Lonely international student finds hope in the gospel

Chunhua’s* knowledge of the Bible was spotty at best. As a little child in China, she remembered her mother talking about Christianity, but she had no grasp of what it meant to have a relationship with God. This all changed when she came to Canada as an international student.

The experience of living in a foreign country was one she had looked forward to for years. But when the excitement and novelty wore off, Chunhua found adjusting to the new culture and language difficult. She was lonely, having never been away from her parents before.

It was at this critical juncture of her life that she met a group of exuberant Christian young people who ran a ministry on campus for people like her. They were about bringing college students together in meaningful and supportive friendships, all the while introducing them to the message of the Bible. As part of their get-togethers, they would show the Videobook of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus and they invited Chunhua to join them.

At first, Chunhua hestitated to commit, but the friendliness and sincerity of her new friends finally won her over. She started watching the DVD series together with other international students. She loved what she learned.

Chunhua discovered that, as a result of what Jesus did on the cross, she could have a relationship with God as her kind and good Father. This meant everything to this young girl living alone in a foreign country.

She shared after: “I have been able to establish a more solid understanding about the Bible and Christian belief. The DVD filled the gaps in my knowledge framework about the Bible and helped make sense to me of how the world operates.”

Speaking of the video sessions, she says, “Without it, there would have been no possibility for me to start seeking Christ and establish my own belief.” Now, as a result of the welcoming friendship of her Christian friends and their faithful witness, she understands and believes the gospel.

What a testimony to the great opportunity we have to reach into the lives of international students and immigrants! If you want more ideas of how to do so, as well as other testimonies, check out our full-length article How GoodSeed tools can help you reach International Students.

(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)

These are miracles for us!

School

Ada and Konrad* told our German staff, “These are miracles that we’ve personally experienced…we can only marvel at them!”

Konrad is the principal of a school in a German city. Though it is a Christian school, he could clearly see that many of the students and their families had little understanding of the Bible. He wondered how he could help them know God better and understand the gospel message.

He recalled how he and his wife, Ada, had gone through a Bible study that used the German edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. That course had helped them both in their faith, and now Ada was regularly leading ladies’ studies with it. Konrad began informing the students’ mothers about Ada’s studies. Were they interested in attending?

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Reaching out in the halls of public schools

school_hallways

This is the first installment of a two-part story. Read part two.

A tale of two brothers: Benjamin’s Story

Recently I had a phone conversation with Benjamin.* I had heard through the grapevine that he had been very active in reaching out to fellow students in public school, using one of our books, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Benjamin graciously agreed to share his story and how God used those years in his life and in the lives of others.

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Christ becomes real to a Chinese atheist

chinese-girl-profileThis is Lien’s testimony which was originally published in her church’s newsletter. We have edited it for brevity.

The Bible says that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:4-5 NKJV). My name is Lien,* and up until just a few years ago, this verse made no sense to me as a young Chinese atheist.

Growing up in China without God

I grew up in Beijing, one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world. I had seen people going into temples and giving money to idols, wishing for good fortune. I had grown tired of people saying, “Be good” so that we could come back in the next life with good fortune. I had also heard about western religions from movies and books. These left me with the general impression that only good people can go to Heaven. I considered religion to be nothing more than a man-created tool to manage society and to advocate for morality. At the time, I did not consider the more important question, namely, what is morality derived from?

I also thought that religious people were bribing their way into Heaven by giving money to the poor people, doing good works and, in some cases, not eating meat or getting married. This kind of thinking never made sense to me. None of my family members were religious and so I did not grow up believing that there was a God.

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A pint of frozen custard

Frozen dessertHere is an email from our archives. We received this back in 2010 and it has not ceased to be a source of encouragement for us. Here is the story of one young person leading another to faith in Christ through the use of By This Name and frozen custard! We pray it might encourage you to do the same with someone in your life (well, except for the frozen custard). Here is Timothy’s* story.

I was putting away chairs and clearing up the hall after our youth group meeting. I’d been teaching the group and it had been a very good time of learning and fellowship. One of the new members of the group approached me. His name was Jake,* and without any preamble, he started talking. Though this was our first conversation, he wasn’t bashful or reserved. He spoke to me as if we were old friends.

As Jake shared bits and pieces about himself, I was able to piece together his life. Jake had started attending our youth group because he had fathered a child with one of the girls in the group. At age 16 and still in junior high, he was already a father. But it didn’t seem to trouble him at all.

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Ireland: “Youth are the future of the church”

Irish-teensOften we are asked, “Do you have any materials written for teenagers?” The answer is both yes and no. Although GoodSeed books and videos are not specifically designed for youth, their message connects with most teenagers. Just last week Hansen,* a Dutch church planter in Ireland, wrote to tell what God is doing in raising up young disciples who are able to share the gospel clearly with their own family and friends using GoodSeed tools.

Hansen writes:

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Evangelism with internationals at state university–an interview

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 12.54.56 PMEditor’s note: One of our GoodSeed staff recently interviewed Veronica,* who spends much of her time teaching English as a second language (ESL) and doing evangelism Bible studies with Asian international students at a large state university. So, how does she do it?!

Read this inspiring interview that is chock-full of typical examples of how GoodSeed tools are used to lead people to a clear understanding of the Bible…

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Five ways to stand clear and let God work

Stand clear

Matt’s* living room was full of people. A mixed group of about a dozen international students plus other men and women from the small college town had been there every Thursday night for the past six weeks. Some had literally never read the Bible before. Others only knew bits and pieces. They had all learned a lot as Matt guided them through the Bible from creation to the cross in a course called Worldview Rethink.

Now, as the course was nearing its end, Matt desperately wanted each person to trust in Jesus Christ—to believe the gospel and be saved! At the same time he knew it had to be God’s work, not his own efforts to coerce or convince people. (Revelation 7:10)

Here are five ways Matt let God work in the minds and hearts of those in his group.

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I read it in a few days and I believe!

Photo credit: Elaine on flickr

Here’s short but heartwarming story we received from Sheffield.

My husband and I lead the International Ministry at our church here in Sheffield. We reach those from other countries who have come to Sheffield to either study or live.

We are planning on using The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus with our group as part of our teaching plan. At the moment we have eight Internationals with us plus twelve people in our team.

Continue reading “I read it in a few days and I believe!”

A prayer and a book for the neighborhood

Walk through the neighborhood

We were very encouraged when we opened a prayer letter from a missionary family and read the following testimony. We asked for permission to share it and our friends said to go ahead! So here it is:

Even though we adults in the house are not as thrilled by the things that surround Christmas, we’re beginning to see some opportunities that come with Christmas that do excite us! We’ve recently had it on our hearts to share about Jesus’ coming to the people closest to us—our neighbors. On a walk around the block, God gave us an idea to pray through our neighborhood and distribute a great little book called What are Christmas and Easter All About? published by GoodSeed. This is a quality, 80-page book that thoroughly explains the Gospel in a way that is easy to understand. We’ve also given these books out to about 100 international students last week at a Christmas banquet. If you’re interested in getting some to use for yourself, check out the GoodSeed website at goodseed.com. If you order them by the case (100 copies) you can get them for $1 each—almost the price of a tract!

Thanks to our friends for letting us share their story. We pray that everyone who received a copy of the book will read and understand the life-saving message of the gospel.