“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
“God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.” Psalm 18:30
While thinking about our times and current events we may find ourselves asking, “Where is God in all of this?” And while we might not be questioning His existence, we may be questioning the evidence of His hand.
The answers to these questions may not be obvious in our troubled nation and world, but they clearly present themselves in Scripture! In fact, I discovered some answers while perusing the book of Luke.
In Luke 2, Mary and Joseph have lost Jesus in the Temple. After three days of searching, they found him not only safe, but conversing with Temple leaders, “about His father’s business.” Their concern, literally, “Where is Jesus and what is He doing?” was ironically the same one troubling many of us about today’s world. And my answer lay right in the Scripture, as Jesus replied… “I was taking care of my Father’s business.”
That’s so true here at International Students, Inc.! It is so encouraging to know that God is indeed at work, taking care of His business. We are blessed to be able to further His mission and spread the Good News. I have witnessed first hand God’s role in blessing the lives of international students—especially those we’re here to reach.
One particular story stands out. It involves some wonderful International Students, Inc. staffers. I hope it blesses you as much as it blesses us:
Years ago, staff members befriended Amy, a Southeast Asian student. The staff members kept in touch with her after she returned home. Amy returned to the US, after several years had passed, seeking a change of scenery for her teenage daughter, Mary. The staffers reached out to a Christian family with a heart for her country, asking, “Would you even be interested in taking on a fifth child for high school?”
Without hesitation, the family responded with a hearty, “YES!” Amy and Mary were astonished. Their transition to the US was not without challenges. Both mother and daughter had to overcome major obstacles: an obstinate consulate officer and myriad visa hurdles. At the last minute, though, everything was approved and they were allowed to come to the US. And that’s not even the best part!
Before leaving Asia, Mary expressed interest in becoming a follower of Christ. It's safe to say this was God’s eleventh-hour miracle! Staff members and friends embraced Mary as a sister and took the opportunity to disciple her during her stay in the US. What an incredible journey for this young lady, who came to know the Lord and saw her entire life change!
I was also blessed by this report from a student:
I used to be very confused about my future… My professor told me that I was blessed by God and that He had a great plan for me. During that year I realized that I could be a good researcher, and that I could be a useful and helpful person. My professor told me that when she had studied in Texas for ten years as an international student, someone had reached out to her, loved her and led her to Christ. This created the desire in her to reach out to other students and share the good news of Jesus with them.
Thanks to her, now I know that life does not have to revolve around money. God has a plan for each one of us and he can help us to live meaningful lives. I decided to follow in my professor’s footsteps and help students too. I am working on my Ph.D. now and even though it is not easy, I know that with God, nothing is impossible and I want to fulfill his plan for my life. I still have a long way to go and I will need to keep improving myself and growing more and more in Christ.
I hope these stories are an encouragement to you, reminding you that God’s handiwork is evident even amidst challenging situations. Remember that Jesus is constantly taking care of our Father’s business--even when it may be challenging for us to see it. I pray that this week you find places in Scripture and in your own life where you see His artistry at work!
To learn more about international students, visit www.isionline.org.