Last night we learned of a foreign student who killed himself. Today we had the opportunity to meet with friends he left behind. As we talked together, David and I both felt that we needed to be involved in the lives of these students. Sadness at the loss of their friend, confusion as to why or how this could happen, loneliness, and fear all came to the surface as we listened to them talk.
Just an hour before our meeting with the students, I sat listening to David share from Matthew 5. The message was really about how we need to surrender every area of life (our dignity, our security, our liberty, our property, etc) in order to show the same selfless love that our Savior showed. As I sat there, I began to pray. “Lord please show me areas that I have not surrendered so that I can truly show love to others around me.”
David challenged us with a quote from George Mueller. “There was a day when I died, utterly died to George Mueller and his opinions, his preferences, and his tastes and his will. I died to the world, to its approval and it censure. I died to the approval or the blame of even my brethern and friends. And since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” Again I prayed, “Lord, show me areas where I need to die to myself so that I can be a useful instrument in your hands.”
The answer to those prayers came as we sat with students who were mourning the loss of their friend. Our Father was clearly showing us a need, but I could feel excuses rising up in my head. “We are already so very busy.” Just the thought of another “thing” made me feel tired. “What could we possibly do to make a difference for any of these students?” I was thinking about my own strength and abilities, which are seriously lacking, and not thinking of the endless supply that comes from my Father.
Even as those thoughts crept in, I heard the voice of my Father speaking softly, “Give Me your schedule, give Me inabilities as well as your talents. Give Me your idea of what your life should look like and I will show you the masterpiece I have planned. Surrender your work and ministry to Me and you will become an instrument I can use.” I asked; He answered; I surrendered.
David and I looked at each other and decided right then that we needed to be involved with this group of international students. We passed out our phone numbers and offered to help the students, even with the reclaiming of the body if need be. Then we invited them to our home next week. They were overwhelmed. They come from all over the world and they need a family to love them.
I don’t know what will happen or where this will lead, but I am thankful for the opportunity to love on these students. I can’t wait to get to know them better. One day, my daughters will be far from home studying. I’m asking, even now, that my Father will prepare a family nearby that will love on them and be open to being used in their lives.