Campus ministry staff and students of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries have made a deliberate effort to welcome, serve, and care for international students for more than four decades.
The Lord of the Harvest has made it possible for the brightest and best of almost 200 countries to come to the United States for a few years and study at our colleges and universities. That provides Christians all over America an opportunity to participate in foreign missions in reverse, without having to leave the land of their birth, raise a mission budget, learn a new language and adapt to a new culture, which takes years to figure out and become comfortable with.
Our Chi Alpha staff are always modeling, teaching, and equipping students to join in the adventure of international student ministry. Here are ten ways to ways to infuse your Chi Alpha chapter, small group, church, and even family with ideas and action steps to join the fun.
1. We want all Chi Alpha staff and each college student involved with us to live the three “I’s of Chi Alpha International (XAi) ministry: Informed: know the international student population and where they hang out on campus. Intentional: let’s befriend, serve, and ultimately disciple international students. Influential: help other students, ministries, & local churches to invest in and disciple international students.
2. Incorporate worship music in the languages of your campus international population. Make sure international students are part of the process, and even your worship teams.
3. Encourage international students to pray for their country (and in their native language) during large and small group gatherings.
4. Incorporate praying for international students and the countries into all discipleship venues.
5. Prayer walk the campus regularly asking God for favor among the international students.
6. Ensure that every Chi Alpha student leader has an international student English conversation partner. Make it an expectation of community life and service, not merely a choice for a few.
7. Train students and student leaders to incorporate international students into every small group. Recruit and mobilize international Christian students to do the same, even with Americans.
8. Expect, fast, pray, and work towards the goal of international students joining Chi Alpha, becoming student leaders, give-a-year candidates, and lifelong transformational leaders.
9. Design your Expeditions spring break and/or summer trips to destinations where you have a high number of international students on your campus.
10. Approach participating to international students as a listener and learner. Expect your life to be enriched as you open your heart to the people of the nations that Jesus loves.
Live communally. Like Jesus, we always need to have room in our life for one more friend. Let’s be sure to make room for the international students God has brought to our doorstep.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz