On the cold Friday evening of Oct. 27, international students were treated to a vespers hosted by the Office of International Student Services. The event organizers were Robert Benjamin, the Director of International Student Services, and Silmara Ferreira, the Associate Director of International Student Services. Many participants flocked to the Chan Shun Hall auditorium ready to meet and fellowship with other students from undergraduate and graduate studies from local and international backgrounds. The theme “Be The Light” composed the program into four parts: the welcome and introduction, followed by a song service, testimony, and then the closing prayer.
This program brought all students from different walks of life together.
“We created this for everyone to share their experience and fellowship together…for everyone to forget their worries and praise the Lord with all their heart. We are here tonight to worship him, to thank him for giving us light. And we are here today to experience the light,” said Ferreira.
Following the welcoming and song service, Pastor Hajaj Jony, an international student from Jordan working on his Doctor of Theology, gave a testimony about his path to Christ. His conversion happened when he moved from his hometown to the city to study in an Adventist school.
He taught that “Jesus is more than a prophet, he is a God—and because of him, we are here.”
Jony’s heartfelt story started with John 9, a chapter that he believes changed his life, then concluded by saying “I encourage you to see him (Christ) as a man who can do miracles so that you and I can have eternal life.”
The good news thrilled the international audience. Hakiza Dorcas (freshman, architecture), from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said, “I really like meeting people from different countries and backgrounds and the International Student Vespers was a good place to do that. I learned that what God has done in my life or another person’s, he can do for anyone, so anyone can call upon his name.”
Two prayers concluded the program: the first a prayer of thankfulness and the final a request for God’s grace and guidance in our lives. Immediately after the prayer the song “It is No Secret (What God Can Do)” by Jim Reeves played. The words echoed that of the sermon. Students such as Im Halim (freshman, architecture) from South Korea loved the song.
“While the song was playing I couldn’t stop thinking of how much God has blessed me; he has stuck to me all through,” says Halim.
Afterwards, light refreshments were served outside the auditorium. People mingled with each other and shared memories together. Others met up with the speaker, wanting to hear more about his story. The evening ended with everyone sharing their testimony with someone new.
The office of the International student services will have more events like this. For questions about future events such this one email: firstname.lastname@example.org