Christmas 2019 - Friendship Families for International Students
This Christmas we are inviting families to host internationals for a meal anytime from December 21 to 28.
We are excited to be part of hosting international students this Christmas season! We are grateful to report that over Thanksgiving this year some 24 families from West Highland and other Hamilton churches hosted 84 international students for a delicious meal, fun and fellowship. The students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of engaging with the families where members ranged in age from just a few months old to 91!
Here are a few quotes from students regarding their Thanksgiving experience with Friendship Families:
- “Feeling like I belong.”
- “It was a wonderful experience to share the love and care which is unconditional. Thank you for all your service. We are grateful for your good works!”
- “Sharing of cultural background after dinner.”
- “It was a great experience. I want to say, “Thanks a lot for opening up your home.” They were very nice.”
- “We shared our families’ stories.”
- “Come visit us at our beach house in Iraq.”
The international students we want to host are from McMaster University, where most are involved in post graduate studies – Masters and PhD. Their home countries include China, India, Korea, Iran, Egypt, Syria, France, Germany, Denmark, but sadly most don’t get to go home over their study period. These students value family time and are grateful to be included in a caring, loving environment which also provides an opportunity for open discussion. They fall into an age group where many are questioning the big issues in life. Some are keen to start discussions, while others are happy to just enjoy the experience of fellowship and may initiate conversations down the line.
Here is a sample of feedback we received from host families:
- “The students were willing to open up right away as they were invited into my home. Very interested in knowing what we believe in. This is an effective way to evangelize.”
- “We posted notes on our window, listing things that we are thankful for. Everyone thought this was a fun activity. All the internationals included something about being involved in this program.”
- “The students brought dessert from their own cultures to share.”
- “May we all give thanks to our Lord for His love, His provision, and this opportunity to be a blessing to some young people who have come to our country for studies.”
Something special happens when you invite a stranger into your home and you break bread together: you make a meaningful connection, trust is built, and God builds a bridge to share the love of Christ.
Consider hosting internationals for a meal anytime from December 21 to 28.
Registration is now open! You can sign up or learn more about what to expect as a host by visiting the Hamilton International Students website. Registration closes on Monday, December 9 and you will be allocated your students by Thursday, December 12.
We will be hosting a training session in December – date to be determined – where you can hear firsthand from hosts about their experiences and they will also be able to answer any questions you may have.
"…For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in..." Matthew 25:34-35