When Kristin saw an appeal from IFI for English Conversation Partners, she was at a crisis point in her life and was praying for direction. The Lord used the pain in her life to direct her. “When International students first arrive, they might feel just as suddenly alone as I do right now,” she thought. “Maybe I could be the friend one of them needs.” Kristin discovered that God had some new friends for her, too!
Connecting with her first and second partners was difficult. Partner #1 met with Kristin only briefly then transferred to another school. Partner #2 responded 3 months after Kristin’s first emails to her, apologizing for her silence; she’d been in Korea. Now she wanted Kristin’s friendship very much! They met weekly for more than 2 years. Although her partner has gone home, she and Kristin are still good friends.
When Kristin met partner #3, her new friend’s first question was, “Are you a Christian?” Over the next 7 years, God used Kristin to lead her partner to Christ and see her grow a lot! “I never expected to be a conversation partner and discipler!” Kristin beams. “We’re still very close friends.”
Since then, Kristin has had four more partners, the latest a couple from Pakistan. After Kristin and her husband, Eric, had met with this couple several times, they spotted each other at IFI’s 2015 Welcome Party. Kristin was surprised and warmed by the wife’s response: “She treated me like I was her best friend in the world!”
Kristin advises potential ECPs: “Keep trying if things don’t go as expected. Each experience has been unique. I never know what the next will bring, but I have several lifelong friends (and new sisters in Christ) who began as conversation partners. It’s always a happy adventure!”
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