Grand Rapids History
Estera and Francisco Escobar, both former international students from Romania and Chile respectively, started the IFI ministry in Grand Rapids. They met while studying in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to Grand Rapids after they got married in July 2015. Since then they have been networking and connecting with what God is doing in West Michigan in international student ministry.
Starting Summer 2018 God brought several key volunteers to the IFI team in Grand Rapids. Randy Karel joined the team as Associate City Mobilizer and took over the leadership of the ministry. Randy and his wife Ellen learned about IFI in 2017 while attending a conference in Gull Lake, MI, where Rich Mendola, the IFI Executive Director, was a guest speaker. Randy and Ellen have a passion for loving and sharing Jesus with international students in the West Michigan area. As the IFI team continues to grow, their vision is that all the international students in the Grand Rapids area would be welcomed and have a chance to hear the Good News.