Our story

Over 30 years of service

God is on the move in Canada and through Canadians as we send students across the world as leaders and Christian disciplers.  Many students go home to places where they will be the only “Jesus” the nationals will see, the only “Bible” they will read.  International Student Ministries Canada staff and supporters continue work to serve and send these students home knowing their Creator. ISMC's vision is to empower international students to impact the world through Jesus Christ. This is accomplished through friendship partner programs or Bible discussions. Our ultimate goal is to see international students become fully devoted followers of Jesus, ministering to those God places in their lives, whether in Canada or their home country.

1983 to 1990

International Students Incorporated (ISI) has been reaching international students in the States since 1953. In 1983, when an Alberta couple, Eric and Sharon Mills, were accepted by ISI, they stayed in Canada. Also accepted was Margaret Bowman; she worked in her home area of Guelph/Waterloo. Ken and Agnes White, ISI headquarters staff, moved to Calgary in 1984 to set up the Canadian office and establish the ministry. Within a year, the mission received its Canada Revenue Agency and in September 1985, Rob and Betty Marvin came from Indiana as ISMC’s first field director.

As ISMC developed, the board of trustees grew and more staff were accepted. By 1988, seventeen ISMC field staff worked in six cities. Early in 1989, the board welcomed former Prairie Bible Institute President Paul Maxwell as the first Canadian president. He invited Nick Gawryletz to join the mission as field director when the Marvins returned to the States. Paul brought great leadership experience and character to ISMC, recruiting and directing the home office and field ministry teams to evangelize and disciple internationals.

1998 to 2010

The national office was moved to Three Hills, Alberta, in 1998. When Paul Maxwell retired in 2003, Paul Workentine took on the work. As of April 2009, approximately 83 career and associate personnel served with ISMC in eighteen locations across Canada from Victoria, B.C. to Ottawa, Ontario.

2013 to now...

In May 2013 Dr. Yaw Perbi began his duties as the President of ISMC. Dr. Perbi, his wife Naa Anyele, and their three children live in Montreal where they will continue to reside, as the ministry of ISMC has expanded into Quebec and the Maritimes. Yaw's focus and passion is to see ISMC involved in raising the next generation of effective leaders, in keeping with ISMC’s vision and mission. It is his goal, along with the goal of ISMC since 2013, to double the number of staff workers to accommodate the national government’s hopes to double their intake of international students and scholars in the future. Since May 2013, 45 new staff have joined ISMC. With new workers in Montreal and the Maritimes, the work of ISMC now stretches from sea to sea.


2017 in review

2016 at a glance

2015 at a glance

ISMC in Motion (2015)

Partnership with the Canadian Bible Society (2015)

International Student Ministry at UBC through ISMC's Focus Club (2014)

International Students Ministry of Canada: our story (2009)