Our ministry to internationals is led by one of our mission partners, Jay Stoms. Jay began working with International students at Christ Church in 2014. Previously, he was a lecturer at a Bible College in Malawi for 12 years (2002-2014). Jay has a Masters of Divinity (1993) and a Theological Masters from Stellenbosch (2017). Jay is married to Laura and they have three daughters, Clara (13), Katherine (11) and Lauren (9).
The ministry to ‘Internationals’ at Christ Church Stellenbosch seeks to connect ‘International Students’ to Christ, to one another and to our Church. We want to create a community where ‘Internationals students’ can hear and tell the gospel through the Bible’s own stories. Every Thursday on campus we hold our ‘Story Group for Internationals’ where we tell and discuss Biblical stories. We are in relationship with about 18 students and our ‘Story Group’ now has about 8-10 regulars. Four of last year’s regulars received their degrees in December and returned to their home countries. We also seek to show hospitality to internationals by sharing meals with them in our home and we invite students to church braais. Our hope is that church partners will get to know internationals and welcome them into the church community. This ministry is an opportunity to extend the outreach of Christ Church. Dr. Ephraim Yoms, a Nigerian Pastor who attended Christ Church and ‘Story Group’ regularly has given us an open invitation to visit Nigeria to train Church leaders in ‘Bible Storytelling’. We have also been invited to teach Pastors in the Nkhoma Synod in Malawi. The following are testimonies from those who have benefited from the ministry to internationals.
“Discussing Biblical stories brings the characters and their circumstances alive in a fresh way. It is challenging and inspiring! God’s plan for salvation shines through in all of Israel’s history and this is amazing to grasp!” – Temwani Phiri (Zambia)
“In the ‘Story Group’ I discover what the stories mean by listening and thinking deeply. When I hear the Bible stories, I feel that no story is meaningless because they are our stories. When I listen to the opinions of others I learn how others think and sometimes they challenge me. I always appreciate both the love we receive and the food for lunch.” – Jacob Lee (Korea)
“The ‘story group’ for internationals has been so enriching to me, I have learned a lot and I have been impacted spiritually. Studying God’s Word by storytelling is fascinating and helps one to grasp events from the scripture in a practical and imaginative way. It helps me to identify the context of the scripture more from my African perspective of telling stories in a communal setting. It would be for me a unique way of sharing God’s Word when I go back to my country after my studies here at the University.” Kefas Garba (Nigeria)
“It was a blessing for me to join this group. Most people who gather at this meeting are from different countries with different denominational backgrounds. Jay uses Bible stories to teach and after the Bible story he leads discussion about the story. Everyone participates in the discussion actively. I believe that the students are helped; both spiritually and physically, and will be good Christian leaders in their countries upon returning.” – Dokeun Byun (Korea)