“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness,” Colossians 2:7 (NLT).
“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have
received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence,” 2 Peter 1:3 (NLT).
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing,” John 15:5 (NLT).
What a wonderful opportunity we have to share in the spiritual growth of students or others with whom we minister. As we take time to have Bible studies with students and watch them grow in their love for the Lord, we can also expect to be blessed and grow in our own faith.
I love hearing stories about staff members and volunteers who are letting their roots “grow into Him,” which inevitably creates a strong foundation for their Walk. It also provides a strong foundation for them to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with international students. As Scripture tells us: “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness,” Colossians 2:7 (NLT).
After being ministered to, international students are often inspired to then grow in His Word. One of our ministry friends shared an encouraging testimony about Rachel, who decided to accept Jesus as her Savior. Her digging deep into the Word brought about an exciting revelation! Our ministry friend writes:
“The day came when Rachel decided to trust Jesus as her Lord and follow Him. We had been studying the Bible together, as much as possible. Rachel was very desirous of letting God’s Word transform her life; she was diligent about obeying, integrating and applying the Word in her life, she struggled with questions, such as, ‘Why did Jesus have to die so soon?’ And, ‘Why couldn’t He stay on earth longer?’ Rachel struggled with her own flesh—especially in regard to repentance, or as she put it: ‘saying sorry’ to Jesus. Yet, I noticed that Rachel was growing in her faith as she shared her thoughts about the Father, the Son, and their relationship to us. One day, as we sat at my dining room table, Rachel looked at the flowers cut on my table and said, ‘I think Jesus is the graft that connects us back to God, our Creator. We are part of the flower that looks alive; however, unless we are reconnected, we will die. So, we need Jesus as the One who binds us,’ This was a profound truth to Rachel as gardening is an important hobby to her and her husband (he also works in the field of agriculture). We have not yet studied John, about the vine and the branches, but I wonder what her reaction will be!”
This experience no doubt inspired and blessed our ministry friend who was working with Rachel! Friend, stories like this are not unusual in our ministry. In fact, as the world grows darker and more ominous by the day, we are blessed with reports that reflect God’s incredible glory! Here are some of the many things we have witnessed in 2016:
- An International Students, Inc. staffer serving in an elite management school reported that within days of school starting, 45 students had already signed-up for an International Students, Inc. Bible study. There was no need to even advertise––today’s thirst for God’s Word is that strong.
- At a Texas campus, our staff were ushered into the Indian Student Association and a door willingly opened for Indian students to be involved with our ministry. This happened at a time when the Indian government is asking Christian missionaries to leave the country. What a creative and resourceful God we serve! When missionaries are sent home, God simply sends the country’s best and brightest “home” with them!
- As the year’s countless campus Bible studies kick-off, ministry donors have graciously helped us buy and print another 5,000 copies of our International Student Study Bible for distribution.
As always, dear friend, we so appreciate your support and prayers! I pray for you this week that you “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him.” I pray that your faith grows and that you will overflow with gratitude and thanksgiving! Thank you for your continued support, which helps us further our mission to reach every international student for Christ!
For More Information
Learn more about ISI’s Churches Reaching Nations initiative.
Learn how to minister to students from diverse backgrounds by reading ISI’s Religion Profiles.