My dear international friend, today I want you to know something…
I know you are a bit stressed with exams, assignments and possibly mixed feelings about going home. And of course, to add it to the mix, It’s almost Christmas! I know, here again after a whole year.
Walking hand in hand with Ali, my best pal (see my first blog post), we were heading to George Square, in Glasgow. Suddenly, we found ourselves stopping and just staring amazed at all the beautiful lights that were covering the square. The lights, the market and the big wheel, all together shouting “Christmas is almost here”.
I don’t know about you, but when I get into “busy Uni mode” I tend to want to ignore other things that could be happening. I just want to get things done and be successful with it. But there are things that cannot be ignored for that long. One glance at those Christmas lights and I was immediately transported to my last Christmas in Peru, back to my family, which brought me a few tears.
Thinking of these experience makes me want to encourage you in this season and tell you a few things…
Exams, assignments and pressure will be over soon! And Christmas is out there waiting for you to be free and enjoy all the Christmas lights, markets and events happening! You cannot miss out all the amazing events: Carol Services in churches all around the UK, Christmas dinners with your friends from the International Café (see picture), etc.!
Going home might seem a bit overwhelming. Remember your family/friends will be waiting for you when you go back, they can’t wait to see you and listen to all your amazing experiences. And of course, you can’t wait to tell them too. Also, know that you will have a home here in the UK if you decide to come back after university.
If you are staying in the UK, you cannot stay without having a traditionally British dinner with a British family! If you look on the Friends International App, there is an option where you can find a host (“find a host”) for this Christmas! Have an amazing Christmas dinner with a British family, you won’t regret it!
Finally, the most important thing I want you to remember is that Christmas is here to bring us new hope. A hope that more than 2,000 years ago came into the world as a little baby.
A child is born to us!
A son is given to us!
And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
“Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,”
“Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 –The Bible).
My desire for you is that just as the Christmas lights caused us to stop in the middle of our exams, the birth of Jesus would cause us to stop and grasp the real beauty that this holiday brings. Christmas is the reminder that God is not a far-off God but like a parent who welcomes you back, Jesus is the Father who wants to welcome us despite our mess and mistakes. In the same way as you are invited to have Christmas dinner with a British family, God invites you to be part of his family, even though we may have nothing to give him in return. Will you come?
My very dearly international friend, I wish you a marvellous Christmas!