Adopt an International Restaurant

Practical ways to befriend immigrants and refugees

From Pioneers in Africa

Immigrant ministry doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, tasty and practical.

Recently an American family visited their Pioneers missionary friends living in Africa.

“It was so wonderful sharing a piece of our life [in Africa] with this family,” the missionaries wrote.

A Great Question

During this visit, one of their guests asked, “How can we be more intentional about getting to know people who are different than us back home [in the US]?”

That question could probably be answered many ways, but the missionaries suggested a fun and easy way to get to know people from a different culture.

Adopt an international restaurant.

Forget about Panda Express and Taco Bell for this assignment.

We encourage you to adopt an international restaurant in your community this year. It’s great to try new foods once, but if you try to make a habit of visiting the same international restaurant often, you can make friends there, too.

Make your immigrant ministry work for you. Do a little research to find a restaurant that’s close and convenient enough for you to actually invest some time there. Look for a one that represents a culture or place that may have limited access to the gospel message.

Once you’ve chosen a restaurant, meet the servers and owners. Ask them questions about their life, their faith and their families. If it’s your custom to give thanks before your meal, tell them and ask if they have any needs you could pray about.

Other tips for your restaurant immigrant ministry:

  • Try to go at a time when the staff aren’t busy so they have a bit of freedom to talk.
  • Express curiosity about the décor. It may help you get some cultural insight.
  • Ask questions about how recipes are prepared.
  • And finally, be sure to tip appropriately!

By the end of this year, you may find that you are the strange American with a blooming international ministry and a host of new friends from another culture. In doing so, you may meet people who bless your life. And even more, you may find some who need and want a relationship with Jesus right there in your own community.


Read more about the simple means that God can use to draw people in your life to faith in Christ.

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