I’m not sure how old this program is, but it goes back several years. The idea is simple. We are a campus church (next door to the University of Alabama). Each fall, scores of students enroll from foreign countries. Many are on shoestring budgets and couldn’t bring anything but a couple of suitcases with them from their homes. And so we arrange to give away furniture, computers … anything a student at the university could use.
We invite new international students to come by, meet some of our members, and receive free supplies. Volunteers are available to help move the furniture to their apartments or dorms, as students who’ve just arrived in the United States are often friendless and need help with desks and chairs.
Most donations are leftovers from someone’s redecorating, downsizing, or such, but the students are visibly moved by the generosity of the congregation.
These students are, of course, college students and very bright. They inevitably ask why we give our things away to perfect strangers — strangers who aren’t even Americans or Christians. And we tell them we do it because of Jesus.
This year, a student from a communist nation said, “I was warned to stay away from Christians, because Christians are very bad people. But now I have to reconsider everything!”
Over the years, a number of students have been converted to Jesus from this program — and have gone back to their homes to teach Christianity to others.