oday, there are about 8 billion people in the world. Some 5.5 billion1 of them aren’t Christian. That’s the population of the United States more than 16 times over! According to the Joshua Project, 87 percent of all Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists have limited, if any, contact with a Christian.2

The 5.5 billion non-Christians make up 68 percent of the world’s population. Can we really reach the world?

One approach Ellen White proposed was, “If we were quick in discerning the opening providences of God, we should be able to see in the multiplied opportunities to reach many foreigners in America a divinely appointed means of rapidly extending the third angel’s message into all the nations of earth. God in His providence has brought men to our very doors and thrust them, as it were, into our arms, that they might learn the truth, and be qualified to do a work we could not do in getting the light before men of other tongues” (Evangelism, p. 570). 

The principle here could apply to church members in any country receiving refugees, immigrants, or other international guests. Show hospitality and friendship to people who have recently arrived, are far from friends and family, and may face multiple challenges. Share your faith as you share your friendship, and let them share what they’ve learned with their networks back in their homelands! 


Seven Ways to Reach Out to Refugees, Immigrants, and Other International Guests 

Search online for ethnic groceries and restaurants. Visit them to meet people from the groups in your area and ask them about their food and culture to get acquainted.

Help immigrant children with their homework/education. One of the areas in which refugees and immigrant parents feel most helpless is finding tutoring and good role models for their children.

Invite an international student or refugee family to your home for a meal. “75% of international students will never enter an American home while in the United States.”1 It’s not much different for refugees, asylum seekers, and other persecuted guests. Help change that statistic. 

Offer to volunteer with a refugee resettlement agency welcoming new refugees. (Google “refugee resettlement agency” in your city.) Ask how you can help.

Volunteer for the Literacy Council, or start a language or citizenship class. You don’t have to be a trained teacher. Just share what you know and be a friend.

Invite a refugee to share their experience with a small group of friends from your church. One of the things refugees and international guests crave most is friendships with people from their host country.

Pray that God will lead you to a refugee/asylum seeker/international student or guest whom you can welcome. 

These “random” divine appointments are often the best! 

Ellen White wrote, “All heaven is in activity, and the angels of God are waiting to cooperate with the human agent who will devise plans whereby the souls for whom Christ died may hear the glad tidings of salvation.”2

Earley Simon Office of Adventist Mission