InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an inter-denominational student ministry that builds communities across campuses in the U.S., revealed that one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing was involved with their organization.
Chinese national Lingzi Lu, 23, was one of the three people who lost their lives in last week's twin blasts that rocked the Boston Marathon, which also injured more than 170 others.
"(Lu) was involved with the international student ministry we have at Boston University. She attended a retreat that we sponsored last fall. She was friends with people in the InterVarsity International Student ministry with the graduate and faculty side of our work," said InterVarsity National Field Director Greg Jao, according to Mission Network News.
Jao revealed that over 500,000 international students come to U.S. colleges each year.
"Most of them represent the promise of that country's future. The State Department has estimated that 25% of all of the world's future leaders are studying in the United States right now," the field director added. "It's in the mutuality of relationship that you begin to share life together. You begin to share stories together. You have opportunities to share the Gospel together. And all it takes is a simple invitation: 'Would you come and have a meal with me? Would you have coffee at my home?'"
The family of Lu back in China shared in a statement with Boston University that the young student's dream was to come to America to study, and that she had "fallen in love with Boston and its people."
"We are grieving and at a loss for words to describe the pain and sadness we are experiencing following the sudden passing of our dear daughter, Lingzi. She was the joy of our lives. She was a bright and wonderful child. We were thrilled to watch her grow into an intelligent and beautiful young woman. She was a positive role model for many others," the family added.
Boston police and the rest of America are waiting to find out what pushed 19-year-old suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev to commit the crime. While Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police Thursday night, Dzhokhar is in custody The teen is currently recovering in the hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot to the throat, and may face charges of federal terrorism and state murder.