Information & Facts

God is bringing the mission field right to us!

esus 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

Consider these facts
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 foreign missionaries.
  • 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.
  •  International Friendship Minsitries
    Responding to this Need!

    IFM came 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.

    International Friendship Ministries
    610 Pickens St, Columbia, SC 29201
    Phone: (803) 799-3452   Fax: (803) 252-5500