From Gas Pump to the Gospel

Inviting International Friends to a Thanksgiving Celebration Opens Doors

The faith-sharing opportunity began at a gas station with a simple question: “Do you know how to pump gas?”

It wasn’t a meeting I was expecting, to see another woman’s face poking between the pumps at Kroger. What began as a brief tutorial with a Japanese mom led to a open door for sharing the gospel story. Inviting her to the International Harvest Celebration, CHBC’s annual Thanksgiving meal for internationals, became the open door to introduce her to gospel community.

More than 500 people gather for the International Harvest Celebration each year, most of them international guests who have never experienced an American Thanksgiving before. As guests sit around tables, playing games and sampling traditional dishes like turkey and pumpkin pie, they build relationships with hosts and other believers that point them to Jesus.

Inviting my Japanese friend and her family of four to the IHC dinner wasn’t an isolated event. It was sandwiched between a playdate at my home, a traditional Japanese dinner in their apartment, and an Easter celebration with other internationals. It was also a way to initially welcome them into the church building, one they returned to again and again on Sunday mornings.

Perhaps you haven’t met anyone at a gas pump lately and you’re wondering: How can I host an international guest?

Think about your current relationships at work, school, or in your neighborhood. Is anyone from another culture or country that you can invite? The food and preparation will be done for you!

Be praying God opens doors to a conversation with an international and use the IHC dinner as an easy way to begin a relationship by extending an invitation. I once randomly invited another mom I met at a playground that resulted in a “yes!”

Volunteer to support the event through your time or a food donation! Even if you don’t come to the dinner as a host, you are still part of the mission to love our international friends well and provide them an opportunity to participate in the International Harvest Celebration!

If you plan to come and bring a guest, please email Crissie Cabrera.

To partner with us by volunteering for the event or to donate food, CLICK HERE.