How do we care for international student graduates?
Caring for our co-labourers is a vital ingredient in keeping our communities strong. Kanini Mapperson and her husband, Tim, are community leaders in our International Student Ministry in Melbourne. June Sparks took the opportunity to sit with Kanini to get some tips on how to continue caring for those who have recently graduated from university.
What are some challenges working with recent international student graduates?
Many are going through transition from uni to work. They need to pass an English test for Permanent Resident Visa requirements and are looking for employment. They are stressed, and time poor.
How do you keep them connected and help them transition?
Sometimes we have to release them from leadership for a time and let them meet with us as they can. We remain available to them while they are less available to us and our group.
I keep in touch with texts, or meet them individually when they can’t come to our group meeting. Sometimes I take over a meal just to ease their stress.
How do you encourage their walk with the Lord over the phone when you can’t meet face to face?
– I ask them to share what they’ve learned from God.
– I use the Topical Memory System Bible studies, asking them to focus on one verse per day with 3 questions in mind:
• What do I learn about God from this verse?
• What can I learn about myself or a current situation from this verse?
• How does God want me to respond?
– I text a prayer for them, follow-up with phone chat and more prayer.