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  • Writer's pictureIFM Columbia

Update from Bloomington, IN

Spring is a busy time here in Bloomington as we begin preparations for our annual International Furniture Give-Away ( About 125 volunteers helped collect more than twelve hundred pieces of furniture and hundreds of household items in a two-week period from church members, graduating international students, and sororities and fraternities. This will be our 19th year of serving new international students though our furniture ministry. Our student organization (called Bloomington International Student Ministries – BISM) was given the Event of the Year award by Indiana University this year. It is an acknowledgement of the valuable contribution of this furniture ministry to the well-being of the 6000 international students in our campus.

We are also preparing for the Weeks of Welcome (WOW) that will take place from the end of July to the beginning of September. The WOW event is geared towards welcoming 1500 new international students who will be arriving from dozens of countries beginning in July. WOW activities include airport pickup, Walmart shopping trips, furniture giveaway, welcome activities, social events, and friendship building. WOW allows us to connect with hundreds of new international students and introduce them to the services that our ministry provides for them. Many of these students will get a chance to get to know our volunteers personally as they serve them as they navigate and try to get settled in a new environment.

The 19th International Furniture Give-Away will be held at the end of August. Our goal is to serve 500 new international students. More than 300 of our volunteers are involved in welcoming the new students, helping them select furniture and household items they need, and delivering about 1500 pieces of furniture to their apartments. Please join us in prayer that the services we provide during these weeks of welcome makes a eternal impact in the lives of these students. Pray that we would have enough volunteers to serve during these weeks. If you live in or near Bloomington, IN, you are welcome to sign up to help at or contact Elan Rajamani (

We appreciate your partnership with International Friendship Ministries through your prayer and financial support. Your partnership allows us to serve thousands of international students from more than a hundred countries who come to universities in Columbia (SC), Orlando (FL), and Bloomington (IN) each year.

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