I will never forget how Deborah and I were received when we moved to the Philippines as cross-cultural missionaries.

Filipinos greeted us with unearned kindness, graciousness, and curiosity. They accepted us into their lives and families, and they forgave us when we accidentally did culturally insensitive things. Though we came to share the gospel, we were equally pulled in to this country by their hospitality.

As I travel the world and visit different cultures, and when I encounter internationals in my home city, I always try to treat others the way that I was treated as a foreigner. I do it not just because it is what I experienced but because the Bible says much about the treatment of foreigners. One example: “. . .treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, you shall love him as yourself. . .” (Leviticus 19:33–34).

Today, I want to talk about what I believe is a mandate for Every Nation churches: to reach international students. With international students, we have the potential to share the gospel and plant churches all over the world without ever leaving our local campuses.

Here’s how we can do that:

  1. Pray for international students
  2. Befriend international students
  3. Include them in our lives
  4. Serve their needs