In the fall of 2016 over 1 million international students arrived in the U.S. to study. This was the largest number ever to enter the US for education and scholarly research. These students bring a huge economic boom to the US economy in general and to colleges and universities specifically. But most importantly, these students are ripe for Christians to sow Gospel seeds. Most students come from countries that have little or no Gospel presence. Some come from countries where the government or culture persecute Christians. Getting to these countries can be a difficult task. While we must continue to reach people in their home countries, we can also start right here at home. No passport is required. All we need is the vision to mobilize Christians to be missionaries in their hometowns.
So how does one get involved with international students. First, we need to pray. We need to ask God to open our eyes to the peoples that are here. We also need to ask God to open our hearts to welcome those who are different from us in language, culture, race, and religion. Finally, we need to pray for the hearts of international students to be open to the Gospel.
In order to help us remember to pray for international students, the BCNET committee is asking that Christians set either 7:09 pm or am on Tuesdays (or as many days as you can) as specific times to stop and pray for international students. Revelation 7:9 gives a great picture of heaven when it states that: “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” Please set 7:09, and join other believers in praying for the nations on our campuses. For more information about how to be involved with internationals students, visit www.welcomingthenations, @1040campus, and facebook.com/WelcomingTheNations.