The vision of Friends International is to see international students transformed by the Good News of Jesus so that they fully engage with the mission of the church in the world. Did you know that one million international students come to the UK each year to either study English or enrol in higher education? Most of those students come from countries that are closed to hearing about the Christian faith.
However, when students come here, the cultural and religious pressures of home aren’t as present, and they are keen to hear about our hope and faith. Here in Bournemouth we have sixty thousand international students all year round. Almost every evening in Bournemouth, a church reaches out to these students to welcome, befriend and share God’s love. We have hundreds of Muslim students from the Gulf hearing about the true identity of Jesus. Roman Catholic students hear that our faith is based on grace and not on works. Hindus and Buddhists come to learn that we have such a better, wonderful and true hope for the afterlife than they have. Some students have never heard the true story of Christmas and Easter, so what a wonderful opportunity we have here.
Friends International Dorset’s mission is to work with the local churches to communicate the Good News of Jesus to international students in both word and deed and in whole life cross-cultural discipleship. This is why our motto is ‘transforming students, transforming nations’ so students who have made a commitment to follow Jesus will go home and be a light to their families, communities, neighbours and nations.
We are dealing with students’ personal questions and we are very pleased when they open their hearts to us. Here are some questions/statements I was asked/given lately:
-By a Hindu: What happens after you die?
-By a Muslim: The Bible has been corrupted but not the Qur’an
-By an atheist: I believe in science not religion.
-By an agnostic: How can you trust the Bible?
-By a Chinese: How can I put God before my own mother?
How would you answer them? How would you share God’s wonderful story to them? Will you join our ministry to show God’s love to the lost?
FID Staff Worker