“How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings,” Psalm 36:7, NLT.
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God,” Ephesians 3:9, NLT.
Poets and songwriters have been exploring the topic of love for centuries. From classic Shakespearian sonnets, to the popular song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” sung by Elvis Presley, artists through the years have poured their hearts and minds into pieces about gaining and losing true love. But, what is true love? There is nothing wrong with romantic love—in fact, God created it! What I am talking about here is something much bigger than romantic love; I am talking about the ultimate Love—your first and most precious Love!
Here at International Students, Inc., we serve that Ultimate Love! In fact, our life’s work is introducing that Giver of true Love to a troubled world. God is definitely spreading the Good News of His Love around the world. How do I know? 1 Thessalonians 5:24 promises, “God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.” And God has been faithfully using our ministry to make it happen since 1953, when we began with 17 full time staff, 11 volunteers, and 33,000 international students from 128 countries. Today, we’ve been blessed with over 400 staff, 24,000 volunteers, and over one student per hour accepting Christ for three consecutive years!
We are blessed to be able to minister to students like Georgia, a former committed Buddhist whom the Lord has absolutely transformed. Georgia told us that as a Buddhist, she never experienced peace but was always in turmoil. When her friends in Asia heard that she is following Christ, they tried to remind her of her roots by sending her pictures of herself climbing a holy Buddhist mountain. This pilgrimage-of-sorts consists of a whole week spent taking three steps, followed by a pause to kneel, pressing head to the ground, followed by three more steps. Georgia had been so committed to Buddhism that she had climbed that mountain three different times!
However, since Georgia started attending our ministry Bible studies and trusting in Christ, she says she has experienced peace like she had never known. She spends two hours a day reading the Bible. She and her 14-year-old son hope to be baptized before returning to Asia. They are both filled with a desire to know the Word and be used by Him––despite incredible spiritual warfare raging around them. Georgia has discovered her ultimate Love, and nothing will stand in her way of getting to know Him!
The God who changed Georgia is Himself unchanging––and He has shown himself faithful in giving us a spirit of unity. While everything around us seems politically, ethnically, and economically divided––even many churches––the spirit of unity we enjoy at International Students, Inc. means even more because we know Jesus named it as a key sign to the world of His disciples.
I pray that your week is filled with reminders—big or small—that Christ Jesus is always ready to greet you with open arms and unconditional love. Your first Love will never leave you. I send you off with a word of encouragement from Scripture: “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:9, NLT. I pray that you walk in peace, knowing that you are fully loved and adored by your ultimate Love.
For More Information
Are you interested in making a greater world missions impact right from your own community? You or someone in your church can help launch a powerful, local outreach to internationals through ISI’s Churches Reaching Nations Initiative. Learn more here.