Ben Lim

Fostering Student Leadership

by Ben Lim

The noise of bustling conversation from crowded tables mingles with the aroma of steamed or fried Asian food. Black hair crowns most of the gathered heads. No, it’s not Yum Cha in Chinatown, but EUfocus’ first Come Home Dinner of 2019.

On one table, ten new international students pull up chairs with Christian Singaporean student Sonya and me. We begin getting to know one another before we’re called up to get food. These student call China, Japan or Hong Kong home. Some have heard something of Jesus before – others, very little.

How will we lead them to Christ?

How will I develop and equip Sonya to lead them, and others in her future, to Christ?

As Paul with Timothy, as Jesus with his disciples, we walk together as leaders – seeking to love and share Jesus’ love in culturally resonant ways. So, one rainy Saturday early in semester saw seven students gathered with Sonya and my family in my home for a BBQ.  Then in mid-semester break, two enjoyed similar hospitality in Sonya’s home, around food cooked lovingly by Sonya’s visiting mother. These moments are concrete experiences of love, of Jesus’ gospel lived out in families, framing and adorning the beautiful message of hope and grace.

But maybe most significantly, as we reflect, plan and pray for our group, I’m trying to grow our love for what God loves. To dwell with Sonya on God’s amazing love in Jesus – that in Christ God graciously forgives, transforming us from despicable sinners into daughters and sons of the God of Heaven. To see the vast, ripe harvest: how might we lead our group to be disciple-making disciples of Jesus, who can’t help but share this best news ever with others?

Then, perhaps, as our prayers join with yours, the Lord of the harvest might raise up labourers from among international students themselves, that more, even all of the 28,000 at Sydney Uni might be led to a personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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