REACHING THE NATIONS AT HOME
“This verse says that Jesus is God!” exclaimed the post-doctorate student from China, who had joined our international seeker Bible class in Cambridge. It is a wonderful thing to see someone’s eyes of faith open for the first time, like our friend from China. He and his wife have joined our classes for over a year now, and last week his wife’s parents also joined the class while visiting from Beijing. On this day we decided to have the study in Mandarin and then translate to English for others present.
God has brought the nations to us, and now is the time to get involved with what God is doing. Boston International Ministries meets the needs of international professionals, students, scholars and visitors through genuine relationships and helps these friends follow Christ. For over twenty years, Rev. Michael Dean and his team of staff and volunteers have reached out to more than 100 nations from right here in Boston/Cambridge. Each year hundreds of international students, scholars and spouses join our Conversational English classes on campus or in local churches where a steady stream of people also join seeker Bible studies and learn about Jesus for the first time.
The Bible class mentioned above was first led by Ernie and Barbara Beevers at Cambridgeport Baptist Church. CBC is in a key location equidistant between three universities: Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. Within a few miles’ radius are over 25,000 international students from about 150 countries. While such a strategic location helps, it is not a necessity for you to reach the nations gathered in New England.
Did you know that over one million international students study in the United States? In addition, there are thousands of international medical professionals and researchers who help to provide the best health care in the world. New England is home to hundreds of foreign-owned businesses and thousands of international businesspeople. You may be working or interacting with the nations each and every day. But do we have eyes to see the stranger, the international visitor in our midst, and treat him or her as one of our own family members as Scripture exhorts? (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Whether you are in a new church plant or an existing church of many years, you can reach out to one of these friends and change the world. Here are some ways to link your life to the nations around you:
- Meet the need of friendship. Nearly every international visitor we have met over the past two decades desires to make friends with Americans.
- Offer help with language. Most internationals welcome assistance with learning English.
- Consider starting an ESL class at your church. We will be offering ESL training at the BCNE May 5-6.
- Volunteer through a local agency that provides help for refugees.
- Reach out to immigrants by helping them assimilate to the culture, providing winter clothes or coats and sharing the Gospel along the way.
- Offer biblical hospitality during the Thanksgiving season.
- Open your home at any time of the year. There is no better way to create a bridge for the Gospel than to open your home and life to friends from around the world.
- Develop ministries through some of our 50 foreign consulate offices, where people work to represent their government. This is an especially good ministry for ethnic churches.
- Reach the future leaders of the world by befriending international scholars in key places like Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Tufts’ Fletcher School of Diplomacy and others.
- And by all means, invite people to church for all kinds of events, including worship and Bible study.
What a joy it has been to see international friends seek after Jesus across Greater Boston and New England. Join us to celebrate what God is doing and be inspired to begin to reach the nations near you whether on campus, at work or through your local church. Take a chance, get to know someone new and literally touch the world!
Michael Dean has served as a missionary with the Greater Boston Baptist Association and the BCNE for 20 years. He is the founder and director of Boston International Ministries and raises all BIM funds as a faith-based missionary. He is excited to help others meet needs and share Christ with international friends. Contact him at email@example.com for help to touch the world in your neighborhood or if you want to directly partner with the BIM mission.