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REACHing Kentucky Internationals living with Americans

 

“When you agreed to let me live with you and your family, I bet you were afraid,” the student said. “I was scared of you, too.”

A Middle Eastern student studying in Kentucky desired to live with an American family to improve his English skills and learn about American culture. He was fearful though, because he did not know how the American family would receive him.

On the first night of his stay, he made an opening statement about his fear. And he was right. My wife and I were his new family, and we were concerned for our children (who were ages 3 and 1) when he moved into our basement.

France was hit with multiple terrorist attacks just one week prior. Our minds were filled with possibilities of terror. We looked at our children, ourselves, and our possessions. Then we looked at his hopeless and helpless state apart from knowing Jesus Christ. We considered canceling and taking the easy, comfortable, and safe route. My wife, being as transparent as she is, said, “I’m doing this for two reasons: first, I trust the Lord. Second, this is your job.”

It’s amazing what can change within individuals’ hearts when they live with one another for a couple of weeks. At the beginning, my wife was fearful, yet by the time the student climbed into his car to move back onto the college campus, she wept. She had grown to love him and his culture, and felt a deep burden for him to acknowledge Jesus Christ as more than a prophet, but as both Lord and Savior.

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