Excel 2016: Learn how to do world missions at home

Guest Commentary by Brett Martin

It doesn’t take long for you to find out that they are lonely.

In April 2016, a Christian walked onto a university campus in Kentucky and asked international students a question. “What needs do you have that no one is willing or able to meet?”

Students quickly replied with one of two answers: “I want a friend,” or “I’m looking for an American family.”

The Kentucky Baptist Convention has launched the Twelve24 Initiative. It is a movement to help churches help every student on every campus to encounter Jesus and experience life to the full.

Additionally, Reaching Internationals is one of several special interest workshops offered at Excel, Kentucky WMU’s leadership development events Aug. 20 in Independence, and Sept. 10 in Louisville.

Consider that 95 percent of these students would say they are not a practicing Christian. If those numbers don’t rock your boat, consider the more than 8,000 international students in Kentucky. The majority of these students are coming from China, India, and Saudi Arabia.

Most people from these countries have never met a Christian, let alone heard the gospel. Last May, a family in Kentucky hosted an international student who had questions such as, “Who is Jesus?” and “Why did He have to die?”

The student even told this family, “I want to treat my future wife and children the way you treat yours, not the way my culture treats theirs.”

The KBC consists of 2,400 churches who cooperate together to reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. One would think Kentucky and the world would be two different ministry locations, but with God bringing the nations to us, we see that one can reach the world by simply walking out the front door. You can impact the world by stepping onto a campus. Now, you can even impact the world by simply inviting international students into your home.

If you have had little experience interacting with different cultures, it does not matter. God can use you. He has planned before time that it would be through His Church that the gospel would go forth.

The KBC desires to see the world reached and we are committed to helping Kentucky Baptists help every international student encounter Jesus and experience life to the full.

So, you may be asking, “Where do I start?” Here are a few first steps:

Pray for international students and for more laborers who may serve them.

Connect with your Kentucky Regional Campus Missionary at www.kybcm.org.

Brett Martin is international campus missionary for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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