Students serving with the poor

Our Ministry

Students International does long-term, on-going community development in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The International Office, located in Visalia, California provides leadership, supervision and service in the areas of funds development, human resources, information technology, finance and administration, ministry and program development, and organizational marketing. Our staff, outreach participants and the poor come together cross-culturally to encounter God, share the Good News, disciple and serve others in a specific area of occupation that correlates with their career or academic interests. These occupational settings are called ministry sites.

Our style is relational and is therefore centered around our long-standing presence within the communities where we work. This may be challenging for people who expect to see immediate "results" in evangelism and project completion. As a result, however, we see outreach participants and the poor transformed into the likeness of Christ and discover their true calling.

The most common objectives for short-term mission outreaches are to broaden our perspective of the world and our responsibility to it, deepen our relationship with the Lord, and share the Gospel with others in need. While these objectives are important and needed, Students International intentionally strives to accomplish three additional goals:

  1. Enabling outreach participants and the poor to discover how God can use them in their occupation.
  2. Providing outreach participants and the poor the opportunity to be a part of ongoing ministry and not just a short outreach where follow up is difficult.
  3. Helping outreach participants and the poor understand the value of building personal relationships in sharing the Gospel.

Depending on the length of the outreach, participants spend from 9 days to a semester working alongside our staff at a ministry site. Each ministry site is within close proximity of our facilities and has a different occupational focus: agribusiness, appropriate technology, art, construction, dentistry, education, health care, physical therapy, social work, special education, and sports.