Instant Family :)

IMG_8580 You know how you can meet someone and bond so quickly you feel like you’ve known them forever? That’s sort of how it was when Anderson, Josue, and Keren visited us over their Thanksgiving break. (They’re students at Rio Grande Bible Institute, a Spanish speaking college in Texas, and a mutual friend arranged for them to come help with Spanish ministry in Cedar Rapids for a few days…sort of a “practicum” with our church.) It didn’t matter that they were still learning English, we were instant “family,” and we appreciated their fellowship and passion for Christ so much.

IMG_8520 The first thing they did while with us was help with the annual Thanksgiving Event that our church hosts. We do this every year, partly as an outreach to extended family and international students. It’s always a great time.

After dinner we had a time of sharing and our Hispanic friends shared Christ boldly from the heart. I believe it left a real impression on everyone.

IMG_8554 Good talks also developed with the international students at their table …

IMG_8579 So much so, we arranged to meet at a coffee shop in Iowa City to continue the conversation.

IMG_9100 Josue (from Argentina) told us that one of his dreams was to build a snow man. He wanted to know if he could go outside and make one. Of course we said “sure!”. I thought he might make a 1-foot snowman on the back deck of our office (because we didn’t really have that much snow), but he got some help and the snow man ended up being huge!

IMG_8568 In fact, it started drawing observers over to chat, and we ended up sharing with two people about the Lord — all because of the snow man. (New evangelism strategy: build a big snow man and see how many neighbors come over to start chatting with you. 🙂 )

IMG_9198 Keren got together with a Hispanic mother at our church that really needed some encouragement. At the same time, the guys met up with some of the Hispanic guys from our church, and one boy trusted Christ for salvation! There was much excitement.

IMG_8585 After 3 great days of ministry, discipleship, fellowship, street-witnessing, coffee shop discussion, and snowman witnessing, our three Hispanic friends shared with the rest of our church of what God had done. What a joyful time that evening was as we rejoiced together.

IMG_8589 As we drove to the place we’d have to part, we shared some verses from the Word on “thankfulness.” Though it had only been 3 days, it felt like 3 months. We had bonded so quickly as we did ministry together. That’s what I love about brothers and sisters in Christ. And, the fact that goodbye is never really goodbye. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Instant Family :)

  1. Grace, My daughter, Olivia, was a Bright Lights student who became a Bright Lights leader. She loves Bright Lights and your ministry. As a matter of fact, I just talked to someone from your ministry not too long ago about my daughter, who by the way is studying Spanish at the Rio Grande Bible Institute with Keren and the young men! Small world. Olivia had to put her Bright Lights group on hold while she is at RGBI for the year. I told her that you are translating the lessons into Spanish, after I talked to your office and she was thrilled. And now, my other daughter, Adelaide, who is also involved in BL and just came home from a 2 month internship at RGBI, with Olivia a few days ago, was looking on your blog and told Olivia that Keren’s picture is there. They both love BL and RGBI. We’re sooooo happy these life impacting ministries have been introduced to each other. Keren is an absolutely amazing young lady. So glad the time was deep and meaningful. Thanks to you all at BL.

  2. Hi Mrs. Fryburger, wow – thank you for sharing this – so encouraging! It’s great to hear of Olivia (and Adelaide?) studying Spanish. We could really use more Spanish speaking Bright Lights leaders! It is really special to see the Lord making those connections between us all… and to see the Body of Christ being “knit” together, as Colossians would say :).

  3. God is connecting the dots (Olivia, Adelaida, Grace and Heidi)! Thank you Grace. We enjoyed so much and learned a lot about you, your family and your church. It was a blessing for me be part of what God is doing there. Thanks to you all, thanks for writing this. 🙂

  4. So happy to see this report! I had the privilege of studying Spanish at RGBI several years ago in their missionary language program. My nine months at the school was very impactful in so many ways. Even though I don’t know the particular students you shared about in your post, what you wrote about them is characteristic of so many of the Latino students at RGBI. What a neat story!

  5. That is wonderful Grace! My older brother is studying spanish, I am glad that you are going to be able to reach out to their community. It sounds like y’all had a really great time:) I am excited to pass out my spanish tracts when I get the opportunity. Great job!
    Blessings, Brooke

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