Bemidji Campus Ministry has International Diversity


(Madison, WI) – When Valerie Ong enrolled as a senior at Bemidji State University a year and a half ago, she planned to get her degree in Psychology and then return to her home in Malaysia. After graduation she did return home for several months, but now she’s back at Bemidji as a staff member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, working with other international students.

Valerie was raised in a Christian family in Malaysia and began participating in InterVarsity activities during the spring semester of 2006, shortly after her arrival. By the fall semester she had become part of the musical team that led worship at InterVarsity’s weekly meeting. InterVarsity campus staff members Brian and Sandi Asker noticed Valerie’s passion for ministry. As graduation approached, they invited her to join InterVarsity staff. “Brian and Sandi offered me the opportunity to serve God in an area I never really expected to see myself in,” she wrote, in an article in the Fall 2007 issue of InterVarsity’s Internationals on Campus magazine (posted online at ).

Americans are familiar with missionaries who raise financial support in this country in order to take the Gospel to distant shores. Valerie did just the opposite, raising support through her home church in Malaysia to do ministry in Minnesota. It was a difficult decision. “I have never done anything of this sort before, and I was raised in a different Christian culture where asking for money in order to serve in a job is viewed differently,” she wrote. But she feels blessed to have this opportunity for Christian service and to be able to work with experienced campus ministers like the Askers.

“Val has been a great addition to our staff team as we continue reaching a diverse set of students,” the Askers reported. “Part of the fun of having Val on the team is that she brings a completely different perspective to our ministry.”

For more information:

Brian and Sandi Askers
(218) 760-1497

Gordon Govier
(608) 443-3688