The other night, I met with an international student, and we went to a favorite spot of his on the edge of campus. We spoke about his time here in America as we drank Turkish tea in special glasses.
His financial situation would have made going to school here impossible, but he acknowledged that God kept him above water. His story was filled with examples of Christ at work through individual believers. From providing help with assignments to helping him find honest work, everyone who had shown him kindness since he arrived here is a follower of Christ.
But at the end of our conversation, he told me that in his two years here, it was the first time he had just hung out with a friend one-on-one. In two years of living in Huntsville, no one ever reached out and invited him to hang out before.
That shook me. He has been around our Baptist Student Ministry. Sure, we may have shown him kindness, but I don’t know how well we—as a group—loved him. Individuals have loved him well. But imagine if a community had.
I’m not sure how much time he has left here with us, but it’s not too late for some other international students to be loved well by more than just a few of us.
Ronnie Busby is a student at Sam Houston State University, currently serving with Mission Lab in Huntsville. He originally had planned to serve with Go Now Missions this summer in Central Asia. After that door was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been able to connect with international students in Huntsville.