Archive for the ‘International Student Ministry’ category

Furniture Giveaway @ TAMU

August 15, 2011

One of the great needs that new international students have when they arrive in the United States to begin their academic career here is housing. After a student has secured an apartment or house, and usually roommates with it, the next item on their agenda is filling that new residence with items necessary for daily living. Those basics include a bed, a desk and chair, a kitchen table and a few chairs, and kitchen items such as pots and pans, dishes, glasses and cooking and eating utensils.

Setting up a new household can be a formidable task as one is getting settled into a new environment and culture, all the while trying to get ready for the start of a new school semester.

One of the ways that many American churches help meet the basic housing and household goods needs of students is to collect and then give away, for free, furniture and other items to students. This is a very simple and basic way to minister to students, scholars and researchers who come from the “nations” of the world to pursue their academic careers in our communities.

As these needs are being met, relationships between students and church volunteers are established, relationships which can then be followed up on and nurtured. These relationships invariably give a believer the opportunity to share Christ with someone who may never have heard His Name.

Such a giveaway will be conducted this Saturday, August 2oth, in College Station, Texas, home of  Texas A&M University. The giveaway will take place at Grace Bible Church, 700 Anderson Street, from 7am to 1pm.

If you are a new international student at A&M, and are in need of furniture and other household goods and items for your new residence, please join us on Saturday for the giveaway. Be sure to arrive early at the facilities of Grace Bible Church. Demand for such items is great and the lines will be long.

Volunteers with trucks, trailers, and vans will be available to help you get your selected items back to your apartment or house.

If you need additional information about the giveaway, please give the church office a call at 1.979.693.2911.

Happy shopping!

GOD BIG, World Small

August 12, 2011

Yesterday morning, I received an email from a new international student who has recently arrived in Bryan-College Station, Texas to begin his studies at Texas A&M University. This man is from East Asia and will be working on his PhD degree.

The student, “Eddie,” had been given my name and information by a mutual friend, “Daniel,” in East Asia. I have learned frommission_insert_globe1 “Daniel” since I received “Eddie’s” email that the two men “happened” to meet in the summer of 2010 while “Eddie” was on a school-related trip to “Daniel’s” city. How they met, I do not know, but the two men spent about an hour visiting with one another. “Eddie” and “Daniel” exchanged email addresses and have maintained communiciation with one another since they met.

This summer “Eddie” informed “Daniel” that he would soon move to America and begin his graduate studies at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. My friend shared with “Eddie” that he had a friend (that would be me) who lived in the city where Texas A&M is located and asked “Eddie” if he would like to be connected with me. The student said yes and my contact information was given to him.

Besides the amazing fact that “Eddie” and “Daniel” just “happened” to meet in a city of millions, and that “Eddie” and I have been introduced to one another, is the fact that “Daniel” and I have never met face-to-face. I “met” “Daniel” in 2001 when I heard about him and his wife and their work among a particular people group that I had long been burdened for. I was able to contact him by email and subsequently began receiving his monthly ministry updates. “Daniel” and I have become friends over the years as we have exchanged emails and shared prayer requests for ministry, health, and life matters with one another.

Now, years later, the Lord is using a relationship that He established twelve years ago and a God-orchestrated encounter between two men in an Asian city to give my family and me the opportunity to minister the love of Christ to an East Asian PhD student.

How sovereign of God is that?

Gimme The Combo Meal

December 9, 2010

This past Saturday we had a special small group event at our house. Let me explain.

During the course of each week I have the opportunity to facilitate two international student Bible reading and discussion groups.

One group has been meeting on Thursday nights. It has consisted of two Korean families and two Mainland Chinese PhD students. This group has been meeting for one semester.

The second small group has been meeting on Saturday evenings for one-and-one-half years and is attended by Mainland Chinese students. Attendance has consistently averaged five but individuals attending change with each semester.

Because the two Korean families from the Thursday night small group were returning to Korea on Monday of this week (the 6th), we decided to combine the two groups and have a pot-luck meal and farewell fellowship to say good-bye to them.

What is cool is that no one from the Thursday night Bible knew anyone in the Saturday group, and no one in the Saturday small group knew anyone from the Thursday study. Introductions were made as people arrived, conversation ensued, and friendships were made.

It was a great evening. We had delicious food, sang some Christmas hymns (accompanied by E-J on the piano), and had a brief devotion on the birth of Jesus Christ, His life, and His death on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The kids even had time to play Wii while several of the moms and dads played a game that helps improve English word acquisition.

Friendships that are made with students are wonderful and departures are always sad, but we were blessed to know and have time to study the Bible with the families who returned home Monday. Our prayer is that our time in the Word of God together was used of the Lord to build our relationship with Him and better equip us for Gospel service in His Name.

Our small groups will continue to meet on Thursday and Saturday nights. We pray that the Lord will continue to bring students to these times of fellowship, Bible reading, study, and discussion, and that many will receive Christ as their Savior and be discipled to be disciple-makers.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

Korean Ministry: Re-Engaged

November 16, 2010

In September I wrote a couple of posts about an opportunity the Lord was giving me to re-engage with a local Korean congregation in the community. We were very involved with the church from 1997 – 2005 and had a terrific ministry relationship with them. The church was so supportive of our ministry to international students enrolled at Texas A&M University that they made us their eighth, and first American, missionary family to receive monthly financial support.

A&M Korean Christian Fellowship

The church has gone through some changes and is now meeting for Sunday worship services on the campus of Texas A&M. This past Sunday, an alumnus of the seminary that I graduated from (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas), was a guest preacher and I was invited to join the church in worship. At the conclusion of the service many pictures were taken and I joined the church members as a group photo was taken.

Members of the Thursday Night Bible Study

My renewed involvement with the church began when the lead elder contacted me in July and asked me to facilitate an English language Bible study for interested Korean students and families. In September, two Korean families, two single Mainland Chinese men who are students of one of the Korean professors in the church, and I started meeting on Thursday evenings at our home for the study of God’s Word.

When we meet, we read a chapter from the Gospel of John from a simplified English language version of the Bible. As we read we discuss the meaning of the Scripture and its application to our lives. We also discuss the meaning and pronunciation of words the students may have questions about. This gives the students an opportunity to practice their English reading, comprehension, and conversation skills.

A couple of the folks in the mid-week small group will be returning to their homelands in December. The small group will continue and we pray that the Lord will add more to our number for the study of God’s Word.

I am thankful to the Lord for the opportunity that He has given me to be involved in ministry with this very evangelistic and missions-oriented congregation.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

Korean Bible Study Update

September 28, 2010

Just a quick note in follow-up to my September 22 post on the start of a new Korean English language Bible study:

I attended worship services with the new Korean church Sunday and was introduced to two families who want to participate in a mid-week Bible study. I also met a lady, who is a College Station resident, who expressed interest in attending the group as she has opportunity.

The two families have been in the States for four months and will be here for only two more. The husbands are firemen in Korea and are attending the TEEKs firemen training school at Texas A&M.

There are also two Chinese PhD students who will be attending the Bible study. These men are students of the church elder that I mentioned in my previous post.

We will begin our study together this Thursday night and will meet at our home.

As always, we are encouraging these folks to invite any of their friends who might be interested in studying the Bible and practicing their English language reading, comprehension, and conversation skills.

Please pray that the Lord will use this study to strengthen believers in their faith and commitment to the Lord and draw those who are not Christians to faith in Christ.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

New Korean Bible Study

September 22, 2010

In August I received an email from an old friend that I hadn’t seen or visited with for quite some time. He is a professor at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and served as one of the lead elders at a Korean congregation in the area that I used to facilitate Bible studies with and for from 1997-2005.

I lost contact with the church when my family and I moved out-of-town for a year for medical reasons. Since our return to the Texas A&M area in May 2006 our international student ministry has focused more on students from the People’s Republic of China and we never re-connected with the Korean congregation.

The elder emailed me to inform that he and several others from the church mentioned above had started a new church. The new congregation meets in close proximity to the university and is currently attended by thirty-five (35) people. He told me that several students in the church wanted to study the Bible in English and asked if I was leading any small groups that involved Korean students. I told him that I was facilitating one Bible study with Chinese and would be blessed to be a part of a new Korean group.

The elder hesitated to accept my offer to lead a new group, saying that he knew that my schedule was very busy. I accepted his decision but was pretty disappointed.

Then, last week I received another email from the elder. He asked if I was still open to facilitating an English language Bible study with students from the new church. I responded positively. Shortly after my reply, I received an invitation to attend worship services at the church this coming Sunday and meet the students who have expressed a desire for a small group.

At this point there are two single men and two couples who have committed to be a part of this new group. Two other students have expressed interest but have yet to commit themselves.

The small group will meet either Tuesday or Thursday evenings of each week.

I’m excited and thankful to the Lord for this opportunity to become involved with the Korean community again. My experiences with the Korean church in the past were a tremendous blessing. The church and its members have a burden for the evangelism of the unsaved and cross-cultural missions that is infectious.

Please pray for the new church and for all of us who are going to be involved in this new mid-week Bible study… that the Lord will knit us together in friendship, open our hearts to His Word, draw people to faith in Christ, and thrust us out as laborers into the harvest of  “nations” who are enrolled at Texas A&M.

~ reach students … disciple the “nations” ~

Still Here

November 10, 2009

I’m still here, just haven’t been writing much lately. Hang in with me.

There are a couple of posts at my other blog that you might be interested in checking out. See taethnenetwork.