As I write this newsletter, students are scrambling around campus. They are searching for their new classrooms for the first time. They are attempting to crash courses to get just the right schedule. They are reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Many of them have goals for what they want for their lives and for many their goal is just to survive.
Our goal as the school year starts is a simple one, build relationships. All ministry hinges on relationships. Jesus called his disciples to come and follow him, then they spent three years together. Paul had close ministry partners that invested in his life, like Barnabas, and in whose lives he invested, like Timothy. The kind of relationships that we want to see are ones in which students grow in their faith and then replicate these purposeful relationships with others in their own spheres of influence (see Timothy 2:2).
For the past two weeks, we had the privilege of Immanuel Zimmermann, a German international student, staying with us while he tried to find more permanent housing. We had many meals with Immanuel, we drove him to and from campus, we helped him find a car and a bike. We took him to church and out shopping for school clothes. We had a ton of fun introducing him to American customs like krispy creme donuts, late night frozen yogurt runs, Mexican food and Veggie Tales. We got to pray for Immanuel a number of times as he had hard decisions to make and things were not always going his way. Immanuel was a huge help to us around the house with all of our projects going on, he even helped us level out the dirt in our back yard for our new patio. Immanuel was already a Christian, in fact, his Father is a bishop in the Evangelical Pentecostal church in Germany. We have been able to invest in his life and have earned the right to speak into it and help him to grow for the semester he is here at SDSU. He moved out Friday and it was like sending our first son off to college even though he was only with us for two weeks! Of course, this relationship has opened up the opportunity to meet other international students and we are praying that we can help Immanuel be a huge impact for the Kingdom of God while he is here. (In fact, two of his roommates are Muslim, something that he was hesitant about, but we encouraged him to look at it as an opportunity and we are hoping he will bring them to our house for dinner on Wednesday night.) We also got to see firsthand a huge need on our campus that is not being met, helping international students find housing! We are currently brainstorming ways we might be able to lend a hand in this area. We feel our meeting Immanuel was so divinely appointed and we are looking forward to seeing how God uses this relationship to continue to bring more international students our way.
That’s what this season will be about. Building relationships that have an eternal significance.
Keepin' Up With the Kertsons
The girls started school. They love their teachers and their new school, which is an answer to prayer. Amber cried when she didn’t have homework the first day of school. I am guessing she’ll also cry when she does have homework and has to do it for the first time!
Eden is having fun being the only child home all day. She puts on lots of tea parties these days and puts out quite the spread. Kendra and her enrolled in the local YMCA where she’ll start a swim class and Kendra hopes to work out a few times a week because they have pretty awesome childcare as well.
We poured our patio last weekend at the house. Our next project is to remodel/decorate a large living room area we hope to make a room to host students in with a coffee house feel to it. His Light Church in Menifee just agreed last week to furnish the whole room for us, which is a humongous step toward that goal. Other work will include painting, lighting, a plank wall, fixing up the façade of the fireplace, and building a bar around two walls. Let us know if you or a handy man you know might want to lend a hand to this project for a great cause!
We will be submitting our charter to be recognized as an official student organization on campus this week. Due to some new policies by the Cal State system, there is a possibility this process may not go well. Pray for wisdom and favor. If it doesn’t go through, all the more reason to get the “Chi Alpha Room” ready for ministry!
Our fundraising is going well! Pray for more individuals and churches to jump on board with monthly support so that we can start our ministry full time! The harvest is ready!!!
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how you are doing and how we can be praying for you. There has been so much more going on, so be sure to be checking out our Facebook page!
Check out this video our district made highlighting our ministry to the pastors of our area.