By Glen Osborn, Minister at Large
DO YOU EVER FEEL OVERWHELMED with the need of the world for Christ? You pray, and you give to missions, and these are important. Yet you still feel that you could do more. You want to be faithful to the Lord’s calling on your life, and you desire to bring others to Him.
God is giving Christians in North America an avenue to impact the nations in great ways, and we don’t have to go overseas. There are currently over one million international students at universities in the United States, and 40% of them are Chinese— approximately 400,000. These students and scholars will be in positions of influence in the future, and they need Jesus. Most of them come with little or no awareness of God’s love for them in giving His Son for their sins. This is an amazing opportunity for the gospel to be shared as they come to a country where there is freedom and openness. Unfortunately, though, the majority will never get to know a Christian and hear the gospel while they are here.
This opportunity is not just for professional ministry workers.
When a Christian befriends a Chinese student, God uses this to touch their hearts. We have heard many testimonies from Chinese believers of how Christian hospitality was a key item in their coming to know Christ as their Savior.
“They gave me the kind of love this world and society could not give.”
“Their selfless love and care was something I never saw in China.”
“Being kind and generous, I wanted to be like they are, devoted to God.”
So you may ask: “How can I volunteer in this ministry?”
If you are in an area where COM has campus staff, start by making contact with the staff member, and they will be glad to help you get involved. If you are not near a COM campus ministry, find churches or other Christian organizations that are currently reaching out. You can also go to your local university’s International Student Office and offer to help. Encourage your church friends to get involved, too.
These are a few of the ways you can volunteer:
- Providing or serving meals
- Assisting with English classes
- Taking students to the grocery store
- Helping with cultural adjustment
- Driving for events and trips
- Welcoming guests to your home
- Hosting a special event at your church
- Sharing life together
A good question to ask is “What do I enjoy doing?” Perhaps this is something that a Chinese student or scholar would be interested in learning more about or experiencing with you.
As relationships develop, God will open the door to sharing your faith. You will be greatly blessed. Your life will be changed. You may become friends forever with someone you never thought you could have met. You will pray differently. You will learn new ways to love others. You will be more dependent on the Lord than ever. And you will have made a difference in the world for Jesus!