When we think about Jesus' command to go and make disciples of all nations, we often focus on leaving our country or sending people far away to accomplish the task. While international outreach is important, we may not realize that the nations have also come to us. How can we share the good news with those who are here in the United States?
GNPI partnered with ICOM (International Conference on Missions) to produce The RISE Project. This is a digital resource aimed at helping individuals and congregations become more sensitive to people of refugee status and international students. Being culturally aware of why these guests are in our country enables us to understand how to best offer dignity-giving friendship and engagement. Sadly, 70% of international students are never invited into an American home. God is bringing the nations to us, and we have a tremendous opportunity to welcome the future leaders of the world to our country and into our homes.
The world is coming to our doorstep:
• 1,078,822 International students on U.S. campuses
• 134,379 Visiting scholars teaching on U.S. campuses
• 108,433 Intensive English program students
• 28,300 Average number of people who flee their homes every day
Refugees and international student numbers may decrease for a season, but there are still thousands of new refugees coming to our land and nearly one million international students in our colleges. The RISE Project will help you to be trained and sensitive, not only to people from these two communities, but with others in our cities who are here legally and are still adjusting culturally.
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” but now the nations are coming to us. International refugees were forced from their homes by tragedy, while international students chose to come on their own, but both groups offer us amazing opportunities to share the love of Christ. So what can you do? Would you invite an international into your home, share a meal, or start a conversation? Hospitality touches hearts, and your open home might open a door for the gospel. You really can make a difference. You can help change someone’s world.
Check out the free small group study, sermon outlines, and other resources available at theriseproject.com.