Experiencing the Mission
How might an international student develop a passion for reaching others and gain a heart for the world? Taking part in a short-term mission project–overseas or in the U.S.–will accelerate an international student’s growth. Many return to their campuses with a commitment and zeal to help build a spiritual movement.
A short-term overseas project provides an international student with an opportunity to help launch a spiritual movement in another nation-perhaps in the student’s homeland. The project, of course, is valuable to the ongoing ministry in that nation-building momentum and generating contacts. But it may be even more valuable to the international disciple. As part of a small team, he or she can experience the mission by….
- Initiating gospel conversations and sharing Christ with many students
- Leading small and large group evangelistic events
- Doing basic follow-up in a university setting
- Participating in prayer events for the campus and the people of that nation
A team of five international grad students and professionals recently ministered on a university campus in their homeland and were able to share Christian truth with 300 in groups and 125 in one-to-one encounters. At least 45 individuals indicated that they had placed faith in Christ. Imagine the impact of this experience on that team of five! Said one, “Nothing is as important as to bring people to (Jesus) and to see them saved. I am convinced through this trip that the gospel truly is the power of God…”
A stateside project enables an international student to develop spiritual character and ministry skill while reaching out to other internationals. These projects are held in locations with significant international student populations, and the visiting participants are able to add momentum to the local ministry. As part of a team of students and staff, participants are able to…
- Build relationships with others in authentic community
- Receive training on how to walk with God
- Get opportunities to share their faith
- Help launch or expand a spiritual movement on campus
Last year, a group of students converged on Seattle for a stateside project at the University of Washington. They not only enjoyed seeing the sights, but they also experienced God at work. Several participants enjoyed the life-changing experience of helping to guide another person to receive Christ.
Most overseas projects are held in December and June each year, whereas stateside projects are held during the summer months.
There are usually several barriers that prevent students from participating, such as lack of time, money and objections from parents. We suggest that participants…
- Plan ahead to request leave from their supervisors–most will be willing to help if given prior notice
- Invite others to invest financially in God’s work–family, friends, fellow church members, etc. Many Christians will be excited to invest in eternity by helping underwrite costs for a mission project. Participants will grow in faith as they see God provide their needs.
- Pray that their parents will have a positive response, and then explain the positive impact this experience will create.
Check out opportunities with a Christian international student organization. Campus Crusade for Christ is one group that offers the Nehemiah Project for international students returning to their homelands and the Ezra Project in the United States. See www.gosummerproject.com for more information.