Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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The Beatitudes of Jesus.
Sunday Mornings. "Connecting with International Students in Austin"
by Tom Goodman
February 21, 2007

"What are we teaching 600,000 foreign students about the U.S.?"

That’s what Katherine Mangu-Ward asks in her Wall Street Journal article, "Ambassador Training."  More important to me is what we believers are teaching international students about Christ.

Ms. Mangu-Ward contends that foreign students, especially those from countries with troubled relations with the West, can become America’s best "ambassadors" when they return home.  Many are from elite or middle-class families, and since they are on student visas they are required to return to their home country upon completion of their American study program.  This, she says, gives us a prime opportunity for influence.

Ms. Mangu-Ward wants us to look for ways to expose international students to American culture beyond the cardboard caricatures they came with, but I have an additional motivation for highlighting her article.  We believers also need to look for ways to expose international students to real Christianity.  Their two-to-six years on a student visa may be their only real chance to interact with Christians and examine biblical faith.

Let’s not waste that chance.  There is a practical way you can build personal friendships with international students.  Sunday, March 11, has been set aside as "International Night" at Rodeo Austin.  Hillcrest supports a ministry that reaches out to international students, and this organization already has a waiting list of students interested in experiencing this uniquely American—and Texan—event.  We want to show you how you can start a relationship with international students (singles and families) by bringing them to the rodeo.

To find out more about this work, join us on Wednesday, March 7, at 6:30pm.  A representative from the international student ministry will tell us what we need to know.  Contact Craig Johnson, our Missions Committee chairman, if you’d like to find out more ( or 310-0590).

This Sunday, February 25, we’ll continue our study through the Beatitudes called "The Pursuit of Happiness."  Join us at 9:30am and 10:45am.  And if you attend the first service, "hang around for Common Ground" in the gym afterward.  If you attend the second service, come to the lobby an hour earlier this week, and a greeter will take you to a Sunday School class.  I’m seeing new faces in our small-group ministry every week!


Important Information

T.G.I.F. for Middle School and High School Students is This Friday.  See Jim’s article.  This Thursday is Jim’s third anniversary at Hillcrest!  Glad to have you aboard, Jim!

Interested in Membership?  Spread the word about our next Discover Hillcrest class.  It will be held next Sunday, March 4, right after the morning service.  LUNCH IS PROVIDED!  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.  While I teach the adult class, BJ teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.  Pre-registration is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting our Ministry Assistant, Jami, at

"Hoops of Hope" Performance!  Bring a friend to watch Brent Fuqua perform at the Awards Night for Upward Basketball and Hillcrest Hoops.  You don’t have to participate in our basketball program to come to this event on March 6!  See BJ’s article.

Summer Camps!  Find out more here about Basketball/Cheerleading Camp (there’s a space limit!), Preteen Camp, and Children’s Camp.

Links to Your World

In "Flame First, Think Later," Daniel Goldman of the New York Times writes about the strange phenomenon of firing off angry e-mails or instant messages in a manner that we never would if we were face-to-face.

Albert Mohler answers a vital question in this podcast:  "How Do You Know When It's Time to Get Married?"

Can you successfully live a life of purity after promiscuity?  Dawn Eden says you can, and this rock-journalist-turned-Christian is living proof.  And the remarkable Lauren Winner would agree.

Have you seen "Bridge to Terabithia" yet?  In this interview author Katherine Paterson says, "Who you are informs what you write on a very deep level.  You reveal yourself whether you intend to or not. . . .  If it comes from a person who has a Christian hope and a Christian knowledge of grace, then I think hope and grace are going to infuse my work—not that I put them in, but because I can't help having them there."

Speaking of films, you can find the trailer for "Amazing Grace" here.  It opens this Friday.  It’s the story of William Wilberforce, the Christian politician who led the fight against slavery in the British Parliament.  Read a quick overview of his story here and here.  The film also turns the spotlight on John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-Christian who wrote the hymn, "Amazing Grace."  Austin’s own Chris Tomlin wrote the theme song, which you can hear behind the trailer.  By the way, this article says that Tomlin's songs are sung more often in U.S. churches than any other contemporary artist.

Check out these "Top Web Tools for College Students."

You’ll find other news and opinions at my online journal, "Get Anchored."  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader or Google Personalized Home Page.

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