We, Jerry and I, are sponsors of five Chinese university students and one student from Malaysia. What a privilege and joy it’s been. Even though this past winter was one of my worst winters physically and we couldn’t do as much with them as we wanted to they seem to have understood.
I’ve been asked about our Chinese students so I thought I’d write about it here. At our local University, which is known world wide, there is an organization called International Friends. In this organization we, local folks, sponsor International students. It means we become their American families. There isn’t any financial commitment, they all have their own finances, apartments, cars. It’s just to become their friends in a strange country where they need a friend or family for friendship and moral support.
The organization puts on three or four fun evenings throughout the year for all the folks involved. Last fall there was a welcome picnic, then a jack-o-lantern carving evening, etc. Anytime Jerry and I have something we’re going to ourselves, a concert, an art exhibit, a parade, etc. we can call our students and say, “Hey, we’re going ‘wherever’, would you like to join us?” We’ve also had them over for cookouts and dinners. They took us to an authentic Chinese restaurant one evening.
Jerry and I signed up for a young man and two young women. But we were asked by three other students if we could be their American family too! So this year we have five Chinese students and one from Malaysia! It’s great. It’s not only helping these International students but it’s also helping us! We’re learning about people of other cultures and religions at the same time they’re learning about us and life here in the USA. They have questions about our beliefs and we are more than happy to share with them.
The sad part is when they complete their studies here and move on, either to their homeland or to another university to further their education. They will always be in our hearts and prayers.