Arizona Mission Offering at Work: Reaching international college students

By Lainee Pegelow | Aug 12, 2022

When you give to the Arizona Mission Offering, you partner with Christian Challenge (your Baptist Collegiate Ministry) to reach international college students with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Amy, a college student from Cairo, Egypt, spent the 2022 spring semester at Northern Arizona University. The Lord brought her to Flagstaff following a difficult time in her life, the death of her father the preceding fall. Leaving her family in Egypt, she traveled across the globe to spend five months studying computer science at the mountain campus.

Although Flagstaff is beautiful and NAU is an incredibly welcoming campus, for many international students the excitement of the new gives way to the fatigue of constantly living life in a different country filled with language barriers, new customs, the need to make new friends and an unfamiliar university system.

In the life of college ministry, this is where things get exciting. Christian Challenge chapters across Arizona desire and seek ways to connect with these students so far from home, introducing them to Christ, giving them opportunities for discipleship and investing in them as leaders of the church.

Befriending international students, loving them and giving them community are ways that Arizona Southern Baptists through your collegiate ministry reach the world with the Gospel right in our own backyard.

Amy, who is a follower of Jesus Christ, found Christian Challenge at NAU shortly after the semester began. She quickly plugged in with Challenge Church, NAU Challenge’s partnering church.

Here, she joined a multigenerational congregation as well as a Challenge chapter of college students and campus missionaries whose mission is to engage college students with the Gospel, develop disciples of Jesus Christ and mobilize servant leaders for the church.

“I am grateful for Christian Challenge, because through the Bible studies and friendships I was challenged to walk with Christ in college,” Amy said. “Challenge Church helped me to feel connected to Christ and have a family so far from home.”

One of her favorite activities this spring was Surge, Christian Challenge’s statewide discipleship retreat. This year, students from all across Arizona and international students representing 17 different countries attended. Amy said she loved worshiping with so many college students and learning from God’s Word.

Reaching and discipling the nations right at home is exciting and challenging. As college students around the globe travel to the U.S. to attend universities, we have a great opportunity to share

Jesus Christ and see lives changed for eternity. Students like Amy, who had their faith in Jesus Christ grow and deepen before returning to their home countries.

Lainee Pegelow, a freelance writer and photographer, is communications specialist, missions coordinator and a campus missionary for Christian Challenge AZ. She is a member of Challenge Church, Flagstaff.

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