Reaching the Nations from Your Doorstep
With world evangelism as a priority, Christians have moved all over the world taking the Gospel to every nation of the earth. Personally, Cindy and I have spent the last seven years starting churches and campus ministries in university areas in New Zealand and Malaysia. And we know first hand the challenges and costs that Americans face while serving overseas as missionaries.
However, we no longer need to move overseas to full fill the Great Commission of “Making disciples of every nation.” Today, students from other countries come to the United States to study at our colleges and universities and earn bachelors, masters, or doctoral degrees, and even engage in post-doctoral work.
They are the “cream of the crop” in their countries and will often go on to be leaders in government, the military, industry, banking, education, etc. Their time in the United States will influence their opinion on this country and Christianity for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, they often come from “closed” nations like China, along with the Middle Eastern.
Today, there are 750,000+ enrolled, and up to 1,000,000 in the US on student visas. And when asked what they desire most during their time in the US, the answer is almost always the same. These students desire to “Complete their degree” and “Make personal friendships with Americans.” Yet sadly, statistics show that over 70% of these students never are invited into an Americans home. What an incredible missed opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission.
Hundreds of other prime ministers, princes, and foreign dignitaries were all educated in the US, yet most return without knowing Christ or even hearing the Gospel. Had there been Christians who reached out to these foreign visitors and lead them to Jesus Christ, what an incredible Gospel impact could have been made.
Just think what would happen if 750,000+ foreign students now in the United States heard the gospel and accepted its truth! Imagine the impact if they were equipped here in the states as full-time ministers of the gospel, and then returned home as doctors, engineers, business people, politicians and dedicated followers of Jesus Christ. These men and women, who were already respected as leaders before going abroad, return home with their MBA or Phd and their new faith in Jesus.
Cindy and I have made it our mission to share the Gospel with these students and equip the church in America to do the same. And we would like to invite you to join us on this mission.
A Strategic Plan
We have been commanded in the Word of God to reach out to the international man and woman, as Deuteronomy 31:12 tells us. According to Deuteronomy 10: 18,19, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for them.”
It is also interesting to note that the Greek root word philos xenos for “hospitality,” (used in the New Testament) means “friend of the foreigner.” We are commanded to be hospitable, and that means reaching out in love to the alien within our own borders!
It is a tremendous task, but our God is well able to bring salvation to these hundreds of thousands of foreign students. It is His desire to raise up these men and women as laborers that He can send into the harvest fields of the nations!
Why is it strategic to reach out to these international students?
Students from over 180 nations are studying on US campuses and are ready to hear and receive the Gospel.
Many students are coming from “closed nations” that strictly suppress Christianity and missionaries.
These students are destined to become leaders in business, politics and education in their home nation.
These students know the language and customs of their society, often a challenge for foreign missionaries in those nations.
Foreign students are accessible and responsive to friendship while in the US.
International students returning to their own nations are not treated with the same suspicion and distrust often given to foreign missionaries.