Boston, Massachusetts — As details emerge about the three victims of last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon by two young Chechen Muslim men, reports indicate that one of the women that died in the attack had been involved with a Christian ministry at her university.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship field director Greg Jao states that 23-year-old Lingzi Lu of China had participated in one of the organization’s ministry events, and was friends with a number of those involved with the group.
“[She] was involved with the international student ministry we have at Boston University. She attended a retreat that we sponsored last fall,” he outlined. “She was friends with people in the InterVarsity International Student ministry with the graduate and faculty side of our work.”
While it is not known whether Lu became a Christian herself, Jao states that it is important that the situation serve as a reminder to college ministries to reach foreign and exchange students with the Gospel.
“We’re planting InterVarsity chapters whose primary focus is serving, befriending, and caring for international students,” he said. “Our distinctive is that we’re actually trying to encourage Christian international students to take the lead so that they develop the skills here so that they can take them back to their home countries.”
He noted that since America has become a melting pot of all nationalities and backgrounds, God has literally “brought the world to us” to share the Gospel with all nations. He advised that approximately 500,000 international students come to the United States each year for higher education.
“Pray for American college students so that they would continue to reach out … [to] international students on college campuses,” Jao said. “I would love it if people … would actually call the university that they’re nearest; call the international student’s office and say, ‘What volunteers do you need?'”
Meixu Lu, 24, who attended the university’s College of Fine Arts, told The Boston Globe that she got to know Lingzi a bit when she attended the Intervarsity event.
“I’m just really shocked,” she told the publication.
After the bombing occurred, friends of Lu sent out messages on Facebook and Twitter to notify others that she was missing. They also approached the police and various news outlets with a photo of Lu and asked that they help find the student.
As she was still missing the next morning, friends went to a local hospital to see if Lu had been admitted. They had heard reports that an Asian woman was being treated at the facility.
However, after waiting at the hospital for many hours, they received word that Lu was deceased.
“Just silence,” her roommate Yeijing recounted, who was shocked at the news of Lu’s death.
The student had just passed a major exam and was on her way to obtaining a statistics degree the day before she was killed. She decided to join others in watching the Boston Marathon on Monday, and was standing near the finish line when the bomb exploded.
Photo: Boston University