“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation,”
2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT).
“Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation,” Proverbs 14:9 (NLT).
I was recently reminded of God’s powerful gift of reconciliation during a major city’s volunteer banquet. After I shared a bird’s eye view of International Students, Inc.’s impact on the world, I was surrounded by volunteers overwhelmed by the reality of how the students we serve not only experience reconciliation with their heavenly Father, but spread it back home. I thought about just how profoundly this mirrors Scripture:
“And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him,”
2 Corinthians 5:18 (NLT).
I hear from our volunteers, often, that International Students, Inc. blesses the givers even more than it does the students! Our more than 24,000 dedicated volunteers reach out and help students in countless ways: They pick them up at an airport; help them adjust and thrive in a new and foreign environment; invite them over for dinner; and welcome them into their families. It fills us all with great joy that both the givers and receivers of such selflessness are so blessed. It is through these relationships that many international students are reconciled with their Heavenly Father!
I have mentioned this amazing statistic before, and it brings me great joy to share it again: Through our ministry, a student is coming to Christ every hour of every day––for the third year in a row. We’re here to bring our brothers and sisters reconciliation with Jesus Christ. On our new M28 app, we’re witnessing approximately more and more people entering into a new Bible study, without any advertising or marketing!
God has been thrilling me with this truth lately: Reconciliation often leads to redemption, which often leads to replication. Recently, I spent lunch and several hours with a former international student from a large Muslim nation. After finding Christ through ISI, he became involved with setting up microloans in developing nations. I asked him, “What about the discipling?” He smiled. “Many of those who become involved with us accept Christ,” he answered. “But there’s more. In the last 10 years, we’ve started 1,100 home Bible studies in Muslim villages, led by individual believers. We have their addresses, and we work to stay in touch and encourage them.” All that from a single convert. One by one, thousands of these bold brothers and sisters are changing the world!
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