Opening Our Arms to International Students
Posted 09/04/2015 10:02AM
Story by Amanda Fusting, AACS Student Reporter
The international program at AACS is an opportunity to unite with every nation, every tongue, and every language before the Lamb (Revelation 7:9). This year AACS wants to warmly welcome all of our new international students into a new country, a new school, and a new Christ-centered family.
Each international student has his or her own story. Bella, for example, is a new 10th grader who says, "When I was looking for a school in the U.S., one of my parent's friends highly recommended AACS to me. After I met Shang Ji and saw the pictures and programs on the website, I made my mind up that AACS will be the school that I'm going to in the U.S." Bella is currently living with the Wiley's, and says, "I think I'm lucky and very grateful to live with such a wonderful, loving family."
When our international students choose AACS, they are not just choosing a loving Christian school, but also a loving Christian community of families who are willing to host them and take care of them. These host families are such a blessing to the program.
Bella has recently joined the cross-country team, and is excited to go out for the tennis team this spring. She loves the community aspect of the school, but says, "I wish there will be more American students that know us. And I want them to know that when two cultures meet together it will be really interesting."
Bella is right! The door to this cross-cultural experience is at our fingertips. Exposure to another world of traditions, values and customs is literally inside Kilby waiting to be unlocked by the American students. If our students only seek truth within an American context, their beliefs will be confined to reflect a certain culture. To gain a complete understanding of reality, we want our students to seek truth in all contexts and in all cultures. This collision with other truths from other cultures is delightful and enlightening, as Bella pointed out.
Technology prefect and Asian Culture Club founder, Yaru says that she appreciates the way "people care about each other more personally," at AACS. She explains how much the AACS culture has developed her faith. She says, "My faith is strengthened when I see so many students, faculty, and their families loving God faithfully. I see the spirit of God on the people in our school." Yaru then called the school to action by saying, "International students are so willing to communicate with the American students, but as a foreigner and as a minority at this school, we are afraid of being rejected or isolated by the people."
We do not want any student to feel uncomfortable or unloved at AACS. The international program is not an extension of AACS, but an integrated part of AACS. We want our students to form relationships with the international students. Romans 12:10 calls us to "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor."
Our international students bring AACS a variety of new traditions, customs, and friendships. We want to equip our students with the ability to interact with other cultures, and communicate with people outside their American bubble. We believe that Christians are called to understand different cultures so that they may properly impact these cultures with the gospel.