Ministering to International Students Through the Christmas Story

International students at Georgia Tech may have never heard anything about Jesus or any stories from the Bible. These students are full of questions and curious about God, since most of them have grown up in an atheist culture that has no room for God.

David and Anna Rau lead The Navigators International Student Ministry at Georgia Tech. They befriend international students who have come to advance their technical and professional skills. Many of their friendships are with students from Asia.

Last Christmas, the Raus invited students over for a meal, games, and conversation. Twenty-five students participated in the special evening! David shares the vision for this dinner: “Along with food and fun, we wanted to share a clear Christmas-
focused Gospel message with the students. Most of them have never heard the Gospel or opened a Bible, and Christmas provides a great opportunity to talk about God’s plan of redemption.”

Since honor and shame are important issues in the students’ culture, David shared from this cultural context. “I presented the Christmas story to them with the wide lens of the plan of God to remove their shame through Christ.”

Students were interested and engaged in the concept and asked heartfelt questions. One student wondered, “People in my country don’t believe in God, so why should I?”

Others wanted to know if the stories in the Bible are real, and if they pray, will God listen?

David and Anna are launching Bible discussion groups with students who expressed an interest in knowing more, and they will continue to build relationships, share truth, and pray for understanding and new life among the students they serve.

Pray that God would open the hearts of the international students to the love of Jesus and remove any barrier to belief in his saving power.

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