One of our California State University campuses has the most diverse international student ministry groups that I have ever seen. Getting together with this unexpected concentration of Asian, Middle Eastern, European, and African students was a truly cross-cultural experience.
This ministry has gone through significant staff and structural changes in its 25-year history, and I believe this is a season of renewed student leadership development. This group’s great diversity is its strength as well as a challenge, as great diversity adds to the complexity of group dynamics.
During Friday Night Fellowship we worshiped in Malay and other languages, and a Christian Sudanese spoke in Arabic with a student from the Middle East. After a fellowship event, a small group of students gathered to play basketball; one student pointed out to me that they were not only from different countries but five different continents!
“Sam,” a Chinese student, led his mom to Christ half-way around the world, over the phone, exactly one year after his conversion. His mom then led his step dad to Jesus shortly thereafter. Since there are no churches or Christian presence where they live, both parents were baptized in “Sam’s” church in the U.S. while visiting this January.
I was humbled to attend a prayer meeting with a Sudanese student who had been imprisoned and beaten for his faith. I was blessed by two Indian guys—Hindu and Christian—who fed me authentic Indian food, served the Indian way, where the host will not eat until his guests have finished.
This group’s cross-cultural witness extends all the way around the world.
Eva Liu is a regional coordinator for InterVarsity’s International Student Ministry in California.
You can make a direct financial donation to support InterVarsity’s work in International Student Ministry by following this link.