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International Student Ministry in an Urban Environment. Testimonies and principals of thriving in the inner city. Nathan Kwan, Marion Karasiuk , Steve Xu. Contents. Introduction A Map of Toronto Why Toronto? “The Urban Christian” by Bakke, Ray The 10 Principals

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international student ministry in an urban environment

International Student Ministry in an Urban Environment

Testimonies and principals of thriving in the inner city.

Nathan Kwan, Marion Karasiuk, Steve Xu

  • Introduction
  • A Map of Toronto
  • Why Toronto?
  • “The Urban Christian” by Bakke, Ray
  • The 10 Principals
  • Sharing from Three Pastors
  • Resources and Appendix
why toronto
Why Toronto?
  • 300,000 Internationals (Migrants, students, transients) arrive in Toronto each year
  • 50 % and more of the populations of the residence is born from a country other then Canada
  • Pan Am Games is to be Hosted in July 2015
  • Canada is a Diaspora Nation
  • In Canada, 1 in 5 are from another foreign country
  • News Release — Canada welcomes record number of international students in 2012 – on Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Canada to Double down on the amount of foreign students - GlobeandMail
the urban christian
The Urban Christian
  • Bakke, Ray J. The Urban Christian
principals to thrive in inner city work
Principals to Thrive in Inner City Work
  • Nurture your inner life
  • Nurture your marriage
  • Partnerships
  • Tension, Balances and short-term to long-term thinking
  • Maintain Unity in Your Team
  • Learning to say ‘no’
  • Tenacity – sticking in the long run
  • Be Flexible in a Dynamic Environment
the underlying principals
The Underlying Principals
  • Know God
  • Spiritual Warfare
steve xu
Steve Xu
  • Holding Tensions in Balance
  • Learning to Say No
esl ministry in a chinese church 2012
ESL ministry in a Chinese Church(2012-)

Field Trip to Saint Jacob Market in 2013

Toronto Chinese Baptist Church 1967-

English Bible Study(B) in 2014

Sharing and Encouraging in 2014

English Bible Study(A) in 2014

holding tensions in balance
Holding Tensions in Balance
  • Biblical Example

Paul’s ministry (First to Jewish Ministry and then to Gentiles Ministry)

  • Practical Ways
  • Balancing short-term goals and long-term kingdom vision
  • Balancing different ministries with your own focused one
  • Balancing of the cultures in the existing ministry
learning to say no
Learning to Say No
  • Biblical Example

Jesus said no to “people”(John2:23-25)

  • Practical Ways
  • Pray for the Right Words to Respond to the Requests
  • Priority of Multiple Tasks
  • Preach the Gospel but Not Just Feed the Needs
marion karasiuk
Marion karasiuk
  • Nurturing your Marriage
  • Nurturing your inner life
  • Protecting your team-mates

Married, two children

Retired engineer

Husband a retired computer programmer

Anglican, ordained as a deacon

international student ministry
International Student Ministry

‘A Quiet Place’ Outreach Centre

Intersection of University of Toronto campus and Chinatown

In a basement under the local Tim Hortons

On Campus

At Home

Easy subway ride from campus

Field Trips

ministry at a quiet place
Ministry at ‘A Quiet Place’

English Conversation and Cultural Exchange + dinner

ministry at a quiet place2
Ministry at ‘A Quiet Place’

ESL Bible Study + dinner

ministry on campus
Ministry on Campus

Volunteer teacher at campus centre for international students

ministry at home
Ministry at Home

Cooking classes

Family dinners

ministry on field trips
Ministry on Field Trips

Apple Picking

Ice Fishing

Maple Syrup

Cherry Blossoms

nurturing your marriage
Nurturing Your Marriage

Priorities – Realistic vs. Idealistic

Seasons of Marriage – Planning ahead

Everyday Intimacy – Planning the week

Joint Ministry – Boundaries

Our Model – Chaplain, Silent partner

Communication – Praying together

Encouragement – Small group

nurturing your inner life
Nurturing Your Inner Life

Devotion is different from Study

Silence is different from Playing worship music

Sabbath is different from Cramming in some fun

A Retreat is different from A Workshop

protecting your relationships with team mates
Protecting Your Relationships with Team-Mates

Pray together – OK to have an informal leadership meeting too.

Meet together – have formal leadership meetings with minutes.

Value diversity – it’s how the body works

Allow time for diversity – patiently figure out the team God has given you.

Take the same day off.

nathan kwan
Nathan Kwan
  • Partnerships
  • Biblical and Theological Mandate for partnerships
nathan kwan1
Nathan Kwan
  • Born in Ottawa
  • Parents from Hong Kong
  • Graduated from B.Eng in Computers Systems
  • Moved to Toronto for Seminary
  • M.Div from Tyndale in Intercultural studies
  • Christian and Missionary Alliance
  • Started International Student Ministries as a volunteer at People’s Church and ISM, by See Kiat Toh and founder Joseph Sabounji
toronto alliance church and faith in focus
Toronto Alliance Church and Faith in Focus
  • Approaching the problem from a church-plant named Faith in Focus
small beginnings and experimenting
Small Beginnings and Experimenting
  • Hanging out at Coffee Shops and at a Private English School
  • Started volunteering at the International Experience (Foreign Student Office) in their English Conversation Program at University of Toronto
  • Worked with OneMission’sRedFrogs
meet up
Meet Up
  • Tried English Conversation Café from our friend
  • Combine it with social media
  • Went to SOCEM Conference
  • Married Faith in Focus by having the conversation café right before
partnership and tenacity
Partnership and Tenacity
  • Sticking to it – Tenacity
  • Partnerships
    • Theological Reasons
      • Lausanne Covenant in Capetown
      • Koinonia - That means partnership or fellowship
      • Historical Reasons
  • Both parties have a mutual benefit
what does partnership look like
What does partnership look like?
  • Two models of Partnerships
    • Looking At Each Other
      • Prayer, sharing, unity and meetings
      • i.e. Ministeriums, associations, joint prayer groups
    • Looking At One Direction
      • Reduce inefficiencies
      • “What we can do together that we can’t do apart”
      • I.e. Billy Graham crusades, Red Frogs, prayer movements, volunteering at community meals

We must do these activities. We can’t be too busy. “We are Better Together”

examples of partnerships
Examples of Partnerships
  • Meeting regularly for prayer and sharing
  • Offering workshops for re-tooling that are beneficial for all parties
  • Asking the other person to step into each other ministry or work together
  • Going to the others ministry to take a look, assist and make friendships with international students
  • Going out to dinner with each others students together
  • Going out to each others events or activities i.e. Christmas performances, Cherry Blossoms, Maple Syrup Bush, Icefishing, and Niagara Falls
  • God wants us to not just survive but to thrive
  • Remember the principals and the underlying principals
recommended resources
Recommended Resources

Partnership Resources

    • Prayer in a City
    • Tim Keller talk in Lausanne Capetown on Why Urban Cities Matter


  • Kairos Course
  • MissioNexus -
  • Diaspora Research

Working in Multicultural teams

  • Perceptions of working relationships among multicultural members in international mission agencies: a languaculturalanalysis by Dr. Jonathan Kim

ESL Resources

  • SOCEM – Southern Ontario Co-op ESL Ministries

Spiritual Renewal

  • “Life Together” by Dietriech Bonhoeffer
  • CS Lewis
  • Pilgrims Progress
  • James Houston, Prayer
  • Unity Verses:
    • Ps 133, Heb 13, Eph 4:3, John 17, Ph 2:14, 4:8,
    • Titus 3:9-11, Matt 18:15-17, 5:19

Why Partnerships?

    • God’s apologetics is unity
    • Partnership makes sense when you try to accomplish something you cannot do on your own
    • The three C’s of partnership – connection, collaboration and communication
appendix lausanne covenant on unity
Appendix – Lausanne Covenant on Unity
  • We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church's mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God's cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God's people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.
  • (John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)
  • We affirm that the Church's visible unity in truth is God's purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organisational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church's mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.
  • (John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)
  • We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelise belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A reevaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ's Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church's mission.
  • (Rom. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3, I Thess. 1:6-8)
  • More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelised. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church.
appendix using meet up
Appendix – Using Meet Up
  • Meet Up is a social media tool that many international students use to find social events in the city. (
  • Meet-up connects events and people together. People search for the events they want to visit and they are connected with the events in their geographic area. It also notifies them of events that they are interested. 
  • Internationals use the Internet because it contains a wealth of information in their language and in English and they use it to keep in contact with their home. They can easily translate English web-sites into their own native language using google translate. 
  • The church members speak English because of their roots. They are most ideal to be the teachers and the bridge builders into the international community and the rest of the culture. The church plays a unique role in sharing the truth, not only in the language but also the truth in scripture. 
  • This is thinking outside the box
appendix toronto facts and stats
Appendix – Toronto Facts and Stats
  • MINT numbers in Canada/ GTA
  • According to this website - - about 50,000 people from 32 countries come into Canada annually for working holiday visas. Most of these end up in the GTA.
  • According to this chart from StatCan,, Ontario had 101,000 new immigrants in Jul 2011- Jun 2012 (118,000 in 2010). Of these, 92,000 landed in Toronto -
  • According to this website ,, in 2010 – Toronto had 50,000 of the 85,000 foreign students that came to Ontario.
  • According to this,, Toronto had 36,000 of the 58,000 refugees in Ontario.
  • According to this, there were 182,000 foreign workers in Canada in 2010. 30,000 of them were in Toronto, see
  • See this overall chart – 661,000 MINT peoples in Canada in 2010 -
  • At least 300,000 MINT peoples in Toronto each year!!!
appendix terms
Appendix - Terms
  • UoT – University of Toronto
  • TCBC – Toronto Chinese Baptist Church
  • TAC – Toronto Alliance Church
  • AQP – A Quiet Place – A church-plant of ANIC –
  • ANIC – Anglican Network in Canada
  • C&MA – Christian and Missionary Alliance
appendix web sites and links
Appendix (Web-Sites and Links)
  • UoTMowat Report by Public Policy Institute -
  • ThisToronto and OneMissionon Facebook
  • SOCEM –
  • - promotion via social media
  • www. - Toronto Alliance Church church plant
  • - Toronto Chinese Baptist Church
  • Christ the Redeemer (A Quiet Place)
  • Toronto’s History – See Toronto the Good articles etc.