God has sent people from all over the world into our neighborhoods and cities. Many of them come from countries where they did not have the freedom to learn about the Bible and salvation through Jesus. We need to know who lives near us, what they have gone through, and how we can help. We have the privilege of showing them God's love.
Discover the Unreached Near You
You can find out what ethnic groups live in a North American metro area near you by searching Peoplegroups.info. For other countries you may just need to do an internet search for immigrants, refugees, and international students in your area and compare them to unreached people groups in the websites below.
Here is how to get the most out of your search:
Another excellent site is Global Gates. They have many infographics that you can use to help others know about this huge mission field here at home.
You will be startled to find many groups that have only 1% or even a zero percentage of Christians among them. Learn lots more about unreached people groups at the following sites:
Meet the Unreached in Your Neighborhood
Once you know what ethnic groups in your area come from countries where there are very few followers of Jesus, you can look for excellent places to meet them in your city. Often you will find grocery stores and restaurants that cater to their food preferences. You may find certain areas of town where they congregate.
Find refugees in your town
Refugees who have just arrived in your metro area have special challenges and needs. They are especially open to new friendships.
Search the internet under “Refugee Resettlement Agency" for those those who are serving refugees every day. Find and call the agencies that are working in your area. Ask them where refugees are coming from and what their needs are. Find out what volunteers can do to help. You will also find many ideas at this website under Help Tangibly.
Find International Students
Look up colleges, universities, and high schools. Ask to talk to the International Student Advisor to find out which countries the students come from. Ask them how a volunteer can help. Learn more at this website under Befriend International Students
Prayerfully Watch for Internationals
Talk to people you meet in the grocery stores, donut shops, and apartment complexes who look like they may be from another country. Find a way to be friendly and learn about their backgrounds.
Pray for God to guide you to those He would like you to befriend. The story of Philip and the Ethiopian is an excellent reminder of how much God delights to connect seekers with believers (see Acts 8:26-40).
Enjoy Making New Friendships
It is so fun to make new friends with people of other cultures. They see things from different angles. They help us experience life in new ways. Getting to know them is more fun than discovering a delicious food, exploring a newly opened mall, or finding an unexplored path where you see cardinals and tiger lilies for the first time.
Besides the fun of new friendships, many internationals have a different religion than ours. We learn fascinating things as we explore their values and our own more deeply. When we build international friendships, we will have the privilege of sharing with them the beauty of Jesus and the rich wealth of truth that is in the Bible.
But where do we start? How do we find and get acquainted with people of other cultures? They’re right around us. Pray for God’s guidance, try the conversations and activities below and you’ll build some wonderful new friendships, perhaps even for eternity.