I remember many years ago moving away from my family and friends for a summer internship in Menlo Park, CA. I have never felt so lonely in my life as when I arrived at my destination. I distinctly remember standing on a street corner with people and cars all around me and realizing that I don’t know anyone in this sea of people. Fortunately, I quickly found my way to a church where I got involved with a college group.
Over 750,000 international students will attend U.S. universities this year. They too will experience separation from friends and family, but they will also have the added challenge of navigating a different culture and language. Fortunately, International Students Incorporated (ISI) is there to help them get settled at over 900 university campuses across the US.
MCC teams with the local ISI chapter serving the University of New Mexico. It is part of our strategy for accomplishing cross-cultural missions right here in our own community. Working with ISI we are able to expose international students to the Gospel as well as disciple those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord. Many of these students return home to influential careers as well as the opportunity to have influence for the Gospel. In effect, we are training missionaries at our university campuses. In Albuquerque alone, ISI serves over 350 students a semester!
With ISI we have a unique opportunity to do cross-cultural ministry. If you are looking for a new opportunity to serve there are a lot of different ways to get involved with ISI. Below are a few examples:
- Sign up to provide food in January or August and/or help serve the food at UNM.
- Donate unwanted furniture and/or help students take furniture to their new apartments.
- Volunteer to host a student for a short-term homestay. This involves picking the student up at the airport and then housing them for a day or two until they can move into their apartment.
- Become a Friendship Partner where you meet monthly with an international student and do fun things with them to help them acclimate to New Mexico.
- Help with a home study group or help teach English classes.
If you are interested in helping or want more information contact Vince Tidwell at (505)413-2647.