Friendship and support from Christians helped Sarah through stressful times and toward a life of serving others.
Sarah came from Taiwan to the U.S. for her PhD in 2010. Her adjustment and studies were very difficult, and stress overwhelmed her. When she failed her PhD qualifying exam—again, she “felt worthless and helpless. I considered suicide.”
“A Christian friend prayed for me, ‘Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?’ (Matt. 6:26)
“Tears fell. A heavenly Father cares for me!”
Although she knew little about God, Sarah joined a Chinese Bible study, attended a local church, and eventually was baptized.
When Sarah moved to a university in Ohio for work, she immediately Googled where she could find Christian community, and God led her to IFI.
“A sense of belonging—a place that’s safe and supportive—is so important for internationals to know they can survive and thrive.”
She met IFI volunteers who—like her—were newly married. “In their small group, I could practice English, experience American culture, make friends, and study the Bible. They cared about me and helped wash away my stress. I belonged.”
Today, Dr. Sarah works at Kent State University. She impacts international students’ lives through her academic work and her local Chinese church.