Sharing food with international students can have a lifelong impact

Lynette’s story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of

Singaporeans will often say that their whole lives are about food
My name is Lynette, and this is my story of food and faith
A huge turning point in my life was when I came to Britain as an international student
As I got to know friends at university, I got to know lots of people from different countries, different backgrounds, and the one thing that always united us was sitting down and sharing food together"
And that gave us the basis of sharing life and talking much more deeply together"
I had a friend from Brunei who had lots of meals with us and through that, you know, started to really ask myself and a couple of other Christian girls, "Well, what is it you believe
and "Why does Jesus make such a difference in your life
And through those conversations, being able to share with her who Jesus was, and she gave her life to Christ at the end of our first term
As you share a meal together, you can pour out the things that really matter to you, the things that are on your heart, and God, I think, has used those moments to minister His grace
Although there are thousands and thousands of international students in this country, almost 80% or 90% never get invited into a British home
A number of years ago, when our children were very small, we invited a whole group of international students round for a meal, but we had more students than we'd anticipated"
We had the children actually being quite patient, but as children would be, you know, banging on the table"
And I thought, "Oh my goodness, "this is such a terrible demonstration of family life
This is so messy, it's so awful"
But at the end of the meal, as we were washing up, the girl I was washing up with just started chatting with me about her life, and a few months after that she rang us up and said, "Do you know, since that day, I've really been thinking
I want a family life like that too"
And I was really stunned
I thought, "It was so chaotic"
But she said, "There was something there
I don't know what it was, there was something different, and I'd really like to know more about Jesus
Eating together is very Biblical, Jesus did it, but it's right through the Old Testament as well
I think God uses food as a bridge, very often, to speak His love, His care, His sustenance, and His hospitality into other people's lives