About Us

ISCA House
89 South Duncan Avenue,
Fayetteville, AR 72701


Director - Kevin Smith

Housing Manger - Arsid and Lindsey Panxhi
Lindsey - linpanxhi@gmail.com
Arsid - sidipanxhi@gmail.com

Men's house leader - Francis

Our History

The founders of ISCA, Phil and Shirley Lasse, served on the mission field in Kenya, East Africa for more than twenty years. At the time their daughter was beginning college they relocated to Fayetteville, Arkansas to help her through the early years of this adjustment. While living in Fayetteville, and serving as Pastor of Missions at University Baptist Church, the vision for a ministry to international students was born in the hearts of Phil and Shirley.

There was already a Bible study of sorts meeting on Friday nights in the house they had moved into on Duncan Avenue, so Phil and Shirley committed to continue to host it. Most of the participants at this time were from Malaysia, which then had the largest number of foreign students on the University campus. As the group began to grow and as it began to take more seriously its responsibility to reach other international students, it arrived at two decisions that helped further define it. First, the group adopted the name "International Student Christian Association" (or ISCA). Second, it decided that it would be more strategic for the group to meet on Saturday nights instead of Friday nights. It also grew in its commitment to other values. Under the leadership of Phil and Shirley, the group began to put more emphasis on prayer and diligent study of God's Word. It also began to take seriously its responsibility to reach others with the gospel and see them discipled in that faith to become mature and growing Christians. The Lasses were committed to continuing to live among the students and to have them regularly in their home. And they made a focused and effective effort at developing student leaders.

By 1997, a large number of Chinese and Southeast Asians had been added to the group, as well as several from other countries and continents. But the house was no longer large enough to accommodate them all, so the decision was made to start a group that would be exclusively for Mandarin speakers. God raised up a Christian professor at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Daniel Liu, who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Dr. Liu and his wife Jean, stepped in to give much needed leadership to the newly established group. The Chinese meet on Friday nights and the English speaking group on Saturday nights. Both groups continued to grow.

Because Phil had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996, the Lasses realized it was time to find leadership to step into their role at ISCA. Many were considered, but the person they kept concluding was best suited for the job was their oldest son, Clark, who, for several years had been pastoring a small church in the Fayetteville area. Clark realized that this was in fact how God was leading him. In early 2000, he stepped out of his role as pastor of the church he had been serving and assumed the role of ISCA's director. Phil went home to be with his Master on Christmas Eve 2001. Shirley continued to live in the ISCA house until April 2004 when she moved into a beautiful home built for her by some generous godly men. Tom and Barbara Herring, adult leaders at ISCA since 2001, felt led by God to serve as the new hosts of the ISCA house and in August 2004 they moved into the house to the delight of all the students.

In 200X Simone and Ashley Chua and their young son Lucas moved into the ISCA house as house managers and hosts.

In 2009 Josh and Ashley Skinner moved into the ISCA house has house leaders. While there they gave birth to their daughter Anna.

In 2010 Kevin Smith became the new director for ISCA. Kevin has worked in Student ministry since 1983 with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). In 1994 he moved to Arkansas to work for IVCF here. After a meeting with Phil Lasse Kevin began to have a passion for international students - at first in his free time but in 1999 Kevin and his wife Cynthia began working with international students full time for IVCF. Around 2001 Clark Lasse and Kevin Smith began meeting weekly to pray together for each others ministry and for international students. In 2006 Kevin joined the ISCA ministry.

In 2012 Rick and Monica Hall moved into the ISCA house as housing managers.

In 2015 Arsid and Lindsey Panxhi moved into the ISCA house as our new housing managers.

In 2015 Steven and Beth Fischer came became campus ministers with ISCA.

By God’s grace the ISCA ministry continues to thrive. And students from all over the world continue to find eternal hope in a personal relationship with their Creator, Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
"To our God and Father be glory forever and ever."