The International Friendship Program is a program through Purdue that matches new international students with families in the community. Participants agree to meet with their student(s) once a month for the coming semester. Here are thee reasons why I think you should consider participating:
1. It’s an incredible ministry opportunity that can fit into your everyday life! You know one of the favorite activities of most international students I’ve known? Getting to participate in the everyday life of American friends. If you’re hesitant to sign up for IFP because you think it will involve hours of careful planning to create an extravagant trip or event, let me put your mind at ease! Your international friend would love to attend your child’s soccer game or choir concert. They’d appreciate you taking them along when you go grocery shopping. A trip to a local park or a cookout at your house would be a blast! Basically, the things you are already doing with your family and friends are opportunities to include your new international friend.
2. It’s fun, and you can make great new friends! Check out what Cally Burnside had to share about her experience:
“The International Friendship Program has been such an exciting experience! I volunteered to invest in three students last year. We went to the zoo, Feast of the Hunter's Moon, movie nights, coffee dates, and on long walks and talks. All the girls have really enriched my life and knowledge by getting to know them. When going into this I did not know what to expect, but I have since discovered I was not only able to help them, they have brought so much to me as well and I now have three very good friends that I would not have met were it not for this program!”
3. God has given us the incredible opportunity to declare His glory to the Nations from our own backyards. Most of us will probably not spend extended portions of our lives in China or Afghanistan or Brazil, but God has brought people from all those nations and many more to Purdue! What an amazing opportunity we have to build cross-cultural relationships from our own neighborhoods! Hospitality and global disciple-making are our privilege and our responsibility as followers of Jesus and IFP is an easy way to pursue those callings!
Would you consider the International Friendship Program today? This Sunday, after the Connection hour, a representative from Purdue will be at Kossuth to host an orientation for families or individuals interested in participating. Lunch is provided! Please email April Lee
if you would like to attend. It’s not too late!