|Last updated (03/14/11)
Helping International Students Connect with Christians When They Return Home
Years ago when the then Foreign Mission Board published the Missionary Album I used to keep a copy in our prayer room for the students to use as a prayer guide and I used it to contact the appropriate missionary by letter. Only rarely did I hear back or even know whether my letter got through. Today that method is not practical because of security concerns. Also the frequent movement of missionaries makes printed directories quickly out of date and multiple electronic directories hard to keep up.
The great news is we are now better off than ever before because Mike Lopez is and has been handling the complicated communication stuff for us. He has immediate access to the up to date locations of all our missionaries and in most places electronic channels to get the information to the right place quickly. An email to Mike Lopez (email@example.com) does the trick.
To help the missionary in making the contact the following information is needed.
1. The student's actual name
2. If there was a nick name used in the Baptist group that helps authenticate the missionary.
3. What you Baptist group is called (BSU, BCM, BSM, Christian Challenge, Cross Walk, etc
Make a specific effort to get the following:
4. The physical address where the student can be found.
5. A phone number if available
6. An email address if available
7. Whether the family is likely to be welcoming to a Christian coming to their home
8. Whether the student is a Christian and if so how long. It would be good to give a little history of the students spiritual condition (what have they heard, have they been responsive, etc..)
9. Finally any other details you think will help the missionary be prepared for the first contact.
10. You can not expect to hear back if you don't give your complete contact information.
While we have missionaries in most of the countries of the world I am sure Mike will let you know if there is not a contact available in the particular location. If he is not able to suggest another group to contact let me know and I will work on it. It is tremendously important we do all in our power to provide support for our International friends when they return home. Some will have a very difficult time.
Finally once you have sent the information get several students to wrap the whole process in prayer for the student and all the missionary personnel that will be involved in follow up on the student about whom you have cared so much.