Hospitality is a gift of the Holy Spirit and one of the main focuses of international ministry. Of course we are also sharing the gospel regularly and teaching about Christianity, but our target group is made up of foreigners. Our students arrive homesick, often with no friends and many speak broken English. That’s where we step in on campus. We practically care for them. We mainly do so through our weekly dinner which is paired with a game and Bible discussion. This happens right on campus, but we also offer two other activities I want to feature this month: home groups and field trips.
Our home groups occur three times a semester. What we do is switch up a Friday campus meeting and send students into the homes of volunteers. Ideally these volunteers are “regulars” who come out at least twice a semester to our campus meetings. At the home groups, we do the same thing as on campus. Hospitality, games, dinner and a Bible discussion but in the comfort of a home. Jenn and I have found it so fun to host while the kids run around! It has been an honor to evangelize right in our living room or patio.
Students love it also! This semester, our home groups land on 2/24, 3/31 and 4/28. In February, we had 50 students sign up for home groups and about 40 actually showed up. In fact, we even had to have a waitlist! These are mostly non-believers from India and China. Clement, a Christian Indian student commented to me: “I am amazed so many Hindus are actually joining Christians for Bible studies. This has never happened in India for me.”
The other activity I wanted to feature was our field trips. As outsiders, students don’t necessarily know the best places to go for “tourism” or fun. They don’t have cars and trying to arrange this on their own or with a few friends can get pricey.
Since August, we went deep sea fishing, enjoyed the sun + boardwalk in Seaside Heights, had a picnic in Liberty State Park, picked Apples + Pumpkins in the Fall, went to a Christmas concert together, and in February, we went skiing and snowboarding as well! We also are planning a hiking trip and possibly one other field trip this semester. All of these activities provide a safe, fun experience for our students, but they also help us build genuine relationships. See pictures from our last home groups and field trip, and please pray for fruit for our upcoming ones as well. Thank you so much for your partnership in the gospel!