What’s in a name?
At the interface of campus and community, of volunteers and those they serve, of Christians who live here and the many internationals who come from far away, there Interface serves to bring people together.
It’s not enough to get people into a room. Cultures are different, communication can be hard. It is easy to encounter and then bounce off one another.
But we are at the interface between God and the people of the world he loves. Jesus entered into our world without reserve, gave his life to renew our relationship with the Father. In the Church, his Body, he continues to stretch out his arms to make friends from every nation.
That’s why we’re Interface.
iFace began in 1983 and incorporated in 1991. Starting as an innovative cross-country, cross-cultural bus trip ministry that included conversations about Christianity, it grew through outreach to 650 international students hosted by members of 50 churches during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, student conferences that also introduced American Christian host families to internationals in their midst, and ongoing faithful service to students in cooperation with international student offices at colleges and universities.
Today, many more students come from many more countries to study in institutions large and small. At the same time, many immigrants come more or less permanently. Our mission to the nations continues to shape our response to these changes in who comes and for how long.
Thirty-three years later, iFace is in fourteen states and has welcomed students from over 150 countries. Our staff adapt to new situations in creative ways to engage with our international neighbors. Furniture give aways meet an immediate need and open the door to further interaction. English language classes accelerate and smooth the transition to life in the US and lead to deeper conversations. Friendship Families provide students with a home for holidays, and a network of support during their time here. The goal: meet people where they are (even at the airport needing a ride to campus), listen to their stories of the past and aspirations for the future, and share with them life, community, and hope.
Each location is different and each staff person brings unique skills and gifts. And iFace staff don’t do it on their own. At each of our locations we rely on a network of churches and volunteers to join us—opening their homes, committing to friendship, or simply giving a ride.