Journal Offering wisdom and encouraging words

Learn more about Journal

Journal entries focus on the heart and motivation for World Christian parenting. Monthly articles written by key authors and ministry leaders offer wisdom and inspiration as you disciple your children and pursue intentionality in the midst of family life. Additional thoughts and devotionals written by Weave team members encourage you to draw near to Jesus for wisdom, strength, and grace as you navigate everyday realities and encounter situations you don’t feel equipped to deal with. Enlarge your vision for what God can do with ordinary families whose hearts and lives are yielded to Him.

Live Out God’s Work:

Welcoming International Students Into Our Family

In 2005 my family and I moved to a university town in the mid-south. Having lived in urban settings my whole life, this was a culture shock for me in some ways. The diversity of cultures I was used to seeing was not as evident. However, I learned about a program at the university that matched families with international students, and quickly signed up.

Over the next several years, my family invited international students from all over the world into our home to share meals, birthdays, and holidays. They came from many countries and different religious worldviews. We took them on family outings like fishing and canoeing, to restaurants, or just to the store so they could buy things they needed.

A few things motivated my wife and I to do this. One was the compelling argument that the majority of international students who study in the US will never step foot in an American home during their years of study. We wanted to both demonstrate and share the love of Christ with them. As parents, we also had in mind the blessing this would bring to our children–to meet people from other cultures, hear their stories, get to know of their experiences, and invite them to participate in our family as much as they were willing.

One particular student, a nominal Muslim, was studying for his PhD in bio genetics. He seemed to enjoy taking part in our family events and our kids grew closer to him than many of the others.  When he finally finished his studies and graduated, we were his only “family” present to celebrate with him. We took him to a restaurant after his graduation ceremony to celebrate his wonderful achievement.

Over the years, these ongoing experiences seemed to work in the lives of our three kids, giving them a greater appreciation of people from other cultures, helping them avoid the many prejudices that even the media can foster, enabling them to feel comfortable speaking to people of other faiths and beliefs, and teaching them not to fear what may seem strange or different. In fact, each of our kids took a “gap year” in another country before beginning their university studies. One went to live and work in India, and the other two went to work and study in Costa Rica.

What if you do not live near a university with a program that makes it easy to connect with people from other cultures? Here are creative ways your family can accomplish the same thing:

  1. When your family encounters someone from another culture (for example, in line at a store), initiate a conversation in which you ask about where they are from, their family, and their experience in your country. If your kids observe how easy it can be to initiate a conversation with someone from another culture, they will learn to do this as well.
  2. Rotate where your family goes to eat, giving your kids a choice of three different international restaurants. Beforehand, have your kids study some basic things about the country represented. Be looking for how the Lord may open up an opportunity to get to know someone at the restaurant, whether it be the workers or other patrons.
  3. Have your kids invite a classmate from another culture to your home for lunch. Get to know his/her parents and invite the whole family for a meal in your home.

About the Author: Dave and his wife Eli live and work from Lima, Peru, where he is the CMM Regional Team Leader for Latin America. He has been involved in mobilization for over 20 years. The Flynns have three grown children and two grandchildren

Saved for later items are those you plan to try out with your family and want to be able to find easily. Recommended items are those you tried, loved, and think others would enjoy too. Activities, Journal entries, Resources, and Weave Family videos can all be added to both lists. Both saved and recommended items are added to your profile page, but only your recommended items will be visible to other users. You can easily add a saved for later item to your recommended list — and vice versa — by clicking the icon in the lower left corner of each item. To remove an item, simply click the “X” icon in the lower left.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.