Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Poor Atlas

Dr. Robert Osborn is the Executive Director of Wilberforce Academy, St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a brother we greatly respect, and Wilberforce Academy is a work our readers should know about. I asked Bob if he would write a post about his work with international students, which he kindly did here. My wife, Kathy, and I have had international students living with us off and on for 40 years. These students have come from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. We have touched many nations through our home and our family. But Bob carries the process much further.

Poor Atlas.

The entire globe was on his shoulders. 

Now, imagine a lever by which you can leverage the future of the nations that span that globe.  And imagine not having to leave your home in the process, but actually having the opportunity to impact the destiny of whole nations from your doorstep.

Welcome to the world of international student ministry and Wilberforce Academy.   While churches invest large amounts of funds to transport families overseas where missionaries often spend years wrestling with major cultural, linguistic and religious obstacles that make sharing the Gospel difficult, God has dropped more than a million international students in North America (and three million elsewhere around the world).  In many cases, the finest brains come to North America because of our renowned universities. 

They are at our doorsteps, waiting for our welcome. Many are open to the Gospel, especially those from Mainland China, which sends the largest percentage of international students (more than 1/3rd of the overall total).

Not only do some of these students find Christ here, but at the Wilberforce Academy we’re also preparing these students to creatively, courageously, skillfully, and intelligently apply a Christian worldview to the challenges facing their societies and workplaces.  We call these students whom we mentor “redemptive change agents,” that is Christ-animated agents of change whose horizons are denominated by the Kingdom and whose academic training, when brought under the yoke of Christ, yields rich fruit.  By the grace of God, we prepare them to be advanced professionals skilled in making known Jesus Christ and His healing balm throughout their nations.

Thangboi has founded two Christian schools in Northwest India, while Emmanuela prepares to depart for Cameroon in 2016 where she will design children’s curricula for Cameroon’s churches and public schools.  Ricardo advocates in Jamaica’s courts for his country’s most vulnerable children.  Nearby in Haiti, Abbel champions a vision for teaching Christian worldview to his people while also managing programs for Compassion International.  In Zimbabwe, Masango teaches conflict resolution skills, while, in Togo, Ameido will very soon arouse the entrepreneurial potential of her country’s young college graduates who now only wait for government jobs.  Kisongo, from his base in Minneapolis, is transforming the church landscape in eastern Congo because of his teaching on a Christian worldview, and, very soon, he hopes to also empower the development of businesses that will create desperately needed wealth.

The world at our doorsteps awaits.  Will you rise up with the love of Christ, and a desire to teach the only worldview that matches the shape of reality?  Will you then train these future leaders who await your hospitality and your friendship, and help them to disciple their nations?

If you do, you will be leveraging what Atlas could only carry.

And you will know blessing unimagined.

For more about Wilberforce Academy click here.