International Students on the Rise

There was an interesting article on the Michigan Daily yesterday. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we have seen a drop in international students coming to the States to study. But a recent study has shown that the number has increased this year. This is an awesome thing in light of missions and the greater vision of HMCC.

Here at the University of Michigan, there are 5,429 foreign students and we rank #6 as the most popular school for international student in the States.

But it was just as interesting to find out that the University of Michigan had more than 1,700 students who went abroad last year to study. This ranks UM #15 in terms of the most number of students studying abroad.

As I was soaking up the information, I thought of 2 things:

1) It is imperative that we reach out to the international students. Once again, the world is coming to us and it is a perfect opportunity to share the love of Christ to people who are away from their comforts and security. This is how we can further get involved with missions. If some of these students come to know Christ and then they get discipled and equipped, then they can go back to their countries as a missionary ready to reach their own people. They don’t need to learn a new language or get accustomed to a new culture.

2) As I shared the greater vision of church planting in the future, I mentioned how the international student will play a crucial role in planting an international church. If these trends continue then many more international students will be coming to the various churches that we plant on college campuses. If we can network all the students from one region together and then prepare them to be sent back to their country, then along with a pastor and some key people (business people, educators, etc), they will be able to plant an international church instantaneously.

It is always exciting when we pray for things and then God confirms it somehow with a situation that only He can bring into the forefront. We need to keep our eyes on the mission and vision that God has called us to fulfill.

As we continue to plant churches on college campuses, then one day we will be able to see our first international church plant somewhere in a major world-class city. God is amazing.

You can read the Michigan Daily’s article here.