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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The Women’s Serving Team is hosting a Mugs & Muffins event August 10th from 9:00 – 11:00am in the Fellowship Hall. Christine Leggett will be leading us in a discussion about the spiritual battle we each have with the desires of our heart. It will be a morning of fellowship, rich discussion and encouragement as we come together to study God’s Word. Praying you can join us. Don’t forget your favorite coffee mug! Please RSVP to Christine if you need childcare.
You can go on a mission trip and never leave Albuquerque. International Students Incorporated (ISI) helps international students when they arrive in the U.S. ISI has a chapter at UNM helping pick up students as they arrive at the airport, providing temporary home stays, helping find housing, English as a second language training and friendship partners. A new school year is getting started with hundreds of international students arriving at UNM. Please consider helping in one of the ways noted above. Alternatively, we will be providing lunch for students and volunteers on Wednesday, August 7 (signup sheets will be in the foyer). If you are interested in helping or just want more information please contact Vince Tidwell.
MCC’s Shine Partnership is hosting a dessert night Wednesday, August 14 at 7:00pm at Ashley Procter’s house! Current Shine volunteers, anyone curious about what Shine is, or those interested in becoming a Shine volunteer are invited! Contact Ashley if you have questions or need directions.
Save the Date: MCC Elders are hosting a 4-week Foundations Class starting September 15 and running through the first week in October. This class is designed to better help you get to know MCC - who we are, what we believe and why, and how to get connected. Please sign up with Sarah.