I sent out a tip last Spring from Jim Layman on Reaching International Students. He mentioned that 850,000 International students study on American campuses. That number increases every year. It offers a unique opportunity for ministry for our staff, volunteers and students to touch the world.
Obviously, there are experiences common to all International students as they study in the US. But our Bridges International staff focus on three broad people groups: Chinese, South Asians (primarily Indian) and Middle Easterners. ReachingInternationals.com helps with both the common and specific aspects of reaching the world coming to our campuses.
I received a very helpful email recently from Kelly Bryant, Bridges staff focusing on the Chinese network. She sends out monthly Chinese Network Tips to staff and volunteers. The one she sent me told of a creative way that Blake and Leeann Holaday, Bridges staff at Purdue, cast vision to Cru students for reaching internationals. You can see that tip, subscribe to Kelly’s tips and see past issues here.
There were a number of resources mentioned for understanding Chinese students.
- “Ministering to Chinese” in the Bridges Training Manual lists several distinctives of Chinese culture and what to be aware of in sharing the Gospel with them. This requires logging in. You will need to request an invitation to the Bridges Staffweb.
- Key Differences between Chinese and American Culture
- Chinese Concepts and Influences Not Present in American Culture
- ZG Briefs. Subscribe to a weekly email or view online the most pertinent news coming from China, including spiritual topics. They scan the internet for China news so you don’t have to.
- Unique Qualities of Mainland Chinese
- Dos and Don’ts for Chinese
A number of years ago, my wife and I befriended a Chinese graduate couple. It was both an enriching experience for us and added a fun aspect to our ministry on campus. Why not encourage some of your students to consider how they might befriend some Chinese students. They don’t have to do this alone. The Bridges International Coaching Center can answer questions and offer suggestions. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.