An interview with InterVarsity president Alec Hill
You’ve just returned from a trip to East Asia visiting an InterVarsity global project. You’ve visited other summer projects. What differences did you observe during your stay at this one?
I visited a project in Egypt two summers ago. During that project the students lived in a garbage village in Cairo and spent the time in service to those who lived there. During this project the InterVarsity students are paired with local students who want to learn to speak English.
You met a group of InterVarsity students who were on a summer project. How did you see them being transformed into world changers through the experience of this summer project?
I suspect that many of the students went on this trip with the idea that they would have an opportunity to share the gospel. And many of them did. But I saw them being discipled, giving up important parts of their lives to show the love of Christ. Living together with a student from another culture 24/7 for six weeks challenged the InterVarsity students to live the submissive, loving life.
What was one experience that you had that shows what God is doing through this project?
I met one local student who had been in the program two years ago and came back this year to be on staff. She has an interesting story. Her father studied for his PhD at Kansas State University. A couple working with international students and InterVarsity invited him to their home. He came not because he was interested in Christianity but because he enjoyed the hospitality and the fellowship with others from his country. When he completed his studies, the couple gave him a Bible. When he got back to his home country he gave the Bible to his daughter so she could learn English. He warned her to ignore the content. But she read the Bible she became a believer. Now she holds Bible studies on campus and is involved in the local church.
Did you meet anyone not directly associated with the project that impressed on you what God is doing in this part of the world?
I met a missionary from Holland who was working with the Buddhist minority in this country. She told of the spiritual leader of a large monastery who had five hundred monks under him. This Buddhist leader is talking with her about Christianity because he is tired of working for salvation. He will be giving up much to become a Christian, so he is counting the costs.
Alec talks about his China trip at a chapel service at InterVarsity’s National Service Center. Listen or download here.