ST. LOUIS—Habakkuk 1:5 states, “Behold ye among the nations, and look, and wonder marvelously; for I am working a work in your days, which ye will not believe though it be told you.”
As an International Student specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), Ed Moncada has been living this passage in all his adult Christian life. Recently though, his International Student Ministry (ISM) has been picking up steam to a point where the gains are becoming more noticeable.
“We have this Indonesian guy who was saved through our ISM in January 2006 who continues to produce fruits for the Kingdom,” Moncada said. “We have a Chinese researcher, who is a relatively new believer, who shared his testimony in front of hundreds of our Missouri Baptist collegiate campus missionaries and students during our recent Getaway 2010 Conference. We have just recently witnessed the birth of a Chinese church at the Baptist Student Union in Missouri State University in Springfield. It’s like experiencing what I call the Ephesians WOW moment every day.”
Now things are going to another level. The Baptist Collegiate Network (BCNet) is challenging Moncada and his trainee, Alex Soetjipto, to do a national project by co-leading a national conference in the spring of 2011 for International Students from colleges and universities from all over the country.
The idea emerged out the recent BCNet 2010 Conference in Chicago, when the network of Baptist collegiate missionaries, directors, and volunteers showed faith in Missouri’s leaders by granting them the responsibility. Soetjipto, who is now the North American Mission Board (NAMB) International church planter assigned to the MBC in St. Louis, is expected to step up into this new role and bring in many Internationals.
“I am still amazed by how the Holy Spirit has been working in this guy’s life,” Moncada said, “from organizing his community’s activity involving the high-ranking government officials of his native country to bringing together some local leaders in St. Louis in the context of his Christian church planting ministry, this guy is definitely one of the very special fruits of our International Student ministry.”
Soetjipto said he proposed the conference with Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) in mind.
“If every International on campuses all over the U.S. who have been saved through the work of our BCMs are to get together to contribute their wisdom, their ideas, and their experiences to make the ministry work of those BCMs more efficient and effective, then our Southern Baptist Convention will become the most dynamic powerhouse of the International Student Christian movement in the country,” Soetjipto said.
The MBC’s three new core values—becoming disciples, developing leaders, and missional living—will be on display in the national conference, all from the perspective of International Students.
“We plan to have one-on-one mentoring activities between youth pastors from our local churches in St. Louis with some selected International Students,” Moncada said. “We plan to have some of these International Students working together with the field workers in the homeless ministry, in the shelter for abused women ministry, and in the prison ministry while they are participating in the conference. At the end we will ask them to electronically record their insights and their interesting experiences for us to post as an MP3 or as a video file on our website.”
Moncada said he is praying that many Missouri Baptist churches will support the conference. He also is asking for much prayer help in terms of logistics.
“Please pray for me and Alex,” he said. “Pray for these International Students and for our campus missionaries and volunteers in our universities and colleges all over the country.”