It seems that Chinese New Year (春节) always takes place during one of our local Christian Union (CU) event weeks. This year is no exception and we will enjoy partnership with Friends International and with one of the CUs to help organise the International track in their events week. The week will be working from the “Uncover Mark” book and there will be a talk each evening. The International track starts with a meal, and on Monday we will be making Chinese dumplings together; we will show them how to wrap the dumplings on each table, and then cook them. While everyone is chatting and eating, we start the gospel talks. At these international dinners we aim for talks that are easy to understand for our international friends, but also engage with their culture and background. There will be a brief discussion on each table about the talk and then they are welcome to join the main talks which are open to the entire university.
As for a less formal and family orientated event, we normally hold a Chinese New Year party at our home each year. We usually have about 20-25 come along, and we will also make dumplings together as well as cooking other Chinese dishes. It’s a more relaxed and easy-going atmosphere for international students, as some of them will find going along to a church quite an alien experience for them. We always have a gospel message in between the two courses and encourage them to ask questions. At the end of the evening, we invite them to come along to our series of International Bible studies where they can discover more in a friendly, informal environment.
As much as we can, we try to follow up with new visitors and invite them to do one-to-one studies with us.
A few years ago during one of the Event weeks, a group of students were walking to the venue. As they walked along, they met an international student who asked them where they were going, and they invited her to come along too! She enjoyed it so much that she continued to come for the rest of the talks. Although she didn’t make a commitment to follow Jesus before she went back to her home in Asia, we managed to connect her with a Christian friend in her city. We still keep in touch with her and hope to visit her one day. We are a link in the chain that leads people to Jesus, and a significant part of our work is introducing people to others. You never know what will happen next in our returnee friend’s life. But God knows.
Will you pray?
- Give thanks for the partnerships formed for the international tracks of events week and for the time this provides for fun, fellowship and presenting the gospel.
- Pray for the international track talks to connect well with the students and that many would be drawn to explore more.
- Pray for the Chinese New Year party, for a fun time together and that the invitation to the Bible studies would be accepted by many.
- Pray for fruit from the gospel seeds sown and watered at these events, that God would give the growth.