Over the last two years, particularly after becoming involved with International Students Inc., I've wondered a lot about my Christian witness and how it manifests in my life.
There are ample opportunities to witness but am I doing it right? Am I witnessing when I repeatedly referred to Christ? Or, is it when I quote or paraphrase scripture? Is it when I love people by meeting their needs without expecting anything in return? Am I really serving the Lord or am I simply serving myself because I enjoy what I'm doing? I have so many questions, and it so much to think about, but what a great opportunity to consider!
Two years ago, Doug Eury invited me to a weekly gathering of foreign UNM students through ISI. The students we met that night were determined to improve their understanding and usage of conversational English. After several weeks of participation in a group setting, I was asked by a married student if I would consider tutoring her in English. She needed help preparing for the TOEFL exam, a graduate-level English proficiency test, required prior to admission to United States universities.
God used that simple request to change our families lives and my understanding of how we can truly be witnesses for Christ.
In summary, I've gone from talking to unknown foreign university students within a structured format, to becoming close friends with Maryam and Mostafa, an Iranian Muslim couple. We consider them very dear friends and even have explicit permission to teach their four-month-old baby, Sam, about Christ as he grows up! Sam is regarded by Kara and I as our fifth grandchild and we have become Maryam and Mostafa's “American parents."
In addition to that amazing blessing, on Christmas Day we hosted eight students from both Iran and Bangladesh in our home, representing three distinct language groups, besides English!
While the English may have been fragmented, the fellowship was amazing. And, the good news is that I think "it" is just beginning.
International Students Inc. is one of the many ministries with which Mountain Christian church has encouraged participation. ISI is a program at UNM. It has been embraced by the college, in recognition that it is a Christian organization, because of the amazing services performed by this organization. ISI serves students and their families by greeting foreign students upon arrival at the airport, making housing arrangements, providing temporary shelter until those arrangements are secure, hosting social gatherings, conducting hikes, providing numerous food fellowship events, tutoring, language training, providing furniture, providing legal information – and the list goes on! The need is huge!
ISI offers us, as Christians, a wonderful witnessing opportunity and chance to step in a serve someone when they need it most.
So, take a chance and engage with others, propelled by the "idea" of witnessing; initiate a relationship and hopefully a friendship, reach out in love and serve others for Christ.
To learn more about ISI and how you can get involved contact Tom O'Brien.
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MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch on January 13th after 2nd service. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! We encourage anyone who is considering making MCC their church home to attend and get connected! Contact Elizabeth to RSVP today.
For any ladies interested in prophetic literature or wanting to begin a Bible Study in the New Year, MCC is starting a new Bible Study in January! What is the heart behind the roar of the Lion from Zion? In this 16-week study through the book of Amos, beginning January 7th and meeting Monday mornings at 10 a.m., you will learn about a loving God who prepares His people to live forever. We hope you will consider joining us for this fantastic study! Child care is provided. Please contact Elizabeth Allan to learn more.
If you have ever felt like you don't fit in, that you aren't good enough, that everyone else has it together while you struggle to even show up, then we invite you to join us. We want you to learn that we have a God who lifts the pain of worthlessness and rejection! Starting Thursday, January 17th, Sara Ghormley and Elizabeth Allan will lead discussions as we prayerfully work through Ed Welch's book, "Shame Interrupted". We begin at 6:30 and end at 8, and will meet for 16 weeks. Cost is $16 per person, but scholarships are available. Please contact Elizabeth and let her know so she can order a book for you.
Would you like to learn how to respond to conflict Biblically? Pastor Frank Malizzo, Elizabeth Allan and Spencer Brown are hosting a Peacemaking as Evangelism Workshop at MCC on January 25th-26th. The class will highlight Biblical tools that can be used for work, in the community, in the home and as a tool for evangelism. “Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel even to people who are attacking us.” Ken Sande. Contact Elizabeth to learn more.