Here’s my little plug. If you live near a college or a university, go over some day and ask for the International Student Office. Find out if there are any International students who will be staying on campus over the holidays or summer. Invite them to your house for a meal. It’s a wonderful way to share the love of Christ.
I’ve got a confession to make. When I hear about people who say, “I don’t know what to do with my life.” It makes me crazy. I’m not talking about young people, I’m talking about older people who’ve had enough time to figure it out. If only. IF ONLY I had a 1000 lifetimes to do all the things I’d love to do. I doubt it would be enough.
Anyway, if I were living another life - this practicing Christ’s love and hospitality with international (or alone) students would be something I’d really dive into. I saw this when O. studied for a few weeks at a university this summer. He stayed on campus and almost every student still there was a foreign student who wasn’t going home for the summer. They shared with O. about lonely holidays and O. saw first hand how they didn’t eat well in the dorms –usually just a loaf of white bread.
I also know what this is like because I WAS one of those foreign students. I spent 1 year in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University when I was 19-20 and we prepared our own food on a little gas stove in a communal kitchen. I learned how to make yummy Korean food and really good rice from my beloved roommate H.(Hi!) and I lost a lot of weight. I cannot tell you what it felt like for someone to invite you over for Christmas dinner and to get to eat something like – ummm, baked chicken or mac n cheese or mashed potatoes. Passover – you better believe I was at someone’s house, and any other holiday that came along, if anyone asked me over, I was there! I still remember being without money and food and the Sabbath came (everything closes- I mean EVERYTHING closes on the Sabbath in Jerusalem). There wasn’t anywhere to buy food even if I had the money. I was hungry, truly hungry and another student invited me in to eat with her. She gave me a pita with tomatoes and this sour cream/cheezee stuff. That was 13 years ago and it could have been yesterday.
So this is my plug, find a lonely international student, invite them over for dinner, for me. Thanks.