IFP (International Friendship Partners) is a ministry connection between EBC and the international students at Centenary University in Hackettstown, NJ. During the school year, we match a family from EBC with two or three students from another country, enabling the students to experience American family life and form what we hope will be a lasting friendship. In addition, we have the opportunity to show them the love of Christ in action and in words. Each family ("Friendship Partner") commits to regular contact with their students, as well as at least two activities per semester designed to nurture a relationship with them. There are also occasional group events, at least one each semester. At the start of the school year, there is a "Match-Up Mixer" during which families and students meet and the program begins. In April or May there is a "Farewell BBQ" during which we say good-bye after a school year of caring. Both events are usually held on the university campus.
There are additional opportunities to be a part of IFP even if you can't commit to taking on students for the school year. There are summer Conversation Groups, help is always needed moving the students into their off-campus housing in August, and there are opportunities to put together "goodie bags" of school supplies and treats, host students for the main Thanksgiving meal, offer hospitality to groups of Friendship Partners and students at your house, coordinate group and other events, and be a part of the IFP Ministry PlanningTeam.
2017-2018 will be our 8th IFP year. If you would like to join us or if you have a heart for missions in our own backyard, speak to Harry Stoliker.