A Story of Transformation

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Friendship House MSU predominantly serves International visiting scholars, graduate students, Ph.D. students, post-­‐doctoral students and their family members. One who arrived from China about a year ago was a student with an intense curiosity about Christianity. She attended all of our Bible studies, as well as many of our English As A Second Language (ESL) classes, and held in-depth discussions with several of our teachers about the who, what, where, when and why of their Christian faith. She began attending what is called the “Chinese church” that serves Chinese Internationals on campus. She also visited the worship services of many of our Lutheran congregational partners. She excitedly came into my office one day and announced with an emphatic, revelatory tone, “I am Christian!” As she poured out her zeal and joy, I was nearly overcome myself, a witness to her amazing declaration and transformation. She was later baptized and apparently thirsting for more and more about scripture, faith, and her personal evangelical responsibility. I asked her to attend ISM, Inc’s

She and In-Depth Seminar readily agreed. Right after she returned from what she felt was a mountaintop experience at In Depth, she learned that her husband’s oldest brother had passed away. As the family Skyped in the days following his death, our student shared the Good News, urging them to consider Jesus as the best and only source of comfort to them. Initially, the new eldest brother rejected her entreaties, calling such talk dangerous and subversive. Still, as the family gathered at weekly internet chats seeking some form of mutual solace, our student would continue to urge their attentions on Jesus. The eldest brother continued to reject her suggestions. Then, a few weeks later, the eldest brother called our student on her cell. He said, “What do I need to do to know more about Jesus?”

Our student felt called by God to return to her country for the rest of the summer to witness among her extended family and share God’s peace and joy to all who would listen. She spent many hours with the eldest brother. She returned to MSU and Friendship House for the fall semester. When she called me in my office, her smile was as broad as a summer’s day. “My brother-­‐in-­‐law is starting to believe,” she said. “This is important because the family follows his lead.” Along with her courses and research at MSU, our student returned to our Bible classes. Late in the semester, she and I met to talk about her continued desire to be a witness for Jesus. What came out of our discussions was a new class, which started last Sunday afternoon at one of our partner churches. The church pastor agreed to lead our student as his assistant. Incredibly, our student personally recruited 29 other Chinese Internationals from MSU to attend this class. She arranged for transportation so they could safely arrive and return home afterward. They all came. They all stayed. They are all coming back. He said to them,

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)

By Rich Bearup, Executive Director of the Friendship House at Michigan State University

For more information on the ministry of MSU click here: http://www.schoolius.com/school/112819728824007/Friendship+House+MSU

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