God is bringing the mission field
right to us!
has commissioned His church to "make disciples of all peoples
in every nation." But many nations, for political, economic,
or social reasons, are not open to receiving foreign missionaries.
But while countries
are closing their doors to traditional missionaries, the
world is literally coming to us as people from every nation
now live in our own neighborhoods. Did you know that about
10% (27 million) of the people now living in this country
were born in a foreign country, and one out of four (165,000)
medical doctors practicing in this country were born overseas?
In any given academic year, over a half a million foreign
students and scholars, some with spouses and children, enter
the United States. In addition, over a million foreigners
immigrate to the U.S. each year. The Lord is calling us
to reach out to the world He has placed at our doorstep.
A Strategic Opportunity
about the mission field at our doorstep:
Many of these students, scholars, and immigrants
come from countries which restrict gospel ministry.
These students are their countries' best and
brightest. Intellectuals, diplomats, and business
leaders are often beyond the reach of traditional
Many internationals are more open to the Gospel
while away from the cultural family, and religious
pressures of home.
The challenge for Americans to adapt to a new
language and culture in order to present the Gospel
is minimized, since the internationals are the ones
learning our language and culture.
Ministry to internationals is a cost effective
way to evangelize the world, since those who
embrace the Gospel can return home to minister without
continuous U.S. church support or the other expenses
associated with traditional missions. Also unlike
most missionaries, they need no entry visa or language
school in order to reach their own people.
A ministry to internationals can give every
American Christian an opportunity to respond to
the Great Commission without having to leave home.
And if you are called by God to overseas missions,
this is a tremendous way to develop the cross-cultural
skills you'll need--before you go.
to this Need!
into existence in 1981 in response to the vision of
Dr. Raj Aluri, then an international student himself
at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. IFM
is supported by churches and individual Christians as
an evangelical faith mission, and seeks to serve as
a liaison between internationals and the local church.
In addition to its flagship ministry in Columbia,
SC, IFM is also involved in outreach to internationals
in Orlando, FL, and Bloomington, IN.