Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God…” Matthew 4:4. I had read that verse hundreds of times before, but I never thought I’d see it lived out so tangibly during my visit to the University of Divine Grace (UDG), Moldova. As FIA’s team leader to UDG, I was asked to be part of equipping these students (many from Central Asian nations) with a biblical worldview.
It was early Friday evening, probably about 6:00 pm. I had just finished a sandwich, a chunk of cheese and a small pastry and was out of the room provided by the university for guest teachers. Earlier that day, I had finished my twelfth lesson in four days to university students. Teaching with a translator was taxing. Not only did I need to convey teaching material, but I needed to coordinate a rhythm with the translator. Although I was very happy to be instructing, I was also relieved to be finished. Now that the pressure was off and I had a full stomach, I was able to relax.
With the university’s cafeteria only open during weekdays, I wandered into an area used by the students for weekend meals. I noticed a young lady heating a small dish of food. As I watched, I soon realized that this was all she had to eat for the weekend. My mind immediately went to the extra food I had in the fridge in my room. I retrieved the balance of a loaf of bread, cheese, sandwich meat, several pastries, and a few small containers of yogurt. I was leaving in the morning and would not need the food, so I gave it to the student.
Although I didn’t know her, I felt a special connection to her, knowing that she was willing to sacrifice so much, even forgoing food, so she could be taught God’s Word at the university. I was overwhelmed to see what she forfeited daily in order to pursue the studies that would enable her to take the Gospel to her homeland. When I considered the weight of the surrender and courage that inspired her to shine her light in a country that considered her faith illegal, I was undone.
She smiled and said something in a language I did not know. I did understand what she said next with moist eyes, “Thank you, Jesus”. I smiled and retreated to my room, staggered to a chair and buried my face in my hands. It was several minutes before I could gather my composure. What was I willing to forgo, so I could be better prepared to tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ? What could I do to help reach the Muslim world with the Gospel?
This is not an isolated account, but rather a common experience, among students at the University of Divine Grace who come from Central Asian countries. UDG assisted over 550 students in 2018, many from Muslim nations. Their tuition costs are extremely low ($3,500/year) compared to American universities. Yet, even these small fees are overwhelming compared to the cost of living and wages from their home nations.
In light of the students’ own personal sacrifices, would you consider forgoing $50, or more a month, to assist UDG in providing for these dedicated students? I would love if, together, we could provide for at least ten students’ education this year. Will you be a part of investing into these lives who can reach Muslim nations closed to western missionaries? Learn more and Give ►
Volunteer Work Trips
Another way you can partner with FIA to assist UDG’s efforts is through joining us for a volunteer work trip. The university was given a youth camp which proclaims the Gospel to over 1,000 children each summer. During the school year, it is used as a boarding school for Christian high schoolers to gain a biblical worldview. Unfortunately, many of the camp’s buildings are in disrepair. FIA is gathering a team of ten volunteers to paint and repair two buildings. Would you consider traveling with us? No experience is needed. Just a willing heart and an ability to work hard. I guarantee you will not come back the same person! We are also looking for donors to help finance the approximate $12,000 needed to cover supply costs.
Please consider joining me through your prayers, finances, or travel. Allow God to stretch you from your own comfort zone to experience the joy of partnering with these precious students. May the Lord bless our sacrificial giving of time or resources to send His Word to the Muslim world!Gratefully,
FIA Project & Teams Coordinator