“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” (I Corinthians 1:14)
As we have met more students who are native English speakers from India and African nations, such as Ghana and Kenya, we realize that we must be creative and think of new ways to meet students' felt needs for friendship and help with cultural adjustment. We have had an English Conversation Partner program for over 30 years, but this opportunity would not appeal to these students.
Our desire to connect English speaking students with IFI staff and volunteers has birthed the IFI Buddy Partner program. Being an IFI Buddy will allow you and/or your family the opportunity to be matched with a student for three months to do activities together at least twice during the month. You would also be available to assist them with practical needs: taking them shopping, answering questions about the U.S. culture, and listening to their concerns as they adjust to their new home. Just like the English Conversation Partner program has done, it is our hope that this new opportunity will help volunteers build a bridge of friendship and lay a foundation of trust so that faith can be shown and shared in natural ways.
We will continue to offer the English Conversation Partner (ECP) activity. However, there is a growing interest from students to have an IFI Buddy. If you have contributed as an ECP in the past, we ask that you to pray about making yourself available to be used by God in a slightly different way.
If you still have questions or desire to serve in this way, contact our Volunteer Coordinator: Zachariah Marburger