Photo essay: Introducing international students to Christ

Posted by on May 11, 2018 in News | Comments Off on Photo essay: Introducing international students to Christ

Students (front row from left) Sarah Schultz, Rachel Wagner, Rachel Walker and Bekah Zimmerman sing with Kari Walker (back row) during Vespers on Feb. 21, 2018, at the Luther House in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
Students (from left) Sarah Schultz, Rachel Wagner, Rachel Walker and Bekah Zimmerman sing with Kari Walker (back row) during a Feb. 21 Vespers service at Luther House in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

Story by Megan K. Mertz

Photos by Erik M. Lunsford

On the edge of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, campus in Minneapolis, there’s a little Lutheran oasis where students gather to play games, eat, laugh and study the Bible together.

Luther House — a former sorority house-turned-bed-and-breakfast — is home to University Lutheran Chapel, a congregation of 140 members with an active campus ministry led by the Rev. David Kind. 

Kind is assisted by Rebecca Wagner, an LCMS national missionary through the Synod’s Mission Field: USA initiative.

Wagner focuses on outreach to international students, bringing not only genuine friendliness to the role, but also the ability to speak Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

This unique combination helps her bridge cultural gaps and make friends with many of the international students.

There’s great opportunity to share the Gospel at the University of Minnesota, since the Twin Cities campus hosts nearly 6,500 international students from 130 countries. Almost half of those are from China.

“Fortunately for us, a lot of people who might not be able to hear the message of Christ in their own country are coming here, where they can ask as many questions as they want,” Wagner says.

“That’s the reason I said yes to Pastor Kind when he asked me to take on this role. It’s a wonderful chance to share the Gospel with Chinese students and people from Muslim countries. You can’t pass this opportunity up.”

Read the full story in Lutherans Engage the World.

LCMS national missionary Rebecca Wagner walks to meet with a student on Feb. 21, 2018, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Wagner serves alongside the Rev. David Kind at University Lutheran Chapel and focuses on outreach to international students. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
LCMS national missionary Rebecca Wagner talks with Juncheng, a Chinese student studying philosophy, on Feb. 21, 2018, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
The Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, prepares for afternoon prayer with LCMS national missionary Rebecca Wagner on Feb. 21, 2018, at the Luther House near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
LCMS national missionary Rebecca Wagner (center) prepares lunch at the Luther House, which is near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, on Feb. 21, 2018. She is joined by (from left) Fiona, an international student, Andrew Kind, and Bekah Zimmerman, a student studying Japanese. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
Sam Walker is a student living at Luther House of University Lutheran Chapel, which is near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
The Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, conducts confirmation class on Feb. 21, 2018, at the Luther House near the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
The Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, conducts confirmation class on Feb. 21, 2018, for University of Minnesota students at the Luther House in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
University of Minnesota students attend confirmation class with the Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, at the Luther House in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
A woodcut of University Lutheran Chapel and a reproduction of a painting with Martin Luther are displayed at the Luther House in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
The Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, leads table talk with his congregation following dinner at the Luther House in Minneapolis on Feb. 21, 2018. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
The Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, leads Vespers at the Luther House on Feb. 21, 2018, in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
The Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, leads Vespers on Feb. 21, 2018, at the Luther House in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
A bicyclist pedals past the Luther House (left) near the University of Minnesota on Feb. 21, 2018. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
As the sun sets over the Minneapolis skyline, a pedestrian walks along 10th Avenue SE on Feb. 21, 2018, near the Luther House and the University of Minnesota. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)
Jacquelyn Magnuson, church organist at University Lutheran Chapel, lets young friend Margaret Costello help her practice following Vespers at the Luther House on Feb. 21, 2018, in Minneapolis. (LCMS/Erik M. Lunsford)

Source: LCMS News