International Student Yard Sale!

How many internationals attend the colleges near you? How can your church hold a yard sale for international students?  Church of the Saviour in Wayne, PA welcomed these students and help them out.
Thomas arranged a yard “sale” at the church just for these new neighbors!  The congregation was directed to a link on the church website where they were asked to donate gently used furniture. A list of suggested items such as tables, study desks, chairs, mirrors, couches, bookshelves, lamps, pots and pans, mugs etc were provided.  
A total of 65 students signed up and 53 showed. Students were picked up from their universities and returned “home” on the day of the event.
The students registered in the welcome room upon arrival and enjoyed some refreshments.  They filled in their contact information (including their address for delivery) and completed a short survey hosted online by Survey Monkey on how the church could help them in the future. For example, they were offered… 
  • a ride to get groceries periodically,
  • to develop a relationship with a church family,
  • to receive orientation to navigate the American culture, 
  • to attend church events with others their age and
  • to be invited to holiday meals.
The response to the survey was very positive, which sets the stage for continued interaction and relationships.  
Some announcements were made in the welcome room, The students were instructed to only take what they needed. Each student was given a limited number of stickers with their unique number   After these instructions, nearly everyone headed across the hallway to the gym where all items were displayed.  The items were given away for free.  Each student was limited to four large items:
  • one from the living room section,
  • one from dining room section,
  • one from the bedroom section,
  • plus one additional large item.
Larry was also in the welcome room at a table  with our multi-language DVDs of the JESUS Film (24 languages).  After awhile, all the volunteers manning the various welcome tables walked into the gym and mingled among the “customers” directly. Larry and Serah with handfuls of DVDs also walked among the students asking different groups and individuals if they were familiar with any of the languages on the DVDs,  and then if they would like to take one… most did!  Serah distributed close to 15 DVDs herself.
 Most of the 30 DVDs (1/2 of the total) were distributed to the students. Some others were placed with the student leaders who come to church and who had been instrumental in setting up the yard-sale. These leaders indicated they knew others, not at the sale, that they would give them to.  There were only a handful of DVDs left.
At the end, arrangements were made to deliver everyone’s new belongings.  The church people did whatever they could to help. By the following Wednesday all deliveries of items to their homes were completed.  The last trip was to Philadelphia (about 18 miles into the city)! The deliveries in general were quite an adventure; there were some ups and downs, but God is faithful! The church members were a bit out of their comfort zones, but Thomas discovered he loved driving a pick-up truck! The students were extremely grateful for help with transporting the furniture, even in pouring rain (Sunday afternoon).
The students were blessed! A number expressed interest in coming back to church for an event. They declared this interest verbally with many of the church members and also in the survey.
Church of the Saviour  was pleased to have hosted fifty souls on the church campus from different parts of the world: Zambia, Sweden, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Korea and China. Surely, there will be more opportunities to minister to these students.  
Please pray that the students watch the JESUS Film (in their heart language!) and God uses it to sow seeds of salvation. 
Consider how this could take place at your church with your international  neighbors!
Note: See the possible multi-language Jesus DVDs you could give away at your event.!