Singapore held its first National Consultation on International Students Ministry (ISM) on 1 October 2005 in St Andrews' Cathedral. The consultation was initiated by representatives of the Fellowship of Evangelical Students (FES), Campus Crusade For Christ (Singapore), International Students Inc, Pasir Panjang Hill Brethren and Varsity Christian Fellowship. The objectives of the consultation were:
- To compile a database for the ministry profile of churches and agencies involved in ISM
- To build relationships between the various churches and agencies participating in this ministry
- To establish a common understanding of the guidelines and governing principles for this ministry
- To gain a better understanding of the current situation and challenges of ISM in order for churches and agencies to employ effective strategies for outreach
More than seventy participants from nearly forty churches attended. Mr. Leiton Chinn spoke about the strategic importance of ISM and offered suggestions for future goals of ISM. Miss Yvonne Choo talked about the local context and its challenges. Following this, there was a panel that addressed church and para-church agency collaborations. There was lively interaction between the speakers and the participants.
Conference leaders anticipate an exponential growth in the number of international students in the country over the next few years. This consultation generated interest in ISM and will hopefully impact world missions. Participants are more informed of the developments in this ministry and hope that there would be adequate follow-up to the consultation. The next consultation is currently being organized. More importantly, all participating churches and agencies hope to see more collaborative and coordinated efforts as a result of this consultation. We continue to pray and hope that God will move mightily among the churches, agencies and students in Singapore.