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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If you have tried sewing by hand, you know how hard it would be to fit a camel through the eye of a needle.
Jesus said getting a camel through the eye of a needle is easier than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:23). This is a proverbial expression for an impossibility. But thankfully, we can take joy and hope from the second part of verse 26—that with God, all things are possible.
The context of this well-known verse is salvation. We can have the best vision, the greatest strategies, and give it our all, but the reality is: we can’t save souls. Jesus does. He can change the hearts of those entangled by world’s snares.
This is why prayer is foundational. At ISMC, we constantly pray for international students to pursue a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. God knows them best and loves them most. We’re not the ones doing the saving. God is.
To that end, our Sherbrooke team launched And There Was Light: Prayer Project to gather 100+ Christians who commit to praying for students by name. Together, we're praying for the world!
Nicole SchlichterCity DirectorISMC Sherbrooke
I came to Calgary as an international student to pursue a master’s degree in education. It was my first time abroad and everything was new—food, people, culture, education, ways of thinking—except English. I had learned English before coming to Canada and was excited when I learned about ISMC staff Gisela’s ESL/Bible study.
Most of those at her Friday afternoon ESL/Bible study class were international students. We learned many things about English idioms, Canadian culture, and Bible stories. I still have the handouts from eight years ago and used them to teach my students after graduating from the University of Calgary.
Gisela was patient and helped me understand the Bible as we read verses and shared thoughts. The friendly and open-minded setting made me comfortable to express opinions, ask questions, learn about God’s Word, and apply His instructions to my life. Amazingly, every time I faced difficult situations, the verses Gisela shared guided me to think differently and deeply.
Gisela’s class was not limited to campus—she opened her home to anyone interested in studying the Bible and offered rides if we had difficulty getting there. I truly cherish those memorable times at her place when we read the Bible, watched movies, shared life, and witnessed God’s abundant love and blessings.
When I was baptized in 2014, Gisela and other ISMC staff and volunteers were there to witness this important moment.
Gisela set an excellent example for my personal and spiritual journey. I have a teaching job I love, and live a life I am grateful for. I thank Gisela, and others who do the same thing for international students, newcomers, and anyone needing help adapting to a new city. It is because of people like Gisela that our life away from home is so much easier. I give all honor to God who is always working behind the scenes to guide us to know Him.
What Happens When Six Canadians Meet a German, Korean, Brit, and a Nigerian in Ghana? The answer: you get an insight into today's reality of global mission and a strategic God who moves people for His purposes.
While space does not allow me to tell all the stories of our international encounters in Ghana, I can say this mission trip with five other ISMC national team members significantly impacted me and shifted the realities of my missionary thinking. Many of those who I spoke with about this trip were surprised that one of the top supporting churches for ISMC’s ministry is in Ghana.
Six hours after arriving in Accra, I found myself in a room where strategic Ghanaian leaders were being trained to empower ISM in their churches and campuses. Ghana has over 15,000 international students—including Canadians! The University of Ghana has students from the same Japanese university (Soka) that we minister to in Vancouver!
We were surprised to meet Hannah in our training sessions. A seminary student from Germany doing her practicum in Ghana, she said she came to faith as an international student in the States and was willing to welcome returnee students in Germany. Hannah is a living example of how missions is from everywhere and to everywhere.
Another significant moment was visiting the first Methodist Church in West Africa in Cape Coast, Ghana. As a team, we went there to pray for Ghana to be a missionary sending force. Our first encouragement: seeing the church packed for a regular prayer meeting. This church was not just a historic site, but a vibrant local church.
While there, I was impressed to hear that Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman is widely considered as the father of the Methodist churches in Ghana. He also established them in Nigeria. What makes his story so compelling to me is that he was a returnee—his ancestry is from Ghana and it was due to this that he survived in his missionary work; remarkable, because the first missionaries died within six months. I took it as an affirmation to continue reaching internationals and sending them back to their home countries so they too will survive and thrive in ways no foreigner can.
A personal milestoneI have now worshipped in churches on six continents. Little by little I get to taste, see, and experience what Revelation 7 shows us about every people group gathering around God’s throne in worship. Throughout my Ghana experience, a thought regularly occurred to me: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same here, there, and everywhere!
Stephen ScottVice President, WestISMC National
International Student Ministries CanadaBox 1205, Three Hills AB, T0M 2A0
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