Using Hospitality to Reach International Students in New Orleans

international students

When it’s time to cook Christmas dinner, Kimberly Myers always prepares extra for guests—some of the 600 students to whom she ministers at the University of New Orleans. As North American Mission Board collegiate missionary to international students, she uses every possible opportunity to share Jesus with them. She said, “Hospitality is a big part of our ministry.”

It takes planning to reach people from more than 75 countries as diverse as Iran, China, Guatemala, and Germany.

On Sunday afternoons, Kimberly meets the Ladies’ English Club in the married housing complex on campus. Volunteers from a nearby church supervise the children on the playground while the wives of the students spend time together.

The International Center is a bustling place on campus where students come weekly for a cup of coffee and conversation. While they are there, Kimberly invites them to study the Bible. She has been amazed to see God at work when Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists have responded positively.

Kimberly said one of the special blessings of her job is “to lead Bible studies with people who have never studied the Bible and to see them hear about Christ for the first time.”

God’s call to missions became clear to Kimberly when she attended Baptist Student Union in college, but God had been speaking to her much earlier when she was in Girls in Action and when she saw a missionary commissioning service at Ridgecrest Conference Center.

Kimberly took advantage of missions opportunities, serving as a student summer missionary in California and later as a collegiate missionary in Pittsburgh. While in seminary in New Orleans, she witnessed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Feeling God’s call to stay, she began her ministry to students after graduation in 2007.

These days, Kimberly balances her opportunities for ministry with family responsibilities. She and her husband, Gary, are helping their son, Jonathan, plan for college in 2019. She truly has an expanded outlook for missions as the world literally comes to her doorstep.

Kay Rollings is a freelance writer from South Carolina.

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