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building a community to reach a community

A Global Mission in our Area: Reaching out to International Students

Born in a Christian family, I came to accept Jesus as a young boy. I did not know much about my decision for Jesus and all its implications in life, until my college years. In my last year of college, Kavira and I learned about Campus Crusade for Christ and went through the Great Commission Training. During the training, we both understood clearly that the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus is the Greatest Project for the benefit of human beings that has ever been given to man on this earth. Since then, we have embarked in this adventure of taking initiative to reach people for Christ.

Our first exciting adventure was to help establish the ministry of Campus Crusade in French speaking African countries, starting in my own country where we helped set up and run the first francophone Great Commission Training Center. Seeing people from different backgrounds and countries come to the center and discover life-changing truths and learn how to share their faith became an incredible experience for me. I learned how a person can have the opportunity to reach a nation and the world through a person that God has brought close to them.

How many nations do you think God, in his own miraculous way, is bringing in the Tri-Cities area? I understand there are about 500 Liberians here! How many Ethiopians, Chinese, Congolese, etc..? This is not a new phenomenon. You have always had the opportunity to reach and impact the world. John Garang of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and Mohamed Morsi, the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, spent years here in university. There is a surprising number of politicians, diplomats, lawmakers, military leaders, business tycoons and other high-profile international figures from around the globe, who have spent time in U.S. colleges and universities. What could be their world today if they were intentionally reached and made disciples of Jesus Christ?

After more than 25 years of seeing African students reached for Christ, God, in a very strange way, has used war breaking out in Ivory Coast, and other circumstances, to bring us here. He is opening the door for us to reach out to international students at ETSU and surrounding colleges. Though we knew the circumstances that brought us here, I used to ask myself why the Lord is maintaining us in this area. Now the focus on reaching out to international students and the African community in this area has started to clear the issue in our minds. Reaching out to them is important and exciting for us because through this ministry, we are still serving the continent of Africa.

We also know too well to what extent this ministry is challenging. Besides tremendous competition for the hearts and minds of students on campus, international students face several challenges including culture shock, language barriers, social isolation, severe pressures to excel academically, adjustment to a different educational system, feelings of loneliness and depression, discrimination, financial needs, adapting to a new climate, as well as meeting with many students and faculty who have become apathetic or hostile toward Christianity. These challenges can be wisely turned into opportunities to reach out to them, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We should always remember that how international students are influenced in college will most likely affect them for the rest of their life. Helping them build a relationship with the Lord and grow, will be the most important thing that can happen to them and help change the world.

We are confident the Lord is calling us to do this, and trust in Him with all our heart for the means and people who are sending us to the field. We praise the Lord for giving GFC a vision to reach out to international students in the area. We are associates in the same endeavor and invite you to partner with us in prayer and financial support.

Kamate Basolene

There will be an info meeting in March to learn more about the Basolene's ministry with Cru here in the Tri-Cities area. Come on by between the Sunday Services in room 413 on March 16.

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