Growing and expanding!
International Fellowship has been in a tremendous season of growth this year. In addition to our Kansas City and Springfield presence we have a well established team at the University of Arkansas!
Nadia Somers, our team leader in Kansas City, has been pouring into the international friends and hosting the weekly dinner and discussion nights. Her roommates are from the Middle East and east Asia and, they are in the home that the discussions and weekly meals are taking place. One of her roommates has become a believer and is growing and taking on more responsibility within International Fellowship.
It was a summer of development in Kansas City! Our Springfield leader Hannah Kassing spent the summer encouraging and helping recruit and build the KC team. Hannah and Nadia took students from East Asia on a camping/ farm retreat in Iowa where they spent time deepening fellowship and reading scripture together and had a great response. The two also recruited a new international leader from within the IF community. He is Southeast Asian and has been involved with International Fellowship for two years. Praising God for the new connection and excited to see how God will grow him and our KC team through this relationship!
Food is always a central part of our gatherings. We have been grateful to Laurie Patterson for coordinating a food prep day, “chop day,” for the dinner and discussion nights. It has been a big time saver and a great way to come around our team so that they can be freed up to do their job well. If anyone in KC would like to help Laurie in these efforts please contact the KC office.
Nick and Rachel Parker are our stellar team leaders in Springfield. If you have not had a chance to meet them we hope you will soon! Nick and Rachel are from the states but they actually met in East Asia. They have a passion for reaching the nations for Jesus and have a solid background in cross-cultural ministry. They were a natural fit for leadership with IF and have been serving now as team leaders for the past three months. It has been an answered prayer for the team! We have been able to expand in new directions because of this leadership addition. This had enabled me to focus on IF as a whole and invest more time toward the development of the new Fayetteville team.
The Springfield team currently has 11 leaders from 5 different nations pouring into students from the MSU and Drury campuses. They have two different weekly reading options. We have had joyful baptisms this year in Springfield, have seen a Muslim friend come to faith and others drawing close to him. We are looking forward to what God has to come! We are praising God for the Christ-centered culture that is being experienced by our international community there.
Our Chop Days have been led by our friend Vicki Wetzel and have been sponsored by First and Calvary church near the MSU campus. Their commercial kitchen has been a huge help to us and they are allowing us to continue using this space on an ongoing basis.
International Fellowship has been at the University of Arkansas since this July. We have the use of a house near campus to meet and house leaders and international students. Alyssa Khors and Christine Minickey were recruited to move from Springfield to Fayetteville to help launch IF on the U of A campus. By the time the fall semester started our leaders were trained and in place and we had roommates living alongside them from East Asia.
Fellowship Bible Church has partnered with us and helped to recruit international students. This was a tremendous asset in helping us recruit internationals. We now have 30-40 international students reading scripture with us every week. These students come from 23 different nations. There are believing college students who are also attending and wanting to be trained and mentored in this process. We will have two reading options available for students for the Spring semester. We are truly grateful at how God has gotten this ministry up and running so quickly.
Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement! You have been a part in making all of this possible. Please continue to pray for our relationships with students and open hearts. The nations are hearing about Him. Praise Jesus!
Director of International Fellowship