Tomorrow’s world leaders are being educated in the United States today” states the Department of State website as it describes the number of international students enrolled in colleges and universities here. These students represent a strategic segment of the Nazarene Secular Campus Mission strategy.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, there were almost 600,000 international students enrolled in U.S. colleges in 2002. The number of international citizens in college and university cities is much higher when you consider the number of students who travel here with their families.
Just imagine how God could move among these students while they are here. Local churches in these communities have the opportunity to reach around the world without leaving their neighborhood.
One example of this strategic ministry can be found at University Church in Lawrence, Kansas. Sean and Lisa Heston serve as the visionaries and first pastoral family of this NewStart church on the University of Kansas campus. This past summer they were able to move into a larger home which also serves as their ministry center. With that move, God opened a significant mission field right around the corner.
Just around the corner, there are almost 300 students from around the world,” Sean said about their new location. That number increases to about 1,000 people when you consider the families of these students, he added.
There are opportunities to reach out to children and youth as well as spouses of these students.”
Their outreach efforts received a boost recently when they were awarded a $10,000 grant from the US/Cadada Mission Evangelism Department and the Kansas City District.
These funds will allow us to remodel a two-car garage into a large meeting room with laundry and handicapped-accessible restroom facilities,” Heston said. “This allows us some additional space to minister to the growing number of people.”
International student ministry is a significant part of the 2:8 House at the University of Oklahoma. “The opportunity to become friends with people from around the world is amazing,” Rhonda Kyncl, co-director of the ministry, said. “Many times we are able to begin these friendships while sharing a meal around our dining room table.”
Students from 15 countries have participated in some type of ministry activity at the 2:8 House while students from Kazakhstan, China, Taiwan, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the United States have lived in one of the two upstairs apartments there.
We know that as we reach out to students that love wins,” Kyncl said.
Nazarene Secular Campus Mission now has about 25 ministries registered on its website at www.nazscm.org. These include ministries in several states and the first ministry forming in Canada.
For more information, e-mail David Kyncl at
or browse through the website at www.nazscm.org.