“Tell me how should I help my friend who has depression?” My friend looked across the table at me and waited for my response.
“Now remember, Miriam, I’m not a psychologist. I’m only studying counseling right now,” I replied.
“Yes, but you know more than I do! What should I do?”
I began to ask questions and explore options with her about how she could help her friend.
Then she continued. “You study cultures. What do you think about Hinduism? How is it different from what you believe?”
I laughed and explained that it was very different and used the conversation as an opportunity to share the gospel with my smiling friend.
“What classes are you taking now?” she asked. “Last time it was counseling people from other cultures. Have you taken any classes on religion? What do you think about the Christians here in Egypt?”
Being a student in Egypt through UPG-U gives me a credible reason for being in the country, but also opens doors for incredible conversations with friends about my studies and helps me learn how to do ministry in an Arab context. I never imagined three years ago while working a full-time job in retail management and barely breaking even each month as I paid tuition for my part-time university classes that I would be living in Egypt, working towards completing my degree, paying a one-tenth of the price for tuition, and sharing Jesus with the Egyptian people.
I came to Egypt for six months in 2016, and when I saw the incredible need, there was no question that I should return on a long-term basis. One big issue: I wanted to finish my bachelor’s degree at the Assemblies of God university I was attending. UPG-U solved that problem, and most of my credits transferred. UPG-U is the right choice for anyone serious about both working with unreached people groups and furthering their education, without sacrificing one for the other.
I’m completing a degree in intercultural studies with a minor in pastoral counseling. Often my class content is directly applicable to my work with Muslims in Egypt and I have incredible subject matter from my everyday life to use in papers and assignments. The program is designed to allow time for language study, coursework, and friendships with Egyptians in order to share Jesus with them. I recommend UPG-U to anyone who desires to pursue a university degree and to reach unreached people. Because one doesn’t have to wait for the other.