The hot desert sun blazed through the windows, casting long shadows across the lecture hall. The heavily air conditioned room lay quiet — with only the hushed sounds of pencils scratching against paper to fill the silence.
This was the kind of moment that would normally consume Arvind’s mind with anxiety. But not today. Today, he was filled with confidence as he looked at the exam in front of him. He remembered that his new Christian friend was praying for strength and focus for him.
Breaking Down Barriers
Arvind moved to the United States from India to pursue his doctorate from Arizona State University. He was Hindu but fascinated with learning about other religions — which brought him to Campus Ambassadors missionary James Flamm.
Arvind’s mind was flooded with countless questions: What is Jesus about? What are the differences between all of these religions? How do you know which is true? And he quickly found that James was ready and willing to help him find the answers.
Often joined by Arvind’s Muslim roommate, Hamdan, and their two agnostic friends, they would spend hours unpacking the teachings of Jesus and the message of the gospel. Arvind’s hunger for truth and his willingness to ask questions opened the door to a safe space where they could freely talk about their differences.
A group of unlikely friends were able to find common ground through regular hikes through the Arizona wilderness and late-night conversations over pizza.
An Unlikely Vessel of Truth
Since coming to know Arvind, James is continually in awe of how God has moved in his heart.
“One night, Arvind wanted to share a recorded conversation he had with some fellow Hindu friends. In that conversation, I heard the gospel preached more clearly than at many of the churches I’ve attended. He was becoming an evangelist without even knowing it. This Hindu student isn’t a follower of Christ, and he is already being used to share the truth.”
James firmly believes Arvind will place his faith in Jesus Christ one day. And as Arvind pursues his PhD over the next three years, James hopes to have the opportunity to continue walking alongside him during his journey — something he doesn’t always get to do with other masters students who are only around for a year or two.
“It doesn’t take long to care for these students. A few minutes with them, and my heart breaks knowing they don’t know the Lord. I have to fight the urge to take things at my own pace and allow God to do His work in His time.”
But on this hot Arizona afternoon, James’ heart is filled with hope as he listens to his Hindu friend marvel at how God could be interested in something so small as giving him the focus he needed to pass a college exam.
Campus Ambassadors missionaries like James Flamm dedicate their lives to investing in college students across the country. Your support allows them to continue pursuing friendships with international students like Arvind and share with them the love and truth of Jesus Christ.