A Hungry Student Cannot Hear the Gospel

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:15-17 NIV

When Michael was unable to come to a Christmas dinner because he was inundated with projects, my wife and I packed the turkey and trimmings and drove in the cold Montreal winter to deliver a warm meal. Meeting immediate and physical needs opens the door to meeting deeper, eternal needs. It did for Michael. In the classic words of William Booth, “You cannot warm the hearts of people with God’s love if they have an empty stomach and cold feet.”

The first time it really struck me that ISMC needed a benevolent fund to help with the practical and urgent needs of international students was when an Iranian student in Winnipeg almost dropped out of school because things had unexpectedly gone bad. Coming from an honor-shame culture, I could imagine the heart-wrenching deliberation she had gone through before mustering the courage to approach me for help. Fortunately, we were in a position to bless her with the tuition fees she needed. She now has a heart wide open to the gospel.

Jesus, knowing this, began a conversation over literal water with a broken woman who needed the eternal water of salvation. That conversation led to eternal life for the Samaritan woman and her whole town (John 4).

We at ISMC are so proud of our staff and volunteers who have extended Jesus-inspired kindness during this trying COVID season, from offering accommodation and providing meals and mental health support, to delivering care packages. What is the use of preaching the gospel to men whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive?” William Booth asked, echoing the apostle James’ question above (James 2:15-17).

Will you invest in the ISMC Benevolent Fund to meet the needs of international students, especially in these COVID times? Your practical kindness will touch eternal needs, as your gifts open doors for students to experience the gospel in action.

Thank you for your benevolence, in Jesus’ name.

Yaw Perbi
ISMC President

Fundraising for staff salary goals includes salary needs, ministry expenses, and an 11% administration fee.

Donations are receipted only for staff and projects approved by the governing board. Designated gifts are used for the purpose for which they are given; when that given need is met, excess funds are used where needed most.

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