“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning,” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT).
A few months ago, I attended the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in our nation’s capital. More than 600 delegates from 130 countries and territories attended the event. Naturally, I heard many stories, several of them deeply moving, compelling and even abhorrent. It’s important that I hear such stories, as our ministry is committed to counseling and discipling our students as they return to Islamic countries––and to China, and India––where persecution ranges from social and professional, all the way to martyrdom.
This is more real than we think. India recently kicked out 20,000 foreign organizations. China has vowed to crush Christianity, and Russia has moved to restrict religious activity to within church walls. And that’s not even counting Islamic countries where our brothers and sisters are being slaughtered. One recent article claims 90,000 were martyred last year for their faith. *
The bottom line here is this: We have an incredible opportunity to reach the world’s unreached groups right here in our own backyard, as so many of them are already here in the United States. One of our ministry staffers shared the following testimony:
“When our government released a list of the nations that send the highest number of international students to the United States, we compared it to a Christian list of nations that contain the highest number of unreached people groups. The two lists showed remarkable similarities. India and China were responsible for 330 ‘unreached and unengaged people groups.’ In addition, the two countries were also the top two sending nations of international students to the United States. Amazingly, eight of the top 10 nations with unreached groups ranked among the twenty top sending nations! This means that in His amazing providence, God has arranged for the countries most in need of outreach, to send the greatest number of leaders our way! It is our most powerful confirmation yet that there is no more strategic, safe, efficient way to reach the world’s most spiritually hungry nations. This brings home the testimony of a former international student who was also on staff for several years before returning home: ‘I came from Japan where it is rare to see people convert to Christianity. If I had been in Japan and missionaries had tried to reach me, I would not have listened to them. I came to the United States and wanted to learn the different culture, so I listened to the Gospel. Then, God spoke to me through the messages and changed my heart.’”
As the world’s borders become increasingly hostile, even closed to traditional missions, God responds by sending an ever-increasing number of future leaders to our own shores! Friend, His faithfulness and strength will always conquer the things of this world. As Scripture tells us:
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning,”
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT).
We all have our stories––and their ultimate happy ending is the love of our heavenly Father. Thank you for your continued help in writing that great story of salvation in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders! Your prayers and support help us reach work toward our mission to reach every international student for Christ.
For More Information
Learn how to minister to international students who come from some of the world’s most unreached nations.
*Source: “90,000 Christians Killed in 2016, 1 Every 6 Minutes: Study” by Samuel Smith, The Christian Post, December 30, 2016.