I had such a wonderful experience spending time with international students at OU that I wanted to continue to minister to them when I moved to Texas. God has given me the opportunity through my missions class to reach out to and befriend several Chinese exchange students who are currently attending Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. They each come from different backgrounds and have been in the States for different periods of time. Each has her own perspective, worldview and ‘religious’ experience, and sadly not one of them professes faith in Jesus Christ.
This past Friday, Southwestern hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner for International Students. I invited two of the girls to join me in celebrating an American Thanksgiving. I was unsure of what to expect, but prayed that God would use the event as an opportunity for me to share my faith with the girls. I, along with my mom, sister and two new friends attended the potluck in the Student Center. And God truly did answer my prayers and bless the evening.
Right as we arrived, my two friends were introduced to several other international students from all around the world, students from their home country of China and also students studying with them at TCU. I was thrilled to see my friends making connections with other believers. The girls had no trouble fitting it. It was actually me, the American girl, that stood out amongst the multi-cultural crowd.
We enjoyed friendly conversation, wonderful food from several cultures, live music, testimonies from international students and a brief message from one of our professors who spoke about perspective. The program was much more than I dreamed. I thought my friends would enjoy only dinner and fellowship, but they were also able to see God’s love through the words of exchange students just like them. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I continue to pray that the messages heard will have a huge impact on their lives.
After listening to the message, I share with my friends one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions by telling them what I was most thankful for – my relationship with Christ. I told them that nothing in the world makes me happier than being a child of God. I explained how Jesus died on the cross to save me from my sin so that I may spend eternity with Him. I also shared that this salvation was not something just for me, but it was also something God offered for them. My friends quietly listened and smiled as I shared more of my story.
One said she had wanted to start going to church again and had been talking with the other girl about coming too. Though neither made a decision to receive Christ, both expressed interest in knowing more and both attended church with me the following Sunday morning! God had been working in their hearts long before I shared the gospel. I pray that they continue to keep their hearts open to Him. He is at work in their lives. I can see it. And I desire to see them grow and eventually come to the point where they can surrender their lives to Him and accept Him as their Savior.