Over 7,000 international students flood into New Jersey each summer as part of a federal Summer Work Travel Program. Many come to work on the Wildwood boardwalk and experience America.
Cru’s Wildwood Summer Mission Trip is right in the middle of the action. Cru students live on the same block as the international workers. They work in the same boardwalk shops and develop befriend them.
Each week of the summer, the mission trip students host an International Café in the backyard of their housing. Snacks, drinks, conversations and a free bike repair clinic provide generous hospitality.
Katya came for the food and quickly formed friendships with Cru students. When she was invited to a weekly Bible study on Galatians, she was all in. Her new friends even celebrated her birthday.
Katya asked many questions. Her friends explained the gospel using a Russian Four Spiritual Laws. She became a Christian. Katya continues to grow in her new faith as she reads the Russian Bible her Cru friends gave her.
In late June, Jay* and three friends were walking down the street looking for a place to live. They had just arrived in Wildwood and were very hungry. They were shocked when Cru students invited them to eat at the International Café.
Spirituality quickly came up. Jay and his friends are from China. It was clear that Jay had spent some time thinking about spiritual things. He had read some of the Bible for a research project and had many questions and comments.
Imagine Jay’s surprise and glee when one of the Cru staff members pulled a Chinese-English Bible from the summer mission trip supply shelf. He and his friends stayed late into the night asking many questions about Jesus. Jay arranged to meet with Cru students throughout the summer so they could study the book of John together.
Though stories like this frequently happen on the Wildwood Summer Mission Trip, the Cru students continue to be surprised by the openness, curiosity and responsiveness of international students.
Thank you for helping to change lives around the world—even in Jersey.