you will both experience God’s amazing love.
Fraternity Brother Dalton Hook entered university thinking he it was about partying and studying. He never expected to find God there, and pray and receive Christ in May of 2011 at Greek Summit, a summer trip for Greek Students involved with Cru.
If you’re leading a team then you know you that this is crunch time. There are a few precious weeks with these people who have been entrusted to your care before your staff peel off to focus on MPD and prepare for their summer assignments. You can help your team end well by reminding them that they are not lone rangers. You can lead a discussion on what it means to be a TEAM.
There is tremendous comfort in the knowledge that we are "seated" with Christ. You have a seat at the table with Jesus. You are seated with Him right now. You are at the Greatest Table with the Greatest King.
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