Talking with international students is wonderful. I love talking to people from different countries and cultures. It always fascinates me how we all come from different backgrounds and we have different ways of doing things. Currently I am in the middle of an event that hosts an international cafe where we invite internationals to come along and meet Christian students. It is wonderful being in a cafe and seeing so many nationalities and its also wonderful having big conversations about life issues and life questions.
Something that has struck me is how churches are very keen to send out missionaries into other countries and yet miss the nations on the doorstep. There is such an amazing opportunity within our cities to reach out to many different nationalities who in fact are in the UK and are very lonely and have never heard of Jesus. There is amazing opportunities for friendship here. I guess I see this gap and feel that the church is missing out not just on Gospel opportunities but also to get out of the Christian bubble and mix with people who come from a completely different culture.
I will probably write more about this, but I want to challenge you to start thinking outside the British, white bubble and think about that Chinese student who is in your course or the Latin American you work alongside with and ask yourself – how can I be friends with this person? How can I love this person and invite them into my life and home? Then once friendships form – How can I share the Gospel with them?
It seems strange not to start with the Gospel first, but friendship is key to building trust and being genuine – no one is a project!
Another question is – How can you encourage your church to reach out to Internationals in your area? It’s very easy to say – “but they…
Don’t speak like us,
Don’t look like us,
Wont want to spend time with us
I can’t because…
“I am too busy,
I only talk to people like me
I can’t speak their language
Someone else can do it who likes internationals…
eekkk…. isn’t the Gospel for everyone? For all nations? What if the nations were on your doorstep, wouldn’t you reach out to them?