“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him,” 1 John 4:9 (NLT).
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come,” Hebrews 13:14 (NLT).
“Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” Psalm 90:1 (NLT).
Far from home, the smallest things can reach deep into the hearts of international students who are homesick for a breath of the familiar. It makes a world of difference when we are sensitive to what might draw them into relationship and one step closer to God’s love for them. After all, “...this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come,” Hebrews 13:14 (NLT). What a blessing that the Lord continues to equip our ministry to share His love and promise of eternal life.
I am reminded of a story one of our ministry friends shared with us. She attended a park concert, hosted by a local church in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, where she met a man far from home. The church arranged for the band Aradhna to play. The band draws on traditional Indian music with Christ-centered themes and lyrics composed and performed mostly in Hindi. Our ministry friend writes:
“We were enjoying a perfect evening in God’s creation with the warm sun slowly giving way to the crescent moon. It was fun seeing all the Indian families, strolling around the lake, pushing strollers. Many would stop and excitedly make cell phone calls to share what kind of music was playing in a Texas park! Several hundred people came from the surrounding neighborhoods, bringing a man right up next to me with his eyes and mouth wide open. He said, ‘I can’t believe it. I walked out of my door and heard a live sitar. I haven’t heard a live sitar in over 15 years. I think I’m dreaming.’ I told him about the church that had organized the concert and shared about its Vacation Bible School program. Eagerly, he said he would sign his daughter up. After the concert, I took him to meet the sitar player. They embraced for a long moment. The sitar player told him that he taught people to play the sitar and learn the lyrics via Skype from his home in Toronto, but that the Skype wasn’t very good quality. Immediately, the Indian man said, ‘I work for Microsoft and that’s our product. I will get you the best Skype there is!’ I felt like I had truly witnessed a God moment!”
This woman’s small gesture—in sharing with and listening to this man, who was far from home—led to what she beautifully refers to as a “God moment.” It’s moments like these that often turn out to be a stepping stone for someone to experience God’s love!
Friend, we are so blessed here at International Students, Inc. to be able to share God’s love and promise with people from all over the world. Here is some more exciting news: Through our three-year S.A.L.T. initiative, we are experiencing accelerated ministry impact through Outreach and Technology, our M28 Global Discipleship Model and Church Mobilization.
In our first year of the S.A.L.T. initiative, we have already seen the following expansions within our Church Mobilization campaign:
- Targeted hard copy mailing and two email blasts went to more than 3,300 churches in strategic cities with high populations of international students, with efforts producing 48 leads with four churches beginning partnership to receive training in international student ministry and M28!
- Developed a website for churches to gain interest in partnering with ISI. It features an informational and encouraging video about ISI and our trainings. Check it out at www.churchesreachingnations.org.
- Created an online campaign alongside Outreach, Inc. and advertised to websites with traffic of 350,000 church leaders and pastors. Our online efforts produced 40 responses, two of which are gearing up to partner with us and schedule trainings.
- We are cultivating relationships with denominational groups, giving us access to potentially over 4,275 churches! These fostering partnerships include leaders from the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Evangelical Free Church, the Southern Baptist Church and Missions Board, the Assemblies of God District in Southern California, and the Cambodian church.
- Ordered over 5,000 International Student Edition Bibles for churches to distribute after they are trained to effectively reach students in their respective areas.
Thank you for your dedicated support with the ministry of International Students, Inc.! Your prayers have helped us to gain forward momentum in our strategic initiatives, and allow us to reach those far from home with Christ’s love! Please pray for the Lord’s continued guidance as we work toward fulfilling the calling of the Great Commission by sharing Christ’s love with these future world leaders!
For More Information
Watch this ISI video to learn more about the Churches Reaching Nations campaign.
Learn more about our exciting S.A.L.T. (Strategic Advance Leadership Teams) initiative.