Focus isn’t just about worshiping with the other 350 Baptist Student Ministries students who participated this weekend or about speaker Alan Hirsch broadening our view of Jesus. It’s also about equipping students through breakout sessions to impact college campuses in practical and life-changing ways.
One of the breakout sessions was particularly interesting to me – Cross Cultural Relationships with an emphasis on ministry to Hindu students. I chose to go to this session because of a tidbit of information I learned about Texas Tech earlier this week. Out of all of the student organizations at Tech, the Indian Student Society is by far the largest organization with a membership of more than 600 students. This information burned in my heart, and I wanted to learn how to better reach Indian students through the international ministry at the Tech BSM.
During the past year, I have become friends with a few Indian students, but I had no clue how to address Christianity in a way where they could relate or understand. As Gary Stidham, BSM director at UTA, led the session and stressed the importance of first being a friend, I realized that ministry to these students must be steeped in prayer. The differences in Hinduism and Christianity are so vast, and I do get intimidated thinking about explaining these differences. But one thing I know is true – God is so much bigger than my apprehension and he loves these Indian students so much. Therefore, I should be all the more eager to tackle the hurdles involved in sharing the gospel with these students, knowing God is going before me and with me.
Gary also made an interesting statement: Many of the Indian students who can afford to come study in the United States are from a high cast and enjoy privileges of being at the top of society. But when they come to America, they are often treated like the “least of these” on the college campus. The thing these students crave is just to have someone notice them and to be their friend. What a wonderful opportunity to show them God’s love!
May I, the Texas Tech BSM and other BSMs around the state be sensitive to God’s command to reach the nations, especially those who have been placed in our own backyard.
By Kaitlin Chapman