Back in August 2010 (before this school year got started), God gave us vision. As we were in prayer, God made it clear to us that this coming year, one of the things that He wanted us to focus on was the international community. A phrase that came forth was, the “international mantle.” At first, we were not sure what that meant or what it entailed, but all we knew was that God wanted us to focus on the international community.
It was quite humbling because right after that revelation, God started opening doors for our church to connect with the international community on the University of Michigan campus. Not only did we see an increase of international students coming out to our church, but we started to witness God’s work in the hearts of these international students.
Then, God gave us the 2020 Vision which involves planting ten churches by the year 2020. Now, we are not sure where those churches will be planted, but one thing is clear – God is raising up the international students to go back to their country with a passion and love for the local church, and a vision for reaching their nation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is why I wanted to be a part of this retreat. We are making history by having the international students of HMCC of Chicago join us at this retreat. Not only is this our largest attendance since we started this Global Access retreat, but we have about 14 nations represented. It is quite amazing and humbling at the same time.
I am praying that seeds will be planted in the hearts of these international students – the seeds of God’s Kingdom, church planting, and transformation. We are off to a great start; and we believe that God has greater things in store for us.