Pastor Julie Poulsen and Dennis Fox of Jefferson are again hosting an international student from the Middle East.
Yasmine Albayyat of Saudi Arabia is a junior at Greene County High School and has recently celebrated her 17th birthday. She came to Jefferson with the IRIS program of Ames, which works with the US State Department to bring students from predominantly Muslim countries to the US to experience religious freedom, democracy, conflict resolution and about the other freedoms enjoyed in the USA.
Albayyat will speak about her life in Saudi Arabia Sunday, Feb 1, from 9 to 10 am at First United Methodist Church, 307 S Wilson, Jefferson. Since the recent death of their king, this is an interesting time to learn more about Saudi Arabia. It is one of the USA’s allies and is an oil rich country.
Albayyat speaks Arabic, English and French. Her father is a businessman and her mother is in the medical field. She has an older sister and a younger brother. She has been to Mecca on the Haj and is able to explain this important part of Islam very well. Albayyat is quick to explain that Islam means peace and that her religion is peaceful. She does not approve of the violent things being done in the name of her faith.
The public is welcome to hear the presentation and see the pictures.
Albayyat is available to do presentations for anyone who is interested. She is eager to do community service and has already served more than 50 hours at Webb House and a few hours at the food Pantry. She hopes to do other forms of community service, too, while she is here.
Pastor Poulsen says, “It is a privilege to be able to share who Christ is and what Christianity is to people from other faiths and other countries. It is delightful to learn more about other cultures and other religions. We have much in common and the differences are very interesting. I hope everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about another part of the world. Hosting foreign students certainly brings the daily news alive.”
IRIS is beginning to look for host homes for 2015-16. Let Julie Poulsen know if you have any questions about hosting. Two families may share a student for 1/2 of the school year if they so desire. For information about hosting, contact Poulsen at 515-386-4411 or 386-2242.