Carmen’s interaction with IFI began when she arrived from China in 2011 to study Theoretical Mathematics and was hosted by IFI volunteers. She saw these strangers inconveniencing themselves to make her feel welcome.

“I was amazed by what hospitality meant to them,” says Carmen.

When she first started attending IFI Bible discussion groups, Carmen’s questions were sometimes aggressive. “I never thought I would put my belief in God,” she says.

Gradually, God worked on her heart. “I did not seek God; he looked out for me and found me.” One day in Bible discussion, she found herself defending God to the group as other students asked aggressive questions. This made her wonder whether she actually believed in God. Soon after, she became a follower of Jesus.

IFI staff continued to mentor Carmen, and helped her to understand that although life would still have troubles, she could be certain that God was in control. This truth served Carmen as she moved to Seattle to pursue her masters. Although she experienced discouragement in Seattle, she found peace and help from God and local Christians.

Carmen currently lives in St. Louis and enjoys helping other believers serve students in creative ways. “I see all the events of my life as the Holy Spirit’s pump, preparing me to show love when I see a need.” She is still so thankful for the role IFI played in showing her God’s love.

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*Photos have been changed for safety reasons.