Join us in providing a welcoming environment where students and volunteers can build lasting relationships and Jesus can be known.
Why Food with FrIends
Why Food with Friends? Because food can kill you—if you eat the wrong kind, you will die. “[They] ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died” (Jn 6:49). This is why we want to feed the international students. They are hungry and only Jesus will satisfy them. What better way to feed their souls than a meal together?
Make Jesus known by hosting Food with Friends. You and a few of your Christians friends can gather monthly with 3–5 international students to get to know each other and hopefully share not only a meal, but Jesus himself.
PLANNING A GATHERING
Before the Gathering:
Day of the Gathering:
Don’t just feed bodies,
Pray: We “plant” and “water” but ultimately God “gives the growth” (1 Cor 3:6).
Know Your Story: Ephesians 2:1–8 gives a good summary of what God has done. Also see Acts 26.
Know Their Story: Don’t treat students simply as “objects of salvation.” Get to know them and what they value!
Be intentional and natural: As you talk about your life and what you value, talk about God.
Helpful hints and tips
Do not just share a meal, share your home: Many students want to know you and American culture. Show them your home, pictures of your family, and answer their questions.
Go do something: If you are able, invest your time into the students and go do something else, either one on one or as a group.
Communicate a lot: Many other cultures are not time oriented like the U.S., do your best to communicate early and often to help prevent any disappointments.
COnversation and food
Conversation: One of the best ways you can connect with international students is to ask open-ended questions and listen! Ask about their hometown and culture, food, travel, holidays, hobbies and interests, current major and future hopes and dreams.
Some may be open to talking about faith and Christianity. Others may not be, but don’t give up. Pray. If not now, maybe later.
If a student is unconfident in their English don’t be afraid to repeat yourself or rephrase your question to help them understand you.
Food: Be aware of the students’ dietary restrictions (e.g. vegetarian). Many of these restrictions will be tied to cultural and religious commitments; be respectful and kind. Ensure to offer variety in the meals so that everyone will like something.