Wednesday, October 21, 2009

International Connections

by: Nate Hoover

Hello, East Hills!

I hope you’re all doing well, staying warm as autumn rushes in. In June I spoke about being a Bible Study leader with Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) last year—and how I would be working with international students this year. I wanted to update you on how International Connections is going this quarter.

International Connections is what we call our Bible study for exchange students. We serve dinner, play an icebreaker game, sing songs, and then break into smaller groups to look at Scripture. There are six leaders: Daniel, Jonathan (CCF staff), Brooke, Allison, Nate (me), and Kelsey. (We are known as DJ-BANK for short.) This quarter we are looking at the promises of God—how they are made and fulfilled.

Before school even started, I had the privilege of hosting a Swedish student at my house for a couple days until he could move into the dorms. It’s a long story how we got into contact, but basically I had some friends whose relatives met Henrik in Sweden and found out he was going to WWU. As a result, I’ve been able to hang out with Henrik and other Swedish and Austrian students in the past few weeks. Jonathan told me that Connections usually does not interact with Europeans, so this is an exciting witnessing opportunity!

During Opening week at Western, there is a huge Info Fair, where clubs, departments, banks, stores, restaurants, organizations, churches, and other groups advertise to all the students. We heard about a unique way to meet international students: Wear a sandwich board with the world map on it and the caption Where Are You From? Students can put a star on the map where they live. When we met students (American and foreign alike) we gave them a flier for Connections. We had over 20 countries represented!

At Connections, we mostly have Japanese students. We’ve also had Korean and Chinese students come. Henrik came to the first Connections, but has been too busy to make it on other nights. Overall, I am having a lot of fun meeting students from all over the world and discussing God’s promises and Christ with them. There are some students who have never heard of Jesus, the Bible, or even Christianity! It’s amazing to be able to introduce them to our faith.

I thank you for your support and your prayers. A couple prayer requests:

1) That I would be able to speak in simple language about deep things so students could understand me and understand God.

2) That I could have continued friendship with the Swedish and Austrian students (especially Henrik) and that I can be bold in talking to them about faith.

3) There is a Japanese girl named Risa who is asking a lot of questions about God and is consistently coming to Connections. She speaks English very well and it would be awesome to see her come to Christ.

In Christ’s love, peace and strength,

Nate Hoover

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