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Neighbors International

Neighbors International Contact

Celeste McDonough
Minister & Team Leader,
Mercy & Missions

Vida Wilson
Associate Director,
Mercy & Outreach

Sonja Yeates
Neighbors International Coordinator

Pray about joining us 2024!

We are looking for more Friendship Families and would love you to join the team!

Opportunities to join Neighbors International will begin in the Fall of 2024, but now is a good time to start praying about whether God is calling you to serve.

Watch a short video featuring a few of our current friendship families sharing what it has been like for them to volunteer in this way. 

Ministry Focus

Neighbors International is Calvary Church’s international college student friendship family program. This free program matches up our local international college students with families and individuals with the goal of forming friendships and assisting students as they transition to a new country.


Students and families will be matched based on their hobbies, interests, and location.

Our friendship families meet with their assigned student(s) at least once a month and talk with them at least once a week.



You must be over 30 years of age to apply. If you are interested

in becoming a friendship family/partner, or have further questions,

reach out to Sonja at

 After you have gone through the application process, you will receive your student(s) name, address, their hobbies, and other general info you can: 

  • Contact your student and arrange to meet in person or even via zoom  
  • Continue to meet once a month and phone, email, or text at least once a week 
  • Have your student(s) over for a home-cooked meal
  • Invite your student(s) to celebrate American holidays
  • Plan fun activities to start to build a lasting friendship 
  • Help coordinate getting much-needed supplies, food, or winter clothing as needs arise 
  • Help coordinate drivers training 
  • Pray regularly for your student(s) 


You will get tons of tips and help from the Neighbors International leadership team!!  


Please email Sonja at

You will be asked a set of simple questions so that we can find the best

match for you out of our available families. You will then be emailed the contact

information of your new family and a few things about them. You then just

start talking to each other! It is that easy!

After you have gone through the simple application process, we will match you with a friendship family. They will connect with you to build a friendship and help you get settled here in Grand Rapids. They are available for things like:

  • Checking in monthly to see how you are doing
  • Assist you with getting your drivers license or looking for a car
  • Helping you get to know the city
  • Having you over for a meal in their home
  • Invited you to celebrate American holidays
  • Spending time learning about your culture