It can be a scary time for students as they go off to college. Whether they decide to attend school in their hometown, somewhere else in the state or across the country, the transition can be hard.
Now imagine how hard that transition must be for international students.
Primed for ministry
These students come from all over the world to study in the United States. For some English isn’t their primary language. For many the culture and customs of the United States are different than what they are used to. These students are primed for gospel ministry.
Here are some ways you can make a difference in the lives of international students near you:
Reach out. Contact the Baptist campus minister at your local college or university to find out if a ministry to international students exists and how you can join. If none exist discuss campus policies for reaching out to the students.
Identify physical needs. Does a student need a ride to the grocery store each week? Does someone need a place to stay during a holiday break? Would meeting for coffee and English language practice one day each week be helpful? Acquaint your new friend with community resources we often take for granted.
Offer friendship. Relationships are important in every culture. Invite students to share a meal with your family. Ask them to teach you a game from their home country. Hike with them at a local park. Visit a museum together. Welcome your guests into your home and into your community by making them part of your life. But remember they are people not a project.
Share Christ. Be sensitive to opportunities for gospel conversations. Many international students have never heard about Jesus. Introduce them to the Bible. Invite them to join you for Bible study or to come to church. But don’t put spiritual conditions on your relationship or your willingness to assist them. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. (Carrie Brown McWhorter)
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