This Christmas season, I pray that you and your loved ones may have meaningful opportunities to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The Christmas holiday provides many open doors for Global Scholars professors to share spiritual truth with students. For example, Kate shared this story of opportunities God provided last Christmas:
I had the most interesting Christmas ever. I celebrated with three Muslims from Morocco and Iraq and a Russian atheist. The Iraqi is a refugee who amazingly found himself in a Lithuanian refugee camp. His story is heartbreaking and traumatic. But he has been granted asylum in Lithuania. He has a job and is now looking forward to studying music next semester. I met him through Ivan, the Russian, whom I met years ago when he wandered into the International Church of Vilnius just to see what happens in church. We have adopted each other. The two Moroccans are current students of mine. They cooked our Christmas meal.
These four decorated my Christmas tree early in December, and we made egg nog and gingerbread cookies. I showed them Christmas specials for children. We listened to Christmas carols. And on Christmas Day, I told them the story of Jesus’ birth and shared the gospel with them. Then we played games and feasted and laughed.
Since my university is becoming much more international, we have students from many different countries. I taught students from 25 countries this year, and not everyone is familiar with Christian holidays. In one of my classes during the first semester, a Muslim student from Pakistan asked why Christmas is so important. Before I could speak, a Christian student explained Jesus’ birth and then went on to explain his crucifixion. She had been very quiet and rarely talked in class, and I didn’t even know she was a Christian. But I was so proud of her. After the class, I thanked her for speaking out. She said that she wouldn’t have ever said anything, but since she knew that I was a Christian, she felt safe to share her faith, too.
Please pray for Global Scholars professors like Kate, that God will use them inside and outside the classroom this Christmas season. Thank you for your part in making stories like this one possible. Have a blessed Christmas. I look forward to seeing God do more amazing things through your support of Global Scholars in 2024!
Italicized names have been changed to protect privacy.
My guest in this edition of the College Faith Podcast is Dr. Ted Turnau, co-author of The Pop-Culture Parent: Helping Kids Engage Their World for Christ. Ted has spent many years thinking about how to help children (from the early years through young adulthood) understand, evaluate, and flourish in pop culture that is all around us. He shares some of his insights from his study, how his parents helped and didn’t help him, and lessons learned from raising his own children.
In this episode of the Thinking Christianly podcast, J.P. Moreland and I talk about different views of time and how they integrate with a Christian way of thinking about God and His relationship to time, the relationship of time to salvation, and the overall understanding of time and the nature of reality. We tackle common pitfalls in conversations about time and make distinctions that clear up the broader discussion.
Our December prayer calendar is posted on our website. We invite you to download the calendar and pray for Global Scholars professors, university students, our partners, and current needs in higher education. Find the December calendar here.