After arriving in the US from Colombia, Maribel experienced several years of typical struggles as a newcomer. “The simple fact that everything was so new and different made the experience scary,” she shares. “I felt alone and missed my family.” Maribel’s father told her to read Psalm 91. “Every time I read it, I felt calm… but I didn’t understand most of it.”

When Covid isolation became unbearable, Maribel thought she could take time to understand the bible a little more.

While searching for a bible discussion group, a friend told Maribel about IFI and connected her with Larissa, who worked there. “I was about to finish my master’s program and Larissa told me she thought I could be a good fit for the ISEED* program.” ISEED is a 10-12 month IFI mentorship experience that prepares international students to share God’s love globally.

Maribel was curious about God and about getting closer to Him, so she decided to apply. “It felt like a leap into the void, but I did it, and I don’t regret it.”

Through her ISEED experience this year, Maribel feels like she is getting to know another side of herself she didn’t know existed. “I am actually enjoying praying,” she says.

“I am actually enjoying praying!” -Maribel

While admitting there are still a lot of ups and downs, she is grateful for how IFI helped her connect to others and grow her trust in Jesus. “Helping international students during their experiences and journey in the U.S. is something that can change lives.”

* To learn more about the ISEED program, click here.