It seems that life, much like a book, is filled with many, many chapters. Some are filled with highs, while others with lows. Some drag out in mundane monotony, while others glide by in their exceptional noteworthiness. The past two and a half years working with International Students Incorporated (ISI) has been one of those latter chapters, filled with some of the most wonderful experiences for our family.
Sadly, our chapter with ISI is soon drawing to its close. Due to our plan to move to Cape Town later this year and with the academic school year coming to an end for our student friends, our time on staff has come to a close with ISI. We are so grateful for all we have learned from our partnership with ISI and the amazing community we have become a part of because of it.
Because our time on staff is coming to an end, please discontinue your donations to us through ISI. We will be transitioning to working with Frontline Fellowship to reach international students as well as Muslim people groups living in Cape Town, South Africa. If you would like to continue supporting us you can do so here.
However, if you would like to continue supporting the important work of ISI here in the US, please consider supporting our friends and coworkers Holly and Travis Pierce here.
We have been working with this sweet couple for the past year and they have been faithfully giving their lives to reach students at Thunderbird School of Global Management. They are committed to loving and reaching students with the Gospel.
This past year the Lord has taken us on a particularly moving journey with international students. At the start of the school year, our ministry team launched a welcome party for students at Thunderbird and we had nearly a hundred students attend. There were icebreakers, food, games, Texas line dancing, and raffle prizes for the students to win. It was a special opportunity to bless the students and learn how we could best serve them in their time in the States.
The room was set up with numerous round tables where staff and volunteers could make connections with students. At my table sat three African students and two Indian students. Little did we know, as we talked and got to know one another that night, the impact these students would have on our lives.
Among the new friends we made that night was Sarah (from India), and over the next school year she became faithfully involved in our international student club. From the first time we had Friday Fun Night (a night for students to come fellowship and have a time of Bible discussion in an American home) Sarah showed a great desire to learn more about the Bible.
On that evening we offered students Bibles to take home with them, and Sarah was the only one out of fifteen students to take us up on the offer. She clung on to the Bible as if holding on to a newfound treasure. Over the next year Sarah faithfully attended our Bible studies and was always eager to study God’s Word. After an extensive conversation with Holly (one of our co-laborers on staff), she decided to become a follower of Jesus! Despite coming from a Hindu background, she had attended Catholic school as a girl and this laid the foundation for her coming to the Lord. A couple months later, on Palm Sunday, she was baptized as a further step of obedience to Christ.
It has been an immense joy and a blessing to be a part of seeing the Lord’s work in her life. From that first night at our welcome party, we had no idea what God was going to do in her life, but now we can see that the Lord had a beautiful plan orchestrated for her to come to faith in Christ. Praise God!
In February, our family of three took a trip to the Grand Canyon with Sarah and another friend of hers, Chad (also from India). Chad comes from a Hindu family but through his studies has become an atheist. During the long drive to one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders, he struck up a conversation with Hunter about how evil disproves God and they had a fascinating conversation about the existence of God and evil. Hunter was able to use this opportunity to share God’s solution to evil: the cross of Christ and the promise of New Creation. Chad was so grateful to be able to have this conversation in a respectful way that they have continued to get together to have several more conversations about the Gospel. Although Chad is still very opposed to the Gospel, we know that through the preaching of the Gospel, God softens hearts and brings people to salvation (Rom. 10:14). We pray that God will continue to do this with Chad.
This month has marked an exceptionally remarkable milestone in our lives: Hunter’s graduation from Phoenix Seminary with his Master’s of Divinity! To say it has been a long journey, would be a serious understatement. After four and a half years as a full time student (five years overall), this chapter has been one filled with mostly highs and an unbelievable amount of growth both on an educational level as well as a spiritual one. We know this will always be a chapter reflected on with much joy and gratitude. The relationships Hunter has been able to build both with classmates and professors is another invaluable outcome of his experience at Seminary.
We continue to marvel at God’s persistent provision for our family and are indebted to you for your love, support, prayers, and friendship!
We love you and thank God for you.
With love in Christ,
Hunter, Andrea, and Jeremy