The school semester hasn’t even started yet at Texas Woman’s University, but my director and I have been busy preparing for the students to arrive.
During international student early orientation at TWU, we wanted to do something to make the students feel loved and welcomed. So, we put together welcome baskets full of essentials they may need being new to the States and living on their own. They included a laundry basket, toilet paper, cups, bowls, towels—and of course some much-needed moving-in snacks.
We were invited to their lunch during orientation and met some of the students. After that, we hustled and bustled to get the baskets—45 of them—to the other building from our BSM building. It took work, but we figured out a plan and got all of them up to the 5th floor where the students met.
My director had the opportunity to tell the students about the BSM and what we do. As we handed them the baskets, we told the students if they needed anything to let us know, because we really wanted to be a helping hand for anything they needed.
Usually when people offer to help, no one really takes you up on that offer. But we wanted to make sure that they knew we were there for them for anything.
Connections with students from 20 countries
We were excited that we got to make connections with students from about 20 countries. As the semester starts and continues, we hope to make good connections with these international students to share with them the love of Jesus and make them feel welcomed in our country and at our campus.
One evening recently, I was in the office alone about to leave. That’s when one of the students we met at Internationals orientation—Laura from Nigeria—came in and asked for a favor.
She took our invitation to help seriously, and I am thankful for that. She asked if we were able to pick up a mattress for her. A mattress wasn’t going to fit in my car, but my director was on her way back, and so I volunteered her to help.
As Laura waited, she and I talked. She asked about what we did as I showed her around the BSM.
Unfortunately she has classes during the times we have Bible studies, but I think we will figure out a way for her to be able to get plugged in, if not with us, then with a local church.
Opened a door
Because our offer was taken seriously, it opened a door for us to be the hands of Jesus to help her in a practical way and for us to be able to make a bridge to do it again and again.
We want to be the bridge that connects people with the local church, the body of Christ, and ultimately to the Father.
Sharel Kaye Gaskey is serving as a campus missionary intern at Texas Woman’s University in Denton through Go Now Missions.