Friendship and Christmas

Do they know it’s Christmas ?

It’s lunchtime on Christmas Day, we’re sitting around our dining room table about to tuck into the turkey, ham, stuffing and cranberry sauce – the traditional Christmas dinner. Sitting around the table is my husband, my mum and dad, Alison and Andrew (a boyfriend and girlfriend from China), Tim* from Vietnam and not forgetting Archie the dog who is under the table, sitting expectantly, hoping that something might fall off for him! Alison, Andrew and Tim have never been in the UK on Christmas Day before. In fact, they have never celebrated Christmas before. They know very little of what Christmas is about or of who Jesus is.

How can we welcome internationals ?

It’s been well-noted how advances in technology have “shrunk” our world. Long gone are the days when international travel meant taking a months-long trip by boat. In the 21st century you can be transported from the bustling streets of Manhattan to a rural outpost in China in less than 24 hours.The United States has been known as the “melting pot of the world. “In the 19th century and early 20th century, this term mainly referred to the influx of European immigrants. Today, however, it alludes to a vast diversity of nationalities traveling to and settling in North America for varying lengths of time.

The hook and the cook: a portrait of a mainland Chinese student in the UK

Xiao Mei visited a local British church nearby where she joined a Global Café for the possibility of meeting new friends and learning to speak English. The relaxed atmosphere encouraged her to return, and the friendly church people invited her to learn more about the faith sustaining them. Over the next few months, Xiao Mei made many friends and really enjoyed the worship services. She became a Christian at a gospel event, but she admitted that she was mainly attracted by the genuine love and care of the Christians she met at church and only had a superficial understanding of their faith. Lack of ability and confidence to openly express her thoughts in English due to the language barrier made it difficult for her to engage in conversations about deeper spiritual issues.

Chinese students need to make more Aussie friends!

Chinese international students face many barriers when it comes to making Australian friends, according to an international education expert, who said it is a big mistake to underestimate the benefits of social integration.

Australia is overtaking the UK for international students

Official student figures for 2018 from the UN’s education agency, Unesco, will not be published until after the end of this year. But the UCL researchers are “certain” that Australia is on the verge of moving ahead of the UK in overseas students and this “may have already happened”. Australia has been marketing itself as an English-speaking country with high-performing universities, with an attractive climate and a welcoming culture for overseas students. This year’s Best Student Cities rankings put Melbourne and Sydney in the top 10.

Thriving Turtles Training – Cross-Cultural Training for Intercultural Discipleship

Currently most courses in cross-cultural ministry are only offered during semester times when the campus workers are busy with ministry. Thriving Turtles Training is a new initiative to equip front-line gospel workers with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective cross-cultural gospel ministers. Thriving Turtles Training offers short modular courses at the end of the summer holidays each year. Next courses 28 January – 8th February 2019.

See this short promotional video