Chinese Boston victim points to international ministry need

(Facebook)Lingzi Lu was one of three people killed by the bombs set off at the Boston Marathon. She was an international student from China studying at Boston University. Lu was involved in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) chapter on her campus. An IVCF spokesman says that her story stresses how important it is that American Christians make the effort to share the Gospel with international students.

Lingzi Lu, a 23-year old Chinese woman who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings, was actively involved in a Christian student ministry on her campus, according to Mission Network News (MNN).

A national spokesman for the ministry says this is a reminder to American Christians that international students are a mission field within their own borders.

"God has brought the world to us," said Greg Jao in a report on the MNN website.

Jao, the national field director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), was quoted by MNN as saying that Lu had attended a ministry event of the group's chapter at Boston University (BU) and was friends with several students there.

He indicated that students want to have relationships with Americans and that these can be an avenue for ministry.

"It's in the mutuality of relationship that you begin to share life together," he said. "You begin to share stories together.

"You have opportunities to share the Gospel together", said Jao.

Lu was a promising graduate student at BU. She had planned to become a financial analyst.

In fact, Eric Kolaczyk, the head of the BU's program in statistics, told the Huffington Post that she passed her qualifying examinations "with flying colors" just before she died.

Lingzi had other student friends from China involved with IVCF. They were affected deeply by her death.

One of those who befriended her was another Chinese woman, a student in BU's College of Fine Arts.

Meixu Lu met her at an IVCF retreat in New Hampshire, The Boston Globe reported.

The two women are not related, but they did share a love for music and came from the same area in China. Lingzi had planned on attending a concert by Meixu.

She is a cellist.

Meixu learned of Lingzi's death from Chinese media reports. "I was shocked", she said.

Another student who was close to Lingzi Lu was her roommate Jing Li.

She went with Lu to the ICVF retreat in New Hampshire, according to BU Today.

Jing and Lingzi would sometimes attend the historic Park Street Church together as well.

Jing told her parents that she and Lu were like sisters.

She learned of Lu's death in a phone call to the Boston University Police Department.

Jing doesn't remember much from the rest of the week that followed.

"I gained much strength, energy and power from the people who loved and cared for me", said Jing in BU Today.

She expressed gratitude for the support she received from her church, professors and friends.

Jao pointed out that there are over 500,000 international students in the United States.

His group intentionally reaches out to them.

The BU chapter of IVCF notes on its school webpage that it is a "multi-ethnic interdenominational group open to people of all faith backgrounds, striving to follow Jesus as college students, and seeking to impact our community and our world."

It is not clear if Lingzi Lu was a Christian.

She was, however, an international or foreign-born students whose lives were intertwined with the Boston Marathon bombings.

Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, 20, of Saudi Arabia was originally detained as a "person of interest" by authorities shortly after the bombings. Alharbi, who has a student visa, is not a suspect.

However, he may be deported because he was allowed to enter the United States even though he was on a terrorist watch list.

One of the two alleged bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is a Chechen, born in Dagestan. He came to the United States in 2002.

He is enrolled at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Tsarnaev became a naturalized U.S. citizen in September, 2012.

The other bomber, his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during a police manhunt. He was a student at one time, also.

News reports indicate that Tamerlan had complained that he had no American friends.

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