Two nights ago, we saw many answers to prayer in regard to our church’s Thanksgiving dinner outreach. We had about sixteen International students join us! Students at this table were from Malaysia and Taiwan.
Students at this table came from Germany, France, Spain and Sweden.
After the meal we had special music, singing, a slideshow of pictures and Mr. Woodhouse gave a terrific message about the founding of our nation — with a very clear gospel presentation.
“Most young people in Europe don’t really care about religion,” the European students told me over dinner, explaining how empty the large church buildings are on Sunday mornings. I acknowledged I had heard similar reports.
“I think one reason for that is evolutionary teaching,” I told them, “Because if people believe that they evolved, and science has disproven the Bible, how can they really believe it?”
“I was taught evolution, but I don’t see a contradiction between evolution and the Bible,” one of them said. “I just take the beginning of Genesis metaphorically.”
I explained how many Christians who are also scientists teach how the Bible and science are consistent. I told them how we run a bookstore in town that carries about 350 titles of these kind of books. (Books on creation science in every area of science and on every level, from first grade to PhD.), explaining that “We (Creationists) look at the same evidence as evolutionists do, but come to different conclusions because we start with different presuppositions. For example, we believe Noah’s flood explains a lot of things — like canyons. People who believe the earth is millions of years old believe that canyons formed over long periods of time. But we believe they happened quickly by the huge amount of water during the flood.”
The surprised, skeptical look on his face told me these were sort of new and different ideas to him, yet he seemed intrigued that I held this view.
“So you really take the whole Bible literally?” he asked.
“Yeah!” I said.
“I’ve heard that there were people like you in America but I’ve never met one,” he replied.
“So…how old is the earth?” he asked.
I laughed, anticipating his reaction to my answer. “About six thousand years,” I said.
Understandably, this was somewhat surprising for him.
I didn’t really want to talk about origins the whole time, so I stressed the importance of the gospel (the cross and resurrection) but I asked, “How can one believe the end of the Bible if they can’t believe the beginning?”
“Yeah, I’ve wondered that before,” he said, “Like about the contradictions in Scripture.”
I mentioned how it’s true that people claim there are contradictions, but I’ve never been shown a contradiction that was a true contradiction. They always have answers and explanations.
Though it was obvious these comments were all new to him, he was nice and he definitely seemed like a thinker.
Some friends and I met these girls from Vietnam while talking with students on their campus a few weeks ago. I was then able to attend a presentation on Vietnam they taught last week — and then they came to the Thanksgiving dinner.
If you still have room at your Thanksgiving dinner in your home or at your church, consider inviting some international students. They are grateful for the opportunity to learn about American culture while they are here, and Thanksgiving is a perfect open door for this. (Christmas is too!)
We were able to have an e-mail invite sent to all the international students at our local college, and I assume something similar could be done at any college. Even though many of the students had never met us before, they seemed eager to come and expressed how much they enjoyed the evening.