Friends International Student Hospitality (FISH)
Would you like to be a missionary to China, without leaving your house?
College Park Church is continuing a ministry called Friends International Student Hospitality (FISH). The ministry involves “hosting” a student for dinner two times a semester for a year. This simple gesture of kindness and hospitality could open up an opportunity to lead someone to Christ. Eric and Wendy Su are College Park Church Members who became Christians because of a this type of ministry (read more about the Su’s below). Right now, the University of Indianapolis has 60 international students that would like to participate in F.I.S.H.
There will be an orientation meeting at College Park Church at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5 in the East Room. Everyone is welcome and it will be a great opportunity to learn more about this exciting ministry.
Read how one College Park member (Eric Su) was impacted by student hospitality:
In Isaiah 65:1, God said: “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me.” This is exactly what the LORD did for Wendy and me through an international student ministry like F.I.S.H. And I am thankful that the Lord is moving the hearts of His servants at College Park Church to do the same.
I came as an international student to University of California at Berkeley in 1986. Mr. and Mrs. Heaston signed up as my host family through their church’s international student host family program. I didn’t realize that God in His grace had sent them to draw me to Him.
The Heastons were devout Christians who were instrumental in leading me and my family to Jesus Christ. Their gentle and loving spirits made us feel at home whenever we were with them. We call Mr. and Mrs. Heaston our spiritual parents – they were the first Christians we ever met, and through them God showed us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and no one can come to the Father except through Him.
During the five years that we lived in the Bay area, The Heastons often invited us to their home and church. When I first flew in to the States, Mr. and Mrs. Heaston met me at the airport. They took me to the bank and grocery store, and hosted me in their house for three days. They patiently taught me many things about America that were totally new to me. For example, they showed me how to lick an ice cream cone, and told me not to count the money in my wallet in the store. Later, when I bought my first little used car, Mr. Heaston drove it to the shop for me so I could have the worn out tires replaced, then he gave me a driving lesson. We drove on the streets for a while, then Mr. Heaston directed me in a certain direction. I said “Mr. Heaston, we are getting on the freeway!” Mr. Heaston calmly said, “I know, I think you can do it”. And that was my first driving lesson on the freeway. (Pray for flight; thanksgiving service)…
Although by the rules of International-House at UC Berkeley the host families were not allowed to “pressure” their international students into religion, it didn’t stop The Heastons from living out a godly life in our presence. We respected them and their faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”. Our hearts were like stones, but Matthew 3:9 says “out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham”. Although we did not become Christians until 12 years after we met them, they did the most difficult and humble work of preparing the soil and sowing the seed in our hearts. We remember a few scenes of how they witnessed to us:
We remembered a copy of the Bible lying on the dining table at their house. Wendy opened it and saw that it was a gift from Mrs. Heaston to her husband. It was the first time that Wendy had ever seen a Bible, and although they didn’t say anything, we are sure that they purposely placed it at our spot on the table…
Once we were in their car going to their home after going to church, we mentioned that the virgin birth sounded like a fairy tale. Mrs. Heaston gently but firmly said “it sounds like it, but we truly believe that it happened, and it was purely spiritual and nothing physical”. That left a deep impression on us.
In 1991, I graduated and moved to Boston. One Sunday morning I walked into a big church nearby. I told Mrs. Heaston about it, hoping that she would be excited. However, Mrs. Heaston gently but firmly said that this was a Christian Science Church, which follows a woman, instead of Jesus alone. And she said that Christian churches must follow Jesus only. Later on we realized how crucial this statement was in helping our coming to true faith in Jesus.
In 1997, we lived in the Chicago area, and God moved our hearts to start reading the Bible. In their letter to us that year, The Heastons wrote that they were so happy to hear this news that they walked in and out of the house smiling for days! During the year that followed, they continued to guide us in our spiritual journey. In 1998, my wife and I joined Mr. and Mrs. Heaston as children of God through faith in Jesus Christ!
In 2008 and 2010 respectively, Mr. and Mrs. Heaston went to be with the Lord. We pray that the Lord will raise up many families like the Heastons in College Park Church to lead many to righteousness through the F.I.S.H. ministry.