Photo by Zhi-Jun Loh
It is hard to believe that little over 10 years ago a handful of people gathered together to talk about the possibility of starting an international ministry at our church. Back in 2001, we started to notice that God was bringing many international students to our ministry. Honestly, even to this day, I really don’t know why they started coming out.
I definitely spoke to fast during my sermons and most of our members were Americans. We really didn’t have any specific ministries to meet the international students’ needs; therefore we were a bit confused as to why God was entrusting us with international students.
But now, in retrospect, after seeing many international students’ lives being transformed by the Gospel message and also seeing the international churches that we have planted, it makes more sense.
We have come to the conclusion that God wanted to use our church to reach out to the international students, while they were here at the University of Michigan for four years. Many of them left the comforts of their homes in order to receive a top-notched university education, but God had other plans.
God was sovereignly and strategically bringing them to the University of Michigan so that they can experience the power of the Gospel. Then after graduation, God was sending them back to their countries, in order to be a powerful witness of the Gospel. It has been encouraging to see how God enabled us to plant churches in different international cities. As the alumni were trained and commissioned back to their nations, God was preparing them to be a part of the greater vision of seeing churches started all over the world.
This is why ever since we started to have a separate Global Access retreat for all the international students in our church, we have been asking God to do some incredible things. I am excited to see what God will do this year with all the international students. In particular, we will be uniting together with the international students from HMCC of Chicago. It will be a great time of linking students from the same countries together to pray for their nation.
It is my hope and prayer that we will catch a greater vision for world evangelization through the international students in all our HMCC churches. This is definitely a kairos moment!