Rick & Lita Sample


Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Ministry to Internationals
San Francisco Bay Area
Members, CBF Global Missions International Cluster

In support of CBF Global Missions’ ministry among the most neglected, Lita and Rick minister among internationals in the San Francisco Bay Area, including immigrants, refugees and international students.


The Bay Area is home to immigrants from more than 150 language groups, as well as many refugees. While refugees and immigrants come from all walks of life, many find it difficult to survive economically in one of the most expensive areas of the United States. Many times, a lack of English skills prevents them from securing good jobs and makes interpreting government and school documents burdensome. Many refugees and immigrants also struggle to fit into a new society.

More than 30,000 international students can be found in the Bay Area’s many universities and colleges. They spend most of their time in class or studying, and find themselves lonely, bored and in need of friendship. A majority of these students will never be invited into an American home during their stay in the United States.

In addition, many Bay Area immigrants, refugees and international students come from countries with limited to no access to the Gospel.

By Lita Sample

F.* is a refugee widow with seven children who fled her country after her husband was murdered. Her journey took her and her family to a nearby country and three U.S. cities before they finally settled in the Bay Area.

When we met them, they lived in a small apartment with no furniture or beds. Their cupboard, refrigerator and closets were bare. We worked with churches, agencies and individuals to provide food, beds, clothes, shoes and school supplies, and helped them fill out government documents. We also helped the children apply for school breakfasts, lunches and bus passes.

During this time, we shared Christ’s love for them and prayed for them. After a time of building relationships, we presented the “Jesus” video for them to watch. Shortly after, the mother asked if they could go to church with us. Since then, they have also attended a church that speaks her language. We pray that God will lead them to Christ.

*Name concealed for security reasons.


In response to these needs, Lita and Rick minister among Bay Area immigrants, refugees and international students. They minister to immigrants and refugees by helping them fill out government and official paperwork, connecting them with English classes, and assisting them with finding jobs, food, clothing, housing, furniture and household items. They also care for immigrant and refugee children by throwing baby showers, helping set up school lunches and school bus passes, and providing toys and computer equipment.

The Samples show God’s love to area immigrants and refugees by befriending them, having dinner and drinking tea in their homes, connecting them with area churches, and sharing Jesus with them through word and the “Jesus” video. The couple also seeks to mobilize others in refugee and immigrant ministries.

Rick and Lita minister to international students by spending time with them; offering English as a Second Language, sewing, cooking and craft classes; and organizing outings and opportunities for them to be in American homes. This ministry is important because if they come to know Christ, they can go back to their homelands and share their Christian faith more easily with their family and friends than missionaries coming from a western country. In addition, international students touched favorably by Christians are more likely return to their homelands and influence their governments, societies and cultures to treat Christians favorably.


Lita and Rick have two daughters -- Beth, born in 1998, and Anna, born in 2001 -- and a son, Elliott, born in 2004. They enjoy traveling, music and drama.


Churches and individuals can partner with the Samples to carry out ministries among internationals in the Bay Area. You can assist them by:

  • praying for them, their partners and the internationals with whom they minister
  • giving needed items for refugees and international students
  • donating money to specific ministry projects
  • giving to the Offering for Global Missions, which supports the Samples and their ministry
  • going to the Bay Area to volunteer alongside them.

Rick and Lita are also committed to assisting churches and individuals who sense a God-given mission to reach the internationals in their midst. They can offer prayer, advice and encouragement, and connect churches with speakers who can talk about ministries to internationals. They can also work with churches as they get started in ministry to internationals, as well as offer advice on how to befriend internationals with whom they come in contact.