International Student Ministries Canada is a Christian charitable organization committed to empowering international students to impact the world through Jesus Christ.

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credit: Sewanee The University of the South
credit: Sewanee The University of the South
credit: COD Newsroom

Our Blog

  • Word from our president

    “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” (Philippians 2:2, NASB)

    “The Great Commission is too big for anyone to accomplish alone and too important not to try to do together” (Steve Moore).

    When asked to be ISMC president over two years ago, I initially said no. ISMC wanted me to work on shifting the mission’s organizational culture to the intentional development of leaders. But I had my own Canadian charity with global operations, one I had founded; I was already doing a similar work.    

    That is when the Lord used precious words from a mentor, Doug Carter, to pierce my soul: “For a long time the kingdom of God has not advanced as it should because of egos and logos.” That is a sad reality in today’s missions, when really, the only ego that should matter is the glory of God, and the only logo we fight for is the cross of Christ!

    Yes, I am certainly glad I accepted the position. I had no idea that International Student Ministry (ISM) was in God’s next chapter of missions and that He wanted to not only leverage His gifts in me but also the experience and curriculum of The HuD Group1 to benefit the kingdom.

    A new wind of networking, partnership, and collaboration is blowing in the ISM part of the body of Christ. Late in May, for example, I met with fellow national directors of ISMs of Power to Change2 and InterVarsity3 to talk about collaboration and partnership, to ensure that ZERO international students in Canada are unreached with love and the gospel over the next decade.

    We want to go beyond networking, we want to partner. Why? Because we share a common interest. We need to regularly communicate, plan, and work together to achieve this common interest, this common vision. The vision—reach EVERY international student in Canada—is far beyond the capacity of any one partner.

    In October we want a follow up meeting. Not only do we realize we truly are better together, we are humbly acknowledging what Steve Moore put so succinctly, “The Great Commission is too big for anyone to accomplish alone and too important not to try to do together.”


    1. The HuD Group—The Human Development Group: a not-for-profit Christian movement that focuses on the holistic leadership development of emerging leaders.
    2. Power to Change seeks to change the world by helping students discover Jesus.
    3. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical campus mission, works with students and faculty. “We love students, the world of higher education, and what God does through our alumni around the world.”

  • Sharing from Rick Wilgosh, City Director in Kelowna

    At a recent Conversation Club U-talk session, U-talk Director Connie Laing was asked by Ju, a newly arrived Korean student at VanWest College (Kelowna), “Could we get together for a couple of hours a day so I can practice English?” Ju had recently declared she had just become a Christian, so these sisters in Christ naturally struck up a relationship which encouraged discussions on culture, family, spirituality, and personal life.

    When together in Connie’s home, coffee shops, and parks throughout Kelowna, they studied the Bible about Jesus and Christianity. Ju wanted a higher English proficiency so she could invite fellow VanWest classmates to Bible studies.

    How wonderful to hear of this young believer’s desire to reach others! God doesn’t require people with great talents to be effective ministers of the faith; He wants those who are available to be equipped to advance the kingdom.

    Connie would be the first to say that availability encourages meaningful relationships which lead students to know Christ.

    Thank you Connie, Ju, and ISMC team members across Canada for your availability in bringing the gospel so freely and lovingly to our international friends.

  • Sharing from Joanne Kingsley, City Director in Sherbrooke

    Of the 400 internationals at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, PQ, about 85 are from China and 15 of these are actively involved in the student association. I was invited to their mid-autumn festival and shared the excitement and joy of around 40 students celebrating a cultural tradition.

    In the winter semester, I connected to Student Association President Cherry Chen, a biochemistry and psychology student. We talked about our faith in Jesus and I shared the love of Christ. Cherry joined our weekly Bible study and we built a closer relationship which gave me opportunity to become her leadership role mentor.

    During this year’s Chinese New Year, we enjoyed another unique experience, celebrating with 120 students and members from local churches. This brought students and community into a dynamic relationship and helped churches have a clearer vision of the role they can play in reaching internationals.

    Cherry and other students from the student association participated in our winter fun day, enjoying cross-country skiing for the first time. They also came to an Easter dinner at my place, and after watching The Life of Jesus, Cherry gave her life to God and accepted Jesus as Savior.

    How amazing the Lord is! Not only did our relationship with Cherry lead her to Christ, it brought blessings to my husband and me! Here’s how: just before leaving on a trip to China, we attended Cherry’s citizenship ceremony and met her mother. This gracious lady took us to lunch and offered to have her brother pick us up at the Beijing airport.

    I meet regularly with Cherry as mentor and am excited to see God moving this young leader to impact the lives of other students.




  • Shahzad Sardar, accompanied by his wife Priscilia, returned to Canada from Pakistan in early May and completed a three-month internship with ISMC in Montreal. One of the greatest lessons learned from his supervisor, Yaw Perbi, ISMC president, was about God's purposes and finding affirmation of His calling. Both Shahzad and Priscilia had already felt God calling them into ministry for many years. “We see how God prepared us for a ministry to international students,” he said, “by bringing me to Canada as one.” He attended Bible college in Edmonton in 2010.

    Shahzad enjoyed his leadership lessons—a particular internship highlight was attending ISMC's biennial staff conference in Pinawa, MB, in July. The love of God shown to Shahzad and Priscilia by the ISMC family made a huge impression. Shahzad said the conference was not only encouraging, “but better equipped us for ministry because we now can see the big picture of what God is doing across the country through ISMC.”

    In Montreal, Shahzad met many international students and learned the importance of sharing the love of Jesus to impact the world.

    “When I came as an international student, the love of Jesus shared with
    me made a life-changing impact.”

    Shahzad and Priscilia’s second training phase takes them to Vancouver, where ISMC has ministries on seven campuses. Shahzad looks forward to participating in an established and thriving ministry so they can bless Vancouver's international students and ISMC's volunteers and staff.

  • Our biennial ISMC staff conference held in Pinawa, Winnipeg, was a great success for staff and leaders from across our great nation. We enjoyed three days together—three good days of learning, encouragement, and relationship building.

    Challenging devotional times caused us to think about leading more like Jesus and about leading more people to Jesus.

    ISMC President Yaw Perbi presented the challenge of growing as a mission and catalyzing other Christians to action to fulfill our Big Dream. And what a dream: that in ten years, every international student who comes to Canada will have an opportunity to be loved and led to Jesus.

    Special speakers gave instructions on how to minister to students from India and the Middle East.

    In addition to workshops, we had plenty of time for networking and brainstorming. It is interesting, as we seek to encourage others, we get encouraged too!

    Yes, God is at work and many positive comments have been received about our valuable time in Pinawa.



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