“Every year, about 800,000 international students study in the United States. 60% come from countries with restricted access to the Gospel. 75% will never enter an American home…80% will never enter a church…” (www.isionline.com)
As many as two-thirds of the 300,000 college and university students in Alabama are without a relationship with Jesus Christ and over 8,000 of those students are from other nations. I believe we must see these campuses as ripe mission fields in our state. I want to challenge you to prayer and to action – by welcoming the nations that God has brought to us.
I want to share with you a story about an international student that was recently in Alabama. We’ll call him B. B was a visiting scholar at Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) last fall. He got plugged into the AUM Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) and into a Sunday School class I teach for international students. We became great friends and I was intentional in sharing my faith with him on several occasions. He was extremely open and shared with me on his last night in Montgomery that he knew there was something different about me and about those at the BCM and at my church. He said he knew that was Jesus. He was not ready to make a decision to follow Jesus but wanted to continue studying and praying that God would reveal Himself to him.
Below is an email I received from B recently. I praise God for what He is doing in B’s life and pray that we would be intentional in connecting with our international neighbors that live in our communities, seeking every opportunity to share our hope in Jesus. We never know what they may go on to do and how God may use them to make an impact in their neighborhood back home!
I often recall what I experienced in Montgomery that it is very different for me, especially my friends in Montgomery. Your kindness and warm heart touched my soul. I have been changed in my ideas about life, society and God. I do hope someday I can come back and meet you and your family again.
Now I am a dean of the Translation Department at my university and ask my students read Bible, because I think it is very important. Before I came to Montgomery, I thought the Bible was very useful for the students to study English. After my time in Montgomery, I changed and think it is more important to their ideas and souls.
To find out more about how you can be involved in reaching international students in your community contact your local Baptist Campus Minister or email me.