Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Changed Lives :: exchange students

As we work with students, our prayer is that they will influence their family and friends in their community as Christ changes their lives. Now, let’s add the international possibilities to that! When we work internationally through our Global Venture ministries or with exchange students as in today’s story, God can use what we do to reach other countries for him. Not only can His influence be felt with friends and family locally, but His message and Gospel can be spread globally --- what a mighty God we serve! Thank you for ministering alongside us locally and internationally.

Jesus working around the globe!
by Mike and Laurel Riley, staff serving in Michigan

We've written before about the large number of exchange students who come to Suttons Bay High School each year, for such a small school. We've enjoyed having a number of those students become involved in our weekly Bible studies. This year we have three exchange students who attend regularly. Yeo-min came to us from Germany, though she's originally from South Korea. While I believe Yeo-min originally came to Bible study for friendship, she seems to have found much more than that! Jordan and I have had some terrific conversations with her outside of the group, answering her questions and offering insight and pertinent reading materials. Yeo-min is leaving soon, and the other day offered the following commentary on her time here as it relates to faith: "Before I went to Student Venture I was skeptical about Christianity and God. My parents are Christians and they tried to help me understand God's word, but a lot of people I know say that God doesn't exist, and for me it was also hard to believe there is a God. But I always wondered why there are people who believe in God. I thought there must be something I don't know of why they have faith in God. During my stay in the US, a friend and I talked about religion and as a result I went to Student Venture. I learned and changed in Student Venture. I realized God's love for the first time just recently. He showed me his love by showing me these new friends who share the time with me and help me to understand and gain faith in God. I appreciate this gift because it is good for me and that was what I needed. I learned that God forgives no matter what we do, when we express regret and ask for forgiveness, because he loves us so much. For this love and mercy we should be grateful and the least we could do in return is to love God. I like that I'm changing because it means I am starting to understand the reason to have faith in God." Please pray for Yeo-min and our other exchange students– that God will cause the seeds of faith planted in their hearts here to grow into a deep commitment to Him even after they go home. Pray for spiritual support and encouragement for these young women.

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