5 Dietary Differences To Know When Feeding Internationals

Food is an important part of many cultures and religions worldwide. However, there may be many differences between the allowed food on your dining room table and theirs. Learning the dietary restrictions of different religions and cultures can be a recipe for success when feeding international students. More than daily nourishment, food can bring people […]

Serving Internationals Despite Setbacks

Kim has volunteered with IFI in Columbus for years, picking students up from the airport and hosting students in her family’s home. Kim loves doing all these things. In fact, she’s a good picture of what life as an active volunteer can be like, even with health setbacks. Kim has a medical condition that leaves […]

Helping Internationals Get a Grip on American Slang & Idioms

Similar to having a GPS while driving, having an English-speaking friend helps an international student navigate unfamiliar territory while living in the US. Russ Sermon (IFI Columbus staff) states that most international students have three felt needs: to make an American friend to practice their English with an American, and   to be welcomed into […]

Praying Scripture for Internationals

In the introduction to his small but powerful book Handbook to Prayer, Kenneth Boa (1993) states, “Spiritual growth is impossible apart from the practice of prayer… The key to a growing relationship with the personal God of heaven and earth is time invested in speaking to Him in prayer and listening to His voice in […]

Why Telling Your Story is Important

“I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done.” (Psalm 22:22 TLB) When we want to get to know someone, we might ask questions such as where are they from and how did they end up here, what do they […]

Build A “God Box” to Build Faith

Gloria Kelios (IFI Dayton OH staff) uses a “God Box” to remind herself of God’s faithfulness, provision, answered prayers, and healing in her life.  What started 5 years ago as a reminder to herself has now become a vehicle for sharing God’s faithfulness with international students! Gloria’s God Box is a collection of small items […]

Responding Graciously to 8 Baffling Cultural Differences

How do you respond when you are baffled by something your international student does?  Karen Oliver (IFI Columbus staff) offers this advice: “Always think the best of the other person’s motives,” and “Be ready to ascribe different behaviors to different cultural orientations.”  Karen shared one such experience: International guests often take a mug, plate, or […]

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Will My Gift Help or Hurt?

Around Thanksgiving time, many people thank God for the blessings He’s given them and look to pay His gifts forward to causes they believe in. Our giving reflects the heart of our Creator God, who did not withhold even His own Son from us! (Romans 8:32) IFI depends on God to supply everything we need–physically, […]

2 Chinese adults praying

The Importance of Praying with International Families

“By prayer, we couple the powers of heaven to our helplessness… and make the impossible possible.” – O. Hallesby Without prayer, nothing happens—no glory for God, no movement of hearts toward God.  Praying for internationals and their families is powerful, but praying with them requires both the faith that God hears and answers our prayers and […]


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