Come to the Table
This past Sunday, during our congregational prayer, we were able to come together to pray for the international students on Duke and UNC’s campuses. Thank you all for praying for Jordan, Danny, and me as we enter a new school year, serving the nations who are coming to the U.S. by studying at our local universities.
Also, during prayer time, we were able to see a glimpse of the power of Supper Club through Tim and Tina’s story about their involvement with having students over to their home. A quick recap, what is Supper Club?
Supper Club is an initiative that pairs domestic hosts with a small group of the same students for a semester. Over the course of 4 meals (3 of which are in the hosts’ homes), students and hosts get to build and grow relationships as they share food, weekly events, and life stories. Our hope is that through these relationships, the Gospel can be shown to students who may never have heard of Jesus or His people in a realistic fashion.
This a beautiful opportunity to open our homes to students who are experiencing a myriad of emotions while living in the States: fear, loneliness, anxiety, confusion, and culture shock to name a few. Our prayer is that students encounter Christ and that the Holy Spirit meets them and opens their hearts to salvation.
Through Supper Club, international students from all over the world are receiving welcome, love, acceptance, comfort, and, of course, A MEAL! I would also like to acknowledge what our hosts are receiving because they are benefitting from Supper Club as well.
Here are some first-hand quotes from hosts we have received:
“The students became a part of our family and cultural barriers were removed.”
“We felt moved to become part of our neighborhood and it [Supper Club] has provided growth for our family spiritually and as individuals. We definitely feel more connected to our community.”
“We have made new life-long friends in just a few months by simply loving on them and becoming, as one of them calls us, his ‘American family,’ or ‘fam’ in texts.”
“While I originally viewed Supper Club as a way to serve and bless others, I had no idea that I would end up being blessed so much through it myself! The students I've met through Supper Club are amazing people with very interesting lives, eager to both share and learn. I have been so blessed by their friendships and also challenged in my desire to share Christ's love through word and deed in ways that make sense to them.”
From our hosts, we have seen that they too have encountered Christ - through His creativity in His creation of different peoples, the way cultural barriers have been removed, relationships built between complete strangers, and how opening up our lives to others can change us for the better.
We cannot guarantee that when your students leave for their next steps in their professional growth they will leave as Christ followers. But we trust in a God who draws people towards Him in unique and powerful ways. We trust, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:7, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” We trust that God will grow the seeds of the Gospel planted at a meal and can assure you that lives, all around Supper Club tables, will change.