Monday, October 05, 2009

International Student Ministry

God has been doing some neat work in moving our church into a strategic position to reach out to International Students at Marylhurst University. Last Spring we began to provide volunteers from our church to be English Conversation Partners (ECPs) for students at Pacific International Academy (PIA) that meets on the Marylhurst Campus. This fall PIA is looking for even more volunteers for this program. Being an ECP simply requires a volunteer to give one hour per week to have conversations with an international student. The role involves no preparation, just a willing heart and a desire to show the love of Jesus to a person from another country.

This Spring, I became a conversation partner for a Taiwanese student named Saxon (in the yellow sweatshirt on the right). Saxon has a very outgoing personality and seems to have connections with most of the 30-40 students who attend PIA. This past weekend Saxon brought 13 of his friends with him to our home for a BBQ. The occassion was the celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival. We were able to share the story of the God who created the moon and the stars and all that exists.

We also asked the students if it would be helpful for them if we had a monthly "English Conversation Night." The idea would be to have a monthly event where International Students and volunteers from our church would come together for a night of food, games, and conversation. All of the students said that this would indeed by helpful. So, we are planning to begin English Conversation Nights on the first Friday of each month. Be on the look out for more information about the first English Conversation night on November 6th! If you would like to volunteer to be an English Conversation Partner or help with 1st Friday English Conversation Nights, please email me at npylate@newlifenw.com.

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