What do you think of when you hear the word “missions”? Perhaps you picture a far away place that requires multiple flight layovers to reach, or a remote village without electricity or running water. But what if we told you missionaries like Johnson Hsu are envisioning something totally different? Something like this: a bustling, multicultural city with skyscrapers and highways.
Johnson Hsu is one of Fellowship International’s career missionaries with a ministry focused on international students in the Greater Toronto Area. In our interview, he passionately explained,
“We have hundreds of thousands—actually, probably millions—of students coming to Canada from some of the most unreached, restricted nations in the world. Countries like India, China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Japan are sending us their future generation during their most impressionable years. And about a quarter of them are landing right here in the GTA. It’s an incredible opportunity that God has given to us in this unique city.
“But the problem is we don’t have enough workers. There aren’t enough young leaders who are in this harvest field. So, our strategy is to recruit young adults from our local churches, train them, and equip them so they can train their church members to do outreach in their communities.”
This past summer, Johnson was able to pilot this vision by enlisting ten interns through the Canada Summer Jobs grants. These interns were trained with the outreach tools that our Fellowship missionaries are using—tools like Discovery Bible Study, Disciple-Making Movements, 3 Circle Gospel Sharing, and more. “Our goal for our interns isn’t just for them to become outreach workers in their churches,” Johnson shares. “We are equipping them so that they can discern God’s calling for them, whether that’s ministering within our city, or to go out to the rest of the world in Christ’s name.”
So, what’s next? Johnson is looking forward to future summer internship cohorts as he considers its successful inaugural year. A core team of eight young leaders are now trained and equipped to share the Good News in their mission field, as well as to disciple future interns. Over the duration of the internship, interest grew and eight more young adults from across Canada joined the initial team. The group of interns has grown close over the past several months and now work with one another like a ministry team. There are three churches who are committed to ongoing outreach efforts and more who are interested in joining the program next year.
Here’s a highlight that Johnson recounts from this past summer. “The interns were having a birthday party at the beach. They noticed a young lady sitting on a bench by herself and invited her to join them for their celebration. It turned out that she was at the beach wrestling with God. She and her mom were recently expelled from the church that they had been serving in their whole lives. When they needed their church the most, they were abandoned. She was at the beach asking God, ‘Where are those people now? Where are You when we need You?’ That was the moment when our interns invited her to join them.
“It’s terrifying and beautiful when God shows up. God is opening doors for us, and they are always bigger than we can imagine.”
We look forward to the huge doors that God will continue to open for Johnson and his ministry with international students in the GTA! Please continue to pray for his work in bringing God’s Kingdom to Toronto.
Do you have young adults in your church who are craving training to reach the nations? If you’re interested in partnering with Johnson next summer, contact Fellowship International for more information!
If you’d like to support Johnson’s ministry as a partner, click here: fellowship.ca/hsu.