International dinner blesses graduate students
Ruby Women and Global Student Programs & Development partner to serve international graduate students. | Jessica Goddard / THE CHIMES
“We believe this is ushering God’s kingdom,” said Stephanie Calley, director of Global Student Programs & Development, to the crowd.
"This year it's about global friendship... As we come alongside the international students, it's a way of Ruby Women serving,” said Kristen Hahn, director of Ruby Women.
Order of events
Ruby Women, a group of ladies who mentor and serve students, wanted to have the event in order to get to know and better serve the international graduate students. This year the theme revolved around Global Impact through Intercultural Friendship. The event consisted of speakers, fellowship, worship led by the GSPD student band and a dinner with international foods.
“I love getting to meet more students and being able to interact with students and have our alumni and women involved with Ruby Women able to come and interact with them too and hear their stories,” said Denise Migeot, Ruby Women associate development director.
Students and their spouses and family members arrived at approximately 5 p.m. and wandered about the room, chatting with fellow students and the Ruby Women or taking photos at the photo station. Then they ate while listening to the different speakers share about their life and culture and intercultural friendships.
After feasting on a meal of Korean barbeque, Chinese chicken salad, Indian rice and sauce and naan bread, the room lights lowered and the crowd worshiped together, singing popular songs in different languages. At the end of worship, Calley invited the group to pray out loud in whatever language they felt most comfortable speaking. The room filled with the murmured prayers of different tongues.
They ended their prayers, took photos, exchanged numbers and said goodbye to their old and new friends.
Second year running
Although this year’s event has passed, the impact from last year’s event reached into this year’s event. The worship and prayer in different languages showed the kingdom of God. They also wanted to continue to empower the graduate students and found they loved meeting them in this forum.
“Just having a heart to connect the two groups and really get together and have a night of worship and fellowship because we had such a powerful time doing the same thing last year,” said Noelle Delacruz, administrative assistant in advancement.
Ruby Women seeks to pour into Biola students and alumni by following its four pillars: Learn, serve, give and travel. For this reason, they held the international dinner and try to connect with students at every opportunity.
“They’re our big, one of the biggest supporting groups to the graduate students, so when people need anything else, like spiritual things… we are asking them to pray about it,” said Ikheuy Park, GSPD’s graduate student coordinator and graduate student at the Cook School of Intercultural Studies. “They are all praying for our graduate students with a sincere heart.”