Why Engage Internationals
Matthew Weathers, Student Leadership Coordinator
你好吗？你是美国人吗? Confused yet? When I landed in China a few months after I graduated from Bob Jones University the only word I knew in Chinese was “Hello” (你好). I learned hundreds of words over the next few years as I began to scratch the surface of the incredible Chinese language. Though the language was very difficult, Chinese friends patiently taught me how to communicate and adjust to their culture. They took me around the city, invited me to meals, and even taught me how to make dumplings. They welcomed me—a foreigner—into their lives, and I am forever grateful.
There are thousands of foreigners in our community and hundreds of international students on our campus. Why should we take the time and effort to invest in them – both on campus and in our community? Because great commandment obedience fuels great commission living.
Great Commandment Obedience
God calls us to love God and love others. As recipients of the Gospel message and objects of God’s amazing grace and love, our response must be love for God and others. We love because He first loved us. We forgive because He has forgiven us. We serve because Jesus came to serve. We are patient because God is patient with us.
The international community is an incredible group. They speak different languages, eat different (and often better) foods, and wear different clothes. But different is not wrong. As a foreigner in China, I was the different one, yet I was loved as a human rather than shunned as a foreigner. We in America can joyfully reflect God’s love as we embrace those from other countries. We are commanded to love God and love others, and our obedience to the great commandment fuels our effectiveness in great commission living.
Great Commission Living
God calls us to make disciples of all nations. As recipients of the Gospel message, we are privileged to proclaim the good news with our words and our lives to everyone. We are making disciples as we evangelize the lost. We are making disciples as we edify believers. We are fulfilling the great commission as we share the Gospel message to those around us, including those from other countries that God has graciously brought to our doorstep. We can have a massive impact on the nations by engaging with the international community here in upstate South Carolina and on our campus.
Yet we are powerless to make disciples without God-empowered obedience to the great commandment. Just as my Chinese friends loved me, we can love those from around the world. The time and effort we invest into this amazing group of people will be well worth it. God is glorified when we joyfully sacrifice to serve one another in love and make disciples of all nations. Indeed, great commandment obedience fuels great commission living!
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.