“And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive,’” Acts 20:35 (NLT).
Not too long ago, our ministry gathered together for a wonderful evening to celebrate The Year of the Volunteer. Approximately 25 volunteers were present, representing our 25,000 volunteers, for a time of special prayer and recognition. I heard countless expressions of gratitude for the privilege of volunteering in Christ’s work. I was reminded of this verse in Ephesians:
“By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving Him
by spreading this Good News,” Ephesians 3:7 (NLT).
We are so grateful for all of our volunteers and their continual acts of service in His name. I love hearing stories from them about how they feel honored and privileged to continue the Great Commission by ministering to international students. One major donor attended our Year of the Volunteer event with his wife. They did not attend as special guests, but as volunteers sharing the bond they formed with our ministry, after personally working with international students. Many of the students they worked with accepted Christ in their own home. Another volunteer told me that after working with International Students, Inc. in his city for a decade, his main goal during retirement was to grow even more deeply involved.
We love hearing stories from our volunteers! Their testimonies serve as a great encouragement to us as we move forward with our mission to reach every international student for Christ. One of our volunteers shared the following story with our Home Office:
“ My husband I feel our lives have been enriched by knowing others from all over the world. Being a Friendship Partner Family to many Chinese students has given us much joy. So many are very grateful to both of us, as we loan furniture. A few months ago, I asked a recently widowed Christian, who is also retired, to help. She is finding much joy and purpose in being a friend to international women. She has much time to devote to helping a visiting scholar and her fifth-grade son. She too has found new joy and purpose in this ministry! I have seen younger families find much joy in being Friendship Partner Families to international students. The students love to be with the children. The families are enriched. They too find joy in sharing their faith with the students.”
Why do I love to share stories like this? Because even when the darkness of the world seems to pervade our surroundings—near and far—the Gospel never runs out of opportunities. And that applies to you as well! Friend, I pray that you, too, find joy in your faith this week. I pray that your service to Him fills you with joy. I encourage you to visit our blog here next week as I continue sharing more volunteer stories and highlights from our recent conference!
For More Information
Learn more about becoming a Friendship Partner with ISI.
Learn more about other volunteer opportunities with ISI.
Read Dr. Shaw’s Blog, “Reaching Out, Finding Joy: ISI Volunteer Helps International Students Feel Right at Home.”