One of the key ways to connect with internationals (and any students for that matter!) is to be intentional in meeting their needs. Below is a listing of ways to connect with international students in your community throughout the fall semester. Be strategic in meeting the needs of these students and intentional in sharing God’s love with them in tangible ways.
As students arrive on campuses in your community, seek to find ways to connect with them. Provide practical helps as they are adjusting to life in the US. Here are a few suggestions –
– Help with move-in/pick them up at the airport
– Plan local tours of your community
– Begin an English language study
– Find specific needs from the students/international student office
This month has been deemed ‘Welcoming The Nations’ month across the Southern Baptist Convention. You are encouraged to continue forging genuine relationships with international students by continuing to welcome them to the US. Make use of the Welcoming The Nations Prayer Guide this month and be intentional in seeking to connect your church with the international community in your area. Look for ways to continue the relationships building you began last month as you pray specifically for these students.
This month continue various relationship building activities. The fall is full of unique events that can be cultural experiences for those new to your community. Consider inviting an international friend to join you for a retreat or a football game. Pay attention to local events that are happening in your area and look for activities that could be educational and fun for your international friends. This is a good time to seek to connect your international friends with your family and friends as you enjoy all of the events that make Fall one of our favorite seasons!
The months of November and December are filled with various holiday activities. Many international students have said that this time of year is some of the loneliest as the dorms and apartment buildings are empty – only filled with international students that do not travel over the holiday season. Consider inviting international students to join in your family’s holiday celebrations, or even have a specific celebration geared towards educating your international friends about each holiday. This is a very strategic time to talk about how God made His love for us tangible through Jesus Christ. Do not miss this opportunity to share and do not neglect your international friends as this may be when they are most open to spiritual conversations.