While attending a Christian university has been one of the greatest joys I have experienced in my life, I will admit that on occasion it is easy to fall into the trap of letting our Christianity becoming little more than a routine. Living the Christian life can become pretty easy for us when we have an easily accessible church building right across the road where we can go and worship. We have wonderful Christian professors to glean from in class. We have countless Christian friends around to support us, devotionals to attend, and fellowship activities and projects to be involved in. Sometimes it is easy just to go with the flow and become complacent and satisfied with just being good and doing little more. It’s moments like the one I’m about to share with you that remind us to be grateful for our comforts as Christians here in America and that we are never finished when it comes to doing work for our Lord.
Phillipe is an international student from Turkey. His parents are divorced, but his father told him he would give him $5,000 to continue his education in America. Phillipe moved to Nashville a few months ago and happened to meet a preacher who studied the Bible with him. Phillipe and his family come from a Muslim background, but after studying in depth, he realized he needed to become a Christian and was baptized. He told us that he was deeply concerned about letting his family know about his decision and only told his mother. He said he would need to wait several years before letting his father know. However, somehow the news slipped through the cracks and his father found out just a few weeks ago. Now he refuses to support Phillipe financially and says he no longer considers him his son. To make matters worse, because of his visa, Phillipe is not allowed to work off campus, and his on campus job provides very little income.
It is hard to imagine how it must feel to be in Phillipe’s position. He is in a foreign country with no money, few friends and all the while wondering what will become of him if he returns home as a Christian. After going in for an interview for a job that would have been illegal, Phillipe turned down the offer and told us he was going to trust the Lord to take care of him. Just last week we heard news that Phillipe has received a scholarship so that he can continue his education and has extra money for a meal plan! Praise God!
Please pray for Phillipe and his situation. Pray that we can study with him and help him build joy in the fact that he is a child of God and has a family here even if everyone else abandons him. Please let us remember that we never know if someone we see every day is in a situation similar to this. There are so many people who are suffering because they have chosen to become Christians or do not live in a place where it is easy to live the Christian life. Let each of us who do enjoy these blessings seek to find and encourage those less fortunate than us.