“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
—Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
The harvest for which we all labor reveals itself in the powerful testimonies we receive from international students. We are so blessed to hear such amazing stories of God working in their lives! Today I am thrilled to share with you one of the most beautiful and simple testimonies this ministry has ever evoked! It not only blesses me, it reminds me of why we continue our steadfast dedication during the summer months. I hope the following story inspires and encourages you too!:
Kim, an international student, made the following statements during the drive home from one of the ISI meetings she attended: “I don’t believe there is a god. I just believe in evolution. This is what we are taught in my country. There is no god. Only science.”
“So why do you keep coming to the ICF meetings so regularly?” asked her ISI driver, “if you don’t believe in God?”
Her reply was calm, but emphatic. “I like the people there. I feel peaceful.”
Just weeks before leaving the area, Kim committed her life to Jesus. But with little time for discipleship, some worried that her new-found faith would fade. But that worry proved groundless.
Fast forward a few years later…Kim has two beautiful children and a radiant testimony for Christ. When asked where it was born, she offers a simple, yet poignant answer. “I came to see God in the love of Christians for each other,” she said. “I wanted to have that love in me.”
Stories like this remind me why we do what we do at ISI. Every single act of kindness—large or small—helps reflect the love of Christ. I am blessed that I get to witness firsthand the way ISI staff and volunteers bridge the gap between cultures. I get to see their consistent dedication. I get to see their intentionality in creating lifelong friendships with international students.
And even though it’s summer—a time when many may be thinking of vacations and long days at the pool—we here at ISI are not slowing down! We are continuing our quest to create intentional relationships. We hold fast to our commitment to revealing the Good News to people who might otherwise not hear it! Summer for us is a season of high activity and even higher impact. This summer has actually earned the designation of unprecedented high-impact! What a blessing it is to be able to say this! Kim’s story helps remind me of why we continue our steadfast dedication during the summer months.
What does “unprecedented high-impact” look like? In early July, we completed a highly successful International Conference in Goa, India. Goa may be a beautiful beach town, but remember that ISI never practices “missionary tourism”––leisure travel dressed up as a lightweight missions project. No, Goa was an intense, strategic exploration of the culture, religions, social makeup and mindset of a nation that, by 2020, will potentially send more international students to America than any other country.
That’s why our India-centered roster included the Vice-Chancellor of India’s largest private university, a former Princeton international student who is now Vice-President of a large corporation in Bangalore, and also the pastor of America’s fastest growing Chinese church (who happens to be a major champion of M:28). And yes, yours truly––also an Indian-born former international student.
Then, just as it did following the Hong Kong conference back in 2011, our ISI family fanned out across the continent to fulfill over 300 invitations for returnee visits. In the coming months, I will be collecting and sharing some of these stories in my blog.
What a high calling––to share such contagious love with a world like ours! As evidenced in the powerful testimony of Kim, our work is not in vain. Our commitment to sharing the Good News continues to reach students from all over the world. I encourage you to check out our blog regularly for more information on our trip to India. I look forward to sharing even more amazing stories and testimonies with you!
Want to partner with us? Visit us at www.isionline.org for opportunities to partner with us. For volunteering opportunities visit http://www.isionline.org/Home/Volunteers.aspx.