This year we are celebrating the largest group of international students on campus, with students from China, Hong Kong, Albania, Norway, Uganda, Haiti, and Mexico. Chandra Friedman, herself an immigrant from India, serves as Kingswood’s International Student Liaison, helping these students adjust to life in Canada. For her, profound value is found in the richness that the KU community experiences from their presence on campus. “We can celebrate our differences and add each other’s perspective to our own to expand how we understand God. God is moving in our world, and these students bring the stories to us to show us that.”
Meet Steven Atim
Growing up in Northern Uganda, Steven’s father had one dream for him – to attend university in North America. In August, his father’s dream came true as Steven boarded a plane for the first time and embarked on a two-day journey to Canada.
One night at 2 am, after searching through dozens of schools online, Steven found Kingswood. As he started reading, he had complete peace that this was where God wanted him to go. He started the application process in 2018, but between delays with visa approval and Covid restrictions for international travel, it took him four years to get to Canada.
Steven’s life experience is far from that of a typical KU student. From an early age, he came to understand security was a luxury he could not count on when rebels came through his village and many lives were lost. Steven’s father taught him that prayer and fasting were essential faith practices, and that is how he faces any challenge before him.
Steven expected to be ignored when he arrived as a foreign student and was prepared to spend his four years without connections with others. Instead, he speaks with awe about how welcoming the community is, how everyone is so friendly and helpful, genuinely happy to meet him, hear his story, and learn about his country. Despite everything being different, especially the food, his only real challenge has been the cold!
Steven’s plan is to return to Uganda when he graduates. There are many pastors in Uganda, but they are not trained. Many cannot even read the Scriptures they teach from, sharing common knowledge rather than theological truth from their study of the Word. His goal is to return educated in how to study the Scriptures and communicate biblical truth so he can teach others to do the same.