[Next Generation] Open doors begin with conversation

*Names changed for security.  

“God has opened my eyes to the international students all around me,” says Alex, a sophomore at Henderson State University (HSU) from Bryant. “He has taught me to go out of my comfort zone to speak to the unreached about the Gospel. I have personally learned to love others as Christ would by reaching out to my international friends.”   

God has brought people from all nations and tribes right here to our local Arkansas colleges. Alex is one example of a student who has caught the vision and is seeking to share the love of Christ with the students God has placed in his life.  

“Christ gave me a desire to learn another language to reach the heart of other people.” Alex explains that “after graduation, I want to be a missionary in a very unreached area. Within this country, there is only one missionary for every 54,000 people.”  

Alex has started hosting a monthly international conversation club through the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM). This is a great way for students to build relationships and practice English. Alex shared, “I have been having a few Bible studies with the more interested students. I usually bring 2-3 international students with me to BCM events or other church-related groups. After going to these events, I usually ask the students what they have learned or found interesting about Christianity. I have been able to have great spiritual conversations.”  

One of these students is named Ko*. He says “before I came to the US, I honestly had no idea about Christianity. People in my country have a general belief that all religions are bad. They collect money and brainwash people, so it is better to stay away.”  

However, Ko was soon able to see differently based on how Christians welcomed him when he first arrived. “After I came to the US and started to hang out with people who were Christians, those stereotypes completely disappeared. I met Christian people a lot in International Friendship Outreach (IFO) as college student in Conway. I was amazed at how they welcomed us and the hospitality they showed. That is what made me want to learn more because I wanted to see why they can do such an incredible thing for us.”  

Since Ko has transferred to HSU, he and Alex study the Bible together multiple times a week. “What I have learned while having a Bible study with Alex is that many of the concepts are very similar to my country. We should maintain relationships, be humble, and love our enemy. These are in the Bible as well, and so I really liked them.” 

Ko says “It is still hard to fully accept all the things about Christianity because I spent my whole life without God. However, I have no negative thoughts about Christianity anymore!”  

Please continue to pray that international students across Arkansas will encounter students like Alex who are willing to love them and share the good news about Jesus.   

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