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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Sharing from Cam Janzen, Vice President, International Field
For international students, life as a new Christian is often more different in Canada than it is when they return home.
In Canada, they can comfortably join ISMC or other Bible-based programs and be surrounded by supportive and helpful Christians. But back home, many may feel disconnected from the good news. To address this situation, ISMC’s returnee department is building a network so returnees can connect to Christian communities in their homeland. We see this as an essential empowerment for continued growth in the faith. Dave Buchner speaks of following up returnees as an important and heartfelt part of the Guelph ministry:
“We normally meet with the students to discuss necessary re-adjustments, answer questions, and give an informal gospel presentation. All returnees receive a DVD with our Bible studies and other resources in English and in their language. Once they are back home, we follow up with group messages, personal emails, and feedback to ensure they have connected to a Christian community. It is a good way to explore Christianity, even if they are not believers.
Recently, during individual meetings to prepare three of our Chinese Bible study participants for returning, those who had become believers were linked before returning home. For example, Jim and family were connected with a house church, Kate returned to connect with her best friend who was already a Christian, and Milli expressed a desire to see a sign that God is real. A few days later, before she left, she shared how God had spoken to her in a dream and she opened her heart to Jesus. We are excited to see God working through miracles today! Milli and her husband (already a believer in China) attend a Bible study group we’ve connected them to.”
We are so grateful for the pioneering work the Buchners have done in the area of returnee ministry. Please pray with us in asking God to strengthen the resolve of our student friends, so they can impact their world for Jesus Christ at home.
Word from the President—Dr. Yaw Perbi
“I press on toward the goal the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
As a young soccer fan, I used to get very frustrated and terribly agitated when my favourite national team then, Brazil, would dribble and dance with the ball in their characteristic Samba style of play, sometimes dominating as much as 80% possession and yet not score any goals! “Come on guys!” I would scream in my heart, “No one wins a soccer game by even 100% possession!” The only way to win is to put the ball in the net—score goals. And as many as possible, for that matter.
In life and ministry, it is easy to be caught up in a bunch of good activities one after the other, and be busy, very busy, but how can we tell if that busyness really counts? Unless we have a clear God-given purpose and keep that end in mind, it just might be, in the words of Shakespeare, ‘much ado about nothing.’
I was fortunate to learn early in my marketplace career to “schedule my priorities” rather than “prioritise my schedule” for even if one gets to check off all items on a ‘To Do’ list that isn’t tantamount to ‘success.’ Like riding hard on a rocking horse yet going nowhere, activity doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity. What determines if it is a win?
Boy has there been frolic activity in ISMC over the past three years since I’ve had the privilege of leading this strategic mission. Yes, we praise God for the average 70% growth of ISMC in pioneer ministries and new staff over those 36 months and a whole lot of other major ministry milestones chalked, but really “so what?”
As a mission, our senior leadership team together with the Board recently went through a very engaging exercise asking ourselves, “What’s a win for us?” We concluded that at the end of each day, week, month or year, ISMC would have won when:
It is a joy to share how under God we’re mostly winning valiantly; and even when we don’t win, we evaluate, learn and “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Sharing from Alex Akrofi Yeboah, student leader of FOCUS Club, Memorial University, Newfoundland
ISMC marked a historic moment during International Students Day last November when a new FOCUS Club was launched at Memorial University in St. John’s. The launch theme, Humanity United, aligned with the world’s standing in solidarity with Paris due to the terrorist attacks that took place the weekend before the launch.
Thirty-five students from ten countries heard ISMC President Yaw Perbi talkabout his experience with multiculturalism, the diversity of international students pursuing academic studies in Canada, and the opportunity to reach international students with the message of Jesus Christ. He emphasized thesignificance of leadership development in preparing international students for their roles and influence in society. The extension of international student ministries to Newfoundland has awakened a sense of responsibility in reaching the nations through international students.
Since the launch of the Newfoundland FOCUS Club, God has guided us beyond what we could have imagined. For example, we established two significant partnerships, one with Bethesda Pentecostal Church to organize an international student Christmas dinner and another with the Memorial University Pentecostal Ministry to arrange a weekly Alpha series for all students. We really thank God for how far He has brought us and look forward to seeing more international students impacted by the message of Jesus Christ!
International Student Ministries CanadaBox 1205, Three Hills AB, T0M 2A0
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