Doorways to the Kingdom:
The Transformation of
Friends of International Students Fellowship (FIS)
To A Missionary Congregation
TABLE OF CONTENTS--( MT 522 Local Congregation as Mission, Fall, 2000)
II. The Macro--System of FIS.......................................................................................................3
III. FIS as the “ Doorways to the Kingdom” .............................................................................6
C-2. Ambassadors of Reconciliation .........................................................................................11
C-3. The Salt of the Earth.....................................................................................................12
C- 4. Earthen Vessels Filled With the Pearls of the Gospel..................................................13
V. Missional Implications............................................................................................................14
“Doorways to the Kingdom” is the word I chose for my congregation-- Friends of
International Students Fellowship (FIS) at the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California. As the
number of International Students grows to over 700,000 in the United States, there is a growing
voice on the colleges and universities of America, which is that of the emerging International
students. The Christian community continues to struggle with how to reach them. Some
missiologists even consider theses students as a hidden people group. Campus ministry groups
such as InterVarsity, the Navigators, and Campus Crusade for Christ have concluded that
changes in ministry approaches are necessary to effectively reach this growing population.
The thesis of this paper is that in order to build and emerge its “Doorways to the
Kingdom”, FIS needs to transform this “Body of Christ” to a missional congregation via
reaching the goals of Friendship Evangelism networking. This paper includes four major
sections. The first section: the Macro-Systems of FIS. The second section equates FIS as the
“Doorways to the Kingdom”. The subsections of the “Five Functions of Home Setting and the
Five Roles of Priest, Prophet, King, Healer and Liberator are followed by the Four Images: A
Letter of Christ, Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Salt and the Earthen Vessel with the Pearls of
the Gospel. The third section of “Missional Implications” includes Goals Towards Friendship
Evangelism Network; Outreach with A Missionary Mentality; Plan For a Bottom-Up Missional
Congregation; Define Success--A Model for the Global Campus Ministry: Home and Family. I
then conclude with reflection and some evaluation thoughts.
II. THE MACRO--SYSTEM OF FIS
FIS is a small group of Bible study structured by “Ethnic Ministry
Teams”. The leader of FIS at the Caltech campus, Thomas Hall, on staff in
the Campus Crusade, is really excited about providing generational
opportunity from Caltech Chinese Students to witness to their visiting
parents from Mainland China. Varying situations result in great contrasts of
life or death. However, when the students’ parents visit. For example, one
Chinese couple in August 2000 came to Christ and happily returned to
China. In contrast, the suicide rate of Chinese widows who came to visit
students sons is unusually high. One couple came to Christ in August 2000
and has since returned to China. However, September 14, 2000, Los Angels
Times reported on “Why More Elderly Asian Women Kill Themselves.”
The high suicide rate among women is caused by extreme social changes
and depression, loneliness and despair.
With the diversity of the International Student population, FIS realizes
that they must be flexible to the cultural context, and yet still adhere to God's
Word. Members of FIS are learning about the complexity of the
International Student's soul, and how to address the issues of these with the
practicality of God's Word and the Person of Jesus Christ. Therefore,
“Doorways to the Kingdom” is the word I chose for FIS to rethink the
purpose of its existence and its missional role in God’s Kingdom.
Most of the International Students have adopted America as their second homeland. On
the one hand, they have come to receive higher education to improve their living standards and
climb to the social-economic ladder. Many of them work and study hard to make this American
“dream” come true. For them, higher educations (most pursue the Ph. D. or post Doctoral
studies at Caltech) has provided a pathway for them to make it to the top. On the other hand,
although they have a strong identification with America, many cultural values are still imbedded
their homeland. Most of the International Students live in the surrounding areas near Caltech,
belong to the same professional clubs, enjoy the same pastimes and stayed connected with other
International Students. They share similar worldviews and values about themselves, religious
beliefs, materialistic goals, family, marriage, etc. FIS recognized that sometime ago to teach
English as second language to reach these students for Jesus Christ was an important bridge.
While most of the students from Mainland China have decided “to try out” life in what appears
to be a newly emerging Chinese–American subculture, they have a deep heart cry is noted by
Fuller Theological Seminary Doctoral student Kenneth James Uyeda Fong::
There is the aforementioned desire to make the most out of being in
this land of opportunity. So we work hard and study hard. But in order
to make it here, we feel we must fit in to larger societal scheme of
things, to be accepted as equals. With mixed feelings, we see this
happening naturally as we encourage ourselves to compete on the
‘level of playing field’ of school and the professions. Yet there is also
some residual pride in our ethnic heritage that many of us do not want
to lose. We are uncomfortable with the prospect of becoming a
‘banana’, i.e. yellow on the outside but white on the inside. But we
also know that in many eyes and yellow complexions will keep us
from being fully accepts as American, so why try? However, to live
mainly within our Asian community’s cliques causes us to be criticized
for not trying to blend in to the larger American scene. Sometimes it
feels as if we cannot win for losing (Fong 1990:73).
FIS is comprised of Caucasian American, Taiwanese Chinese and Chinese Caltech
students who volunteer with FIS. There are four full-time workers, Thomas and Carmen as the
group leaders, and ten volunteer team members, including three Chinese Caltech students, and
more than five volunteer language partners whose recruitment was largely through the “Mission
Conference-World Focus” weekend at Lake Avenue Congregation Church in Pasadena. These
followers of Jesus Christ are committed to reach Chinese students on the Caltech campus during
the week with the Gospel, as well as to encourage in their faith and minister to others.
FIS believe that God has called them and gifted them, and that God will accomplish His
purpose. The values that FIS embraces are: developing leaders, evangelism, faith, love, reliance
on the Holy Spirit and team unity. Fellowship is part of the ministry seeking to meet the
physical, social, and spiritual needs of International Students in the context of genuine love and
hospitality. Besides sharing the Friday evening meal together, FIS provides a regular Friday night
meeting of studying English and the Bible together in the staff leader’s home. This is also a
context for leadership training International Students Christians and a time to know life’s
Most of the students who attend FIS meetings are not Christians. Some are studying the
Bible for the very first time. To give the students time to know who Jesus is and consider His
claims in their lives is a vital facet of FIS. Therefore, in the meeting, they would not ask
questions such as “Are you a Christian?” , “How long have you been a Christian?” To be a good
listener during the group discussion is important. FIS wants the students to be encouraged to
share and interact. The students are given opportunities to answer clear questions without haste.
III. FIS AS THE “ DOORWAYS TO THE KINGDOM”
“Doorways to the Kingdom” is the word I chose for FIS in terms of its uniqueness in the
perspective of teaching, hospitality, worship and fellowship. In the Old Testament Jehovah God
commanded that "The stranger who dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and
you shall love him as yourself." (Lev.19:34). In the News Testament Jesus' words to his disciples
days before his death reinforced this: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat .I was
thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed
clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to
visit me” (Mat. 25:35,36). Again in the Old Testament, one reads: “Blessed is the man who
listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway “ ( Ps. 8:33-35 ).
According to the Encyclopedia of Religion, the definition of “Doorways” is:
Doorways could become a locus of concentrated architectural
symbolism. It is a space framed to called attention to spatial
transition, thus it has characteristics of both a path and a space. A
doorway often separates a sacred precinct from a profane one, or
regulated from an unregulated zone, it is both a termination and a
beginning. As a structure that is both inside and outside the same
zone, and one that attracts dangerous as well as beneficent forces,
it is a site of considerable ambivalence. The widespread, cross-
cultural separation, elaboration, and multiplication of doorways
suggest that their importance far exceeds their two most obvious
functions, namely regulating traffic and providing military defense.
. . . Virtually any vessel of transition, such as a mother’s body,
becomes a doorway. Unlike the bridge and symbolic vagina, the
doorway emphasizes royally authorized security rather than
shamanistically induced risk (Eliade 1987: 452-453).
FIS has become the melting pot of both the East and the West, “Doorways to the
Kingdom”, and must be careful of syncretism. The importance and meaning of doorways for
FIS is not only architectural but also ritualistic. The large –scale doorway rites in the West have
been royal,— Ceremonies of FIS, such as eating, teaching, worshipping are for greeting the
royalty of the King of Kings. The intentions of the participants in FIS seems to have been to
purify and protect, as well as to celebrate and elevate.
FIS is to be the Body of Christ that is a loving Koinonia fellowship, a life of community,
a kerygmatic proclamation that Jesus is Lord, a sharing with those in need through a loving
diaconal ministry all brought about marturia—a powerful witness to the Church’s missionary
nature. FIS witness to the fact that Jesus is alive and that he is the head of the body, the Church,
through loving koinonia fellowship, through confession that Jesus is Lord, and through actions of
diaconal service. FIS is to be a reconciled community who witnesses to the possibility of
reconciliation in an alienated world (Van Engen 1991: 97).
Five Functions of Home Setting
As the regular FIS Friday meeting is in a home setting, FIS becomes the center of
religious instruction as in the Old Testament period, a practice which was clearly carried through
into the New Testament era also. This family-oriented community of faith did not exist in
isolation but was influenced by its social context. Therefore, FIS becomes a community engaged
in the religious, commercial, cultural, and political urban centers. This center is characterized by
two fundamental forms of communication: mass communication which reflects the public sphere
of urban life and personal communication which reflects the private sphere (Hadaway 1987:39).
The pastoral functions of FIS as the urban centers of this home gathering, may be
summarized as: 1. didache—the teaching; 2. koinonia—the fellowship; 3. liturgy—the worship;
4. diakonia,-- the ministry; 5. kerygma—the proclamation.
The first three functions are more inward in the deepest elements of communal life in the
family of God. The didactic FIS could be best performed in this family setting because the nature
of the teachings are centered in the Gospel itself. The koinoiac FIS -- the household of God--
was best able to express itself in the hospitality and fellowship of the Christian home. The
liturgical FIS, as the Lord’s Supper developed, (and as it later came to be linked with the agape
meal ), the home was the most appropriate setting for this practice. The common table, in the
center of the room with the community encircling it, gave this religious observance a powerful
family and communal orientation. Breaking bread from house to house was the symbol of their
The fourth function of FIS is diakonia— a servant community, sent to minister to the
total needs of International Students. As Christ was sent by the Father ( Jn. 17:18; 20:21), so is
FIS. And its mission to minister to students’ need. This ministry is both within the community
and without. The kerygmatic FIS reflects the heart of New Testament evangelism. Proclamation,
therefore, reflects the outward expression of FIS and is central to its missional nature (Hadaway
1987: 60-61). Author Kirk Hadaway also writes that the more inward function (teaching,
fellowship, and worship) are inherently related to each other, as are the more outward functions
(ministry and proclamation). The dynamic, which made FIS the same as the early church such a
vital and effective community of faith is its rootage in the homes (1987: 60-61).
A healthy congregation should have members involved in all four functions -- Diakonia,
Koinonia, Martyria, Kerygma simultaneously. However, since there have been more martyrs in
the 20th Century than in all other centuries combined, so FIS needs to prepare International
Students first to be willing to suffer, and second, to know why they are suffering. They also need
to know how to give an answer in order to avoid unnecessary suffering. So, the word for the
function of FIS to be emphasized is Martyria. Just as in Acts Christian were to be God’s witness
in “Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth” (Ac. 1:8 and this happened
because of persecution, so Christians today need to face this issue( class note).
Five Roles -- Priest, Prophet, King, Healer and Liberator
FIS in its missionary outreach fully when there is increasing participation in FIS’ being-in-
the world through koinonia, kerygma, diakonia, and martyria. FIS as “Doorways to the
Kingdom” cannot bring itself in the Kingdom, only the King can do that. What FIS can do is to
proclaim to gather, and to grow in expectation of that day when all “will bow the knee and
confess with the lips that Jesus is Lord” ( Phil. 2:10) (Van Engen 1991:89).
The role of FIS in the world needs to recognize with Christ’s “office” as Prophet, Priest,
and King three major kinds of ministry presented in the Old Testament. A further role is that FIS
is an apostolate received from, guided by, and patterned after the mission of Jesus. FIS cannot be
fully be the Body of Christ, the people of God, unless it ministers in the world. Clergy and laity
alike, fellowship and institution together, must give concrete expression to the nature of the
Church specifically and specially through the ministries described in the three offices, or other
possible words such as healer and liberator to the new comers.( Van Engen 1991: 112, 126). By
this way of doing mission, the one holy catholic and apostolic church of FIS could be hold
together inspite of circling around the dual world-church schizophrenia (Van Engen 2000: 23).
Four Missional Images
FIS as Doorways to the Kingdom is to be a sign of salvation in the midst of humanity. To
live as a sign is to live a life of continuous dialogue—not only by our words but also by our
attitudes. Christian morality is lived with an attitude of “wholeness”. FIS, as a result of
fulfilling the five functions, the five roles, is to create a response to wholeness. The images in
the paradigm of wholeness, FIS as the Doorways to the Kingdom look likes the following: 1) a
letter from Christ ; 2) Ambassador of Reconciliation ; 3) the Salt of the Earth and; 4) the Earthen
Vessel of the Flower.
C-1. A Letter From Christ
Paul's thoughts on how the Body of Christ comes into existence and the purpose for
which it is created is that it is not self-enclosed or turned inward. The message of the Gospel is
written in heart "to be known and read by all" ( 2 Co. 3:2-3). Since the sender is Christ, the ink
is "the Spirit of the Living God"; the words are inscribed on " tablets of human hearts". FIS,
therefore must have a message as intended as a testimony outward to the authenticity of the
message “apostleship” and its delivery (Minear 1960:29).
C-2. Ambassadors of Reconciliation
How can FIS, as the Doorways to the Kingdom, significantly to a company of exiles
such as International Students, be ambassadors outside of that community?
FIS could enlarge their vision as they share God’s love for the world to other groups who need to
know Koinonia. FIS live in the world as in God’s embassy, proclaiming His reconciliation,
entrusted with the authority of His commission. As such FIS are God's ambassadors of
Reconciliation (II Cor. 5:11-20).
An embassy is a piece of the home country located in another country. God’s love
compels FIS, so that’s why FIS need to ask what Jesus wants FIS to do. Secondly, FIS is a New
Creation, the embassy is different from the country where it’s located. Thirdly, FIS needs to be
reconciled to self, each other, creation, and God. Then, when someone approaches one of the
FIS International Students other than Friday evening gathering asks: “where are they?” The
answer is “Inside the embassy. “ Thus, they are inside the Kingdom of God or “approaching” the
Kingdom of God ( class lecture). There is a picture an ambassador who is accredited in chains,
which corresponds to the paradox of a citizen who is an alien. “ I am in chains now for preaching
this message from God..” ( Eph. 6:20).
For the Apostle Paul may have had in mind the unique work that had been reserved for
the apostles. God sent the Messiah, the Messiah sent apostles, and all whom they called were
“sent”. There is one destination of FIS as the Doorways to the Kingdom which is the world.
"Mission" is a word that spans the total distance between God and the world’s salvation.
The whole dynamic of the life of FIS maybe conveys as by this single word—Mission (Minear
C-3. The Salt of the Earth
There are such issues as suffering and persecution for righteousness’ sake in the world.
That is why the Saltiness is a necessary ingredient in “ Mission”, to include FIS. In Luke 14:34
Salt seems to signify the necessity for the disciples to be ready to sacrifice everything.
Additionally, it appears to express the harmony and peace required among those who are
disciples, although the analogy is also used as a warning in Mark 9:50. "You are the salt of the
earth” (Matt. 5:13) is the image of FIS’ ecclesiological being. It is typical that in addressing his
followers as a single unit Jesus indicated its function in the world ( Minear 1960:29).
This setting specifies the personnel involved. These settings of “suffering and
persecution” suggest that the life of FIS, because of a political, societal or economic situation,
could lose its saltiness and decline—especially those Chinese students from the Third World,
who are already suffering. Salt easily loses its “saltiness” and there is s declared “ good for
nothing”. Therefore, FIS as Doorways to the Kingdom needs top be about to the vitality of
The question may be asked: “ Where is FIS on Monday morning?” The answer should
be the International Students are out being Salt. If the Christians of FIS decided to change
Caltech, Pasadena, they could do it. Then, how do FIS get Salt? From Matthew 5-8 the
following is stated: Being salty ( 5:3-12 ). It permeates ( 5:13-20 ); it purifies ( 5:21-48 ); it
preserves ( 6:1-7-27 ); it heals ( 8:1-34 ). So FIS can’t keep waiting to be purified within before
going out. The more FIS tries, the more it putrefies, and becomes a swamp rather than an out-
flowing river. So if Salt in the shaker, how can the world know what it tastes like? “They will
see your good works.” Salt also implies diffusion, not just for taste, but also for preserving and
healing (class note).
C- 4. Earthen Vessels Filled With the Pearls of the Gospel
In contrast to Salt and its loss of usefulness and power, the unique characteristics, and
gifting of FIS, and its own contribution to Mission, by God’s grace they can reach more and
more people. FIS as Doorways to the Kingdom does not only exist for International Students
within God’s Kingdom, but it is for those who are not in the Kingdom. Most amazing is that FIS
as Earthen Vessel is not professional or career missionaries but portable. FIS as portable
Earthen Vessel could be the model for other campus ministries globally. As FIS begins to flower,
the Gardener, (Holy Spirit) will empower FIS to go to and meet the needs of other groups. When
FIS as the Doorways to the Kingdom is “placed among another group of people, they are more
and more causing thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. This is mission from being, not
from command, or from “ought”. This pot with flowers growing is FIS, and as FIS becomes this
vessel, FIS become a missional congregation. The result is that more and more people will
rejoice in thanksgiving to the glory of God (class note).
Thus, the missionary intention of FIS would be: being from the world of its own
cultural background, identification with the oppressed, mission, proclaiming witness, desiring
numerical growth (Van Engen 1991:70). If FIS were truly to live out as “ the Doorways to the
Kingdom” in terms of the four images previously noted, both inside and outside. Their
interactions in the total system would enlarge and expand their mission. FIS leader, Thomas
Hall, said that FIS should be able to see God “raise up” International Student disciples
committed to reaching their peers with the Gospel. In addition, they would be equipped labors
as to be sent out wherever God takes them. When FIS is in Mission, it is healed and sent. It
becomes a river, not a swamp. It would be like a light bulb plugged into the source of energy.
The darkness of the world would be driven away by the light, and the power of that could be
ministry anytime, anywhere, by anybody in this Quantum Age. Surely, it requires the personal
commitment of FIS to transform Caltech campus in Pasadena, and Los Angeles and California
and to the ends of the world. Yet, this is a time to make goals for the future because everything is
in flux. This is a time for action.
V. MISSIONAL IMPLICATIONS
Instead of being afraid or ashamed of culture, FIS must see that God has always chosen
to work within the limitations that culture poses. The homogeneous unit principle is a fact of life
and one that naturally comes into play when one approaches evangelism with a Mission
mentality. Culture need not be branded as something inherently evil. Down through the
corridors of history, God has shown that He can and does work within culture’ strengths instead
of its limitations--especially to save unreached people groups (Fong 1990: 47). Love and
compassion are needed within and without one’s culture to reach others interculturally.
Therefor when FIS set the goals towards the building and emergence of the “Doorways to
the Kingdom” its strength and outreach must come from the following sections: goals, outreach
and plan. Then FIS will be a model for global campus ministry.
Goals Towards Friendship Evangelism Network
God is working through FIS. In terms of concrete goal setting, friendship evangelism
networking might be targeted by FIS to begin to emerge toward “becoming” Doorways to the
Kingdom. I interviewed Thomas Hall who is currently enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary
and majors in the leadership track of Intercultural Studies at School of World Mission.
Currently, FIS connected with over 50 new students in the Fall of
2000. There are various avenues of serving them, such as American
Friendship Partners, In Home Holiday Dinners, and two Talks
related to American culture, and weekly conversational English
class.” FIS has a great opportunity to give more students this year
to say ‘yes’ to both hearing a presentation of the Gospel and also
saying ‘Yes to Jesus.’ People can see an increase in laborers for the
harvest. And in terms of evangelism, people are hearing the Gospel
through weekly evangelistic Bible Studies, one-on-one[sharing],
and through the use of the Jesus Film ( Email Interview).
Furthermore, he points out that FIS is gaining a favorable group identity with students at
Caltech. There is a greater openness to FIS and its activities. However, there are some issues
which need to be done in terms of leadership development, planning and prayer. Thomas
evaluates that so far, the gifts and tasks of this "Body of Christ" is an area that is still being
assessed. He said, “as people are taking on various responsibilities, God is making us more
aware of people's giftedness.” Also, he senses that FIS lacks an intentional plan to develop
staff/volunteers and student leaders. An awareness among the whole team needs to cultivate a
commitment to prayer and expecting great things from God. For him personally, the most
valuable ministry lesson from FIS that he has learned is that FIS needs to rely on God and not
just methods and ministry philosophy. As Jesus said,
“. . . the greatest love is shown when a person lay down his life for
his friends; and you are my friends if you obey me, I no longer call
you slaves, for a master doesn’t confided in his slaves; now you
are my friends, proved by the fact that I have told you everything
the Father told me (Jn. 15:13-15 Living Bible).
Outreach With A Missionary Mentality
In order to evangelize unreached people groups as FIS is doing with the International
Students in Caltech campus, a missionary mentality for FIS is vital. Like overseas missionaries,
FIS should not have to offer any justifications for being tunnel-visioned in efforts to reach out to
a specific group of unreached people. For FIS, evangelism is missions and missions are
evangelism. Dr. McGavran as quoted by Fong made the following assertion in 1974:
Since men like to become Christians without crossing barriers the
first task among the two billion (yet to be evangelized) is an
evangelism designed to multiply churches in each new piece of the
magnificent mosaic.” There are many different pieces of the
world’s mosaic in the United States. If God’s harvest is going to
transpire in each of the many pieces here, then many already
established congregations are going to have to own up to their
inherent limitations (Fong 1990:52).
While FIS is encouraged to continue to make room for the many alienated ethnics in their
communities, FIS must also see the continuing need for ministries that reflect the many other
pieces of this complex mosaic. By seeing evangelism as Mission, FIS must appreciate the
validity and effectiveness of organizing new ministries that are devoted to reaching specific
pieces of this puzzle with the homogeneous unit principle. God used this principle in countless
missionary endeavors to reach unsaved people groups for Jesus Christ. As long as evangelization
of groups is understood to be mission, then there should be fewer complaints about utilizing this
principle. God is not limited by taking such a specific approach to missions, so why should FIS?
(Fong 1990: 54).
Plan For a Bottom-Up Missional Congregation
There is a need to look at how leadership will occur in this context: Who will be the
catalysts to mobilize FIS on the way toward its missional goals? What is the vision of this
International Students ministry? The emphasis in FIS must be on the gifted community. In
other words, the key is based on gifted people, not gifted leaders. The whole body of FIS must
be always to discover experientially what the Bible teaches and demonstrates, since all are the
channels through whom the Holy Spirit works. The Holy Spirit brings strengthening grace to
others in the Body so that all grow together into Christlikeness. The bottom-up FIS is a “bubble
—up” ministry. The Body is not passively waiting for or resisting the leaders’ next move
(Ogden 1990: 75). The Holy Spirit provides to all members the empowering experience of
seeing the Lord use them to make a difference in a sinful, suffering world. This develops a
healthier concept of ministry. Also to attend the FIS and other mission conferences and to study
the new materials should be a part of FIS’ agenda. Constant thinking must take place of the
kinds of changes needs to take place in FIS so that the International Students are given more
opportunities to participate in “hands on” ministries. Changing the leaders from doers to
equippers broadens the scope of ministry. To make ministry more accessible and to embrace a
changing world with the mind-set of cultivators, planters and growers must transpire (Fong
Define Success-- A Model for the Global Campus Ministry: Home and Family
To ask what a successful FIS is, is to ask, “What is the purpose of FIS ?
Does FIS really need more leaders? Or more followers? Are people
coming to Christ through FIS ? Are the Christian International Students
taking greater ownership of the ministry and serving? ”
Culturally, new comers who will remain in FIS as long as they sense a personal benefit as
the would think of family benefits. If their needs are being met, they will worship, serve, listen,
and learn. If not, they will see FIS as consumers service stores and service businesses, not as
patriotic citizens who see their country (Anderson 1992:49). Immigrants, such as International
Students tend to be very open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a fertile soil for starting a new
“Body of Christ” in terms of numbers and representation. The campus type of outreach which
FIS does must remember that International Students culturally, think of family first and
education second. “Family” is always dominant. They attend FIS gatherings because they want
to learn, or someone has invited them to attend and they feel “ family”. Because FIS is campus
oriented and the ambience is curriculum, teachers, and students. If the International Students
does not agree, they may end leaving. Newcomers should like a home setting as the venue of
FIS, however even if new comers disagree with the teaching of FIS, they might want to leave,
but because of the family environment will stay. Home and family are vital to International
Students. This is lacking in the Campus environment, but can be found in FIS and its goals of
Friendship Evangelism Network. Therefore, I believe, this is a viable model for FIS and the
global Campus Ministry.
The mission statement of FIS should clearly identify its purpose. The leaders and
volunteers must, of course, have copies of the statement and be aware of the purposes and goals
to fulfill the Mission. The mission statement must change along with the reality of Mission, but
not of mission vision. To check the health of home and family model and the assimilation
process is to arrange for a consistent and mutually nurturing mentoring program, to follow a
family model: brothers, sisters, grandfathers, uncles and aunts, parents in a function surrogate
family. I believe that this is a model of the true family of God, beyond bloodlines, which is a
model of global campus ministry.
I could have been chosen the other missional words such as family, community, diversity,
sent, disciple, ambassador or Dianokia for Friends of International Students Fellowship at
Caltech. However, “Doorways to the Kingdom” is the most appropriate one to describe this
campus ministry, which also apply to my personal pilgrimage. Since Jesus said “ I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man come to the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6). And before I came to
the United States and became one of the International Students, the promise of the Lord given to
me was: “ I know you well; you aren’t strong, but you have try to obey and have not denied my
Name. Therefore I have opened a door to you that no one can shut.”(Rev.3:8).
I was one of the fruits of the Asia Student Mission Movement (Campus Crusade for the
Christ) in Taiwan almost twenty years ago. “Campus Today, World Tomorrow” was the theme
of the “ Leadership Training Institute ”, I still vividly remembered. Twenty years gone by in
the Doorways of God’s Kingdom, like the portable “Earthen Vessel”, I have been in Hong
Kong, Mainland China, the Philippines, Russia, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado before I
arrived in Pasadena, California. Here I met Elizabeth Li who mentored me in my homeland
Taiwan who now is a trainer in the FIS ministry. Elizabeth discipled me at the National Taiwan
University campus twenty years ago, even as she continues to mentor others at Caltech.
Rethinking through the study in this project of “Church and Mission” along with
reflecting on my personal pilgrimage, offered me a better understanding of Global International
Students Ministry and specifically FIS. In addition, I also understand the five functions, five
roles and four images of a mission congregation as FIS, inside and outside its macro--systems in
terms of social context, goals, plan and models.
Just as I discovered the importance of Mission Conference years ago in my homeland, so
I believe that mission conferences are important today. Urbana in Illinois is the most vibrant and
much valued Mission Conference today. Held tri-annually, Urbana will meet December 26-31,
2000. According to the updates on registration, of the total 19,000 to attend, 5,000 are Asian
Americans. Through this meeting, hundreds of Asian Americans participants will be challenged
to be involved in a follow up event in their own city after Urbana sometime year 2001, try to
bring the mission momentum from Urbana back to the home churches and campuses.
Currently, thirteen millions Chinese students are scattered around the world since
“China Open Door” policy in mid 1990s. The challenge to reach them for Jesus is voice in
Isaiah 49:12: “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the
west; and these from the land of Sinim.”
FIS as the Doorways to the Kingdom could become the model of the Campus Ministry
globally through reaching the goals of Friendship Evangelism Network. In its five functions
and five roles and the four missional images—a Letter from Christ, Ambassadors of
reconciliation, Salty Salt and the Earthen Vessel of the Pearl of Gospel can be fulfilled.
The primary reality of which FIS has to take account is in seeking for a Christian impact on
campus life as Lesslie Newbigin wrote in The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, “the only
hermeneutic of the gospel is a congregation of [International Students] who believe it and live by
it. . . ” Then the community of “FIS as Doorways to the Kingdom” will be:
A community of praise.
A community of truth.
A community which does not live for itself.
A community. . . sustained in the exercise of the priesthood in the world.
A community of mutual responsibility.
And a community of hope (Newbigin 1989: 222-223).
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Eliade, Mircea. [editor in chief,]
1987 The Encyclopedia of Religion. New York, N.Y.: Macmillan
Fong, Kenneth James Uyeda, 1954-
1990 Insight for Growing Asian-American Ministries. Fuller Theological Seminary
Hadaway, C. Kirk, Stuart A.
1996 Home Cell Groups and House Churches. Nashville: Broadman.
Hall, Thomas. Personal Interview. Fall, 2000.
1996 Images of the Church in the New Testament. Philadelphia: Westminster.
1953 The Household of God. London: SCM.
1989 The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans
1990 The New Reformation: Returning the Ministry to the People of God. G.R.:
Van Engen Charles.
1991 God's Missionary People. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
2000 Syllabus of MT 522 “Local Congregation as Mission” Fall, 2000