In God’s sovereign plan, He continues to stimulate the desire for higher education through the ‘study abroad’ experience. Currently there are 5 million international students and scholars, and it is projected that 8 million future leaders and influencers will be international students by 2025.
A Christian family in the USA extended genuine friendship to a student from Saudi Arabia. They did not know that the seeds they planted and watered in prayer would bear everlasting fruit two decades later, until the former student called them to gratefully share his testimony. Today he is teaching others to love the more than 80,000 Saudi students in the States.
China sends the largest number of students abroad, followed by India. Many of these choose to study in the USA, Australia, UK & Korea. The cultural importance of families in China and India may make these students’ separation from their relatives extremely difficult. What if Christ-followers welcomed these students into their own families, in effect giving them another set of aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and grandparents? Imagine the impact for God’s Kingdom on these two populous nations of growing global influence if every Chinese and Indian studying abroad experienced the hospitality of Christ through the Church!
“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:34): Our Lord, give your Church compassion to see, welcome and befriend the international student sojourners among us. Teach us to love them as ourselves.
“The king answered and said to Daniel, ‘Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.’” (Daniel 2:47): Revealer of mysteries, call forth students who follow You to become student missionaries – whether by intentionally studying in another country or intentionally relating to international students at home. Use them to help others recognize You as the Lord of kings. Expand the international student ministry movement.
Ask God how else to pray.
Invite an international student at a nearby campus to your home for a Christmas meal.