We are so blessed here at International Students, Inc. to have more than 24,000 volunteers. These selfless brothers and sisters go above and beyond to reach out to international students from all over the world. In honor of these amazing people, we are sharing a series of blogs that highlight some of their stories.
The second story in this series features Jayne, who lives in the Midwest. She shared with us about her experience volunteering with ISI in a university campus ministry. I pray this story touches your life and reminds you of the kindness and unconditional love Jesus has for us!
For this Midwest teacher, volunteering with International Students, Inc., is nothing short of “exciting.”
Jayne volunteers with a university campus ministry in the town where she lives. She helps with a weekly Bible study for international students, which includes dinner and fellowship.
“We coordinate with individual students or families from other churches—and other volunteers—to bring in food once a week,” she said. “And we eat together with the students.”
She also helps train American students so they are well prepared to interact with international students “…and just love on them and help them learn about God.”
Jayne even facilitates the weekly Bible lesson, which takes place on Sundays. The lessons are adapted from ISI’s M:28 Global Discipleship Initiative. Not only are the lessons engaging, she said, but they also include some structured worksheets, which provide the international students with opportunities to practice writing.
She also helps with another weekly small group Bible study, which combines trained Americans with international students. In addition to Bible studies, Jayne and other volunteers come alongside international students to participate in off-campus activities.
“In our small town, there’s not a lot of public transportation,” she said. “We work together with one of the local churches that takes students to Walmart every Friday. In addition to that, we do sightseeing trips—one or two a semester usually.”
One of these trips includes an overnight at a host family home, located on a farm.
“We also do a pumpkin patch in the fall and usually a Christmas trip to see some Christmas lights or a Christmas pageant locally,” she said. “And in the spring we do a larger trip, which is a four-day excursion where we work through a host church in another city; we do volunteering and sight-seeing.”
Although these outings are fun, Jayne says the best part about being a volunteer with International Students, Inc., is witnessing the transformation that takes place with some of the students.
“I am a teacher,” she said, “so my favorite part is seeing the students start to understand who God is and to see how even reading His word and start to follow his Word—before they even know Him personally—begins to change their lives.”
Jayne has seen several students who decided to follow Jesus after they have learned about Him through International Students, Inc.
“A lot of international students come from some countries where they don’t have the opportunity to learn about God,” she said. “So being able to be one of the people who reaches out and tries to motivate other Americans to reach out—there’s a lot of joy in being able to do that. Just seeing the international students grow and walk with Christ—it’s really exciting.”
Here at ISI, we don’t pressure or try to “convert” anyone. We simply allow the Holy Spirit to work as we share our lives, homes and friendship with international students. When students respond to unconditional love and hospitality, they may choose to hear more about the Truth and ask to learn more about Jesus. We then gladly and graciously invite them to church, a Bible study or offer mentorship as they explore more about the Lord.
Learn more about M:28, visit www.isim28.org! For information on how to volunteer with ISI!