Millions of people all over the world are leaving their home countries and settling in new cities to find work, escape famine, war or persecution or to better their education. We call these people the “diaspora“.
Houston is a prime example of the peoples of the world coming together in one city. It is among the fastest-growing and most diverse metropolitan areas in the USA. In fact, with at least 350 people groups living here Houston is now considered the most ethnically diverse city in the USA. Between the years of 2000-2009 some 300,000 internationals immigrated to Houston and in 2009 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Houston has over 1.28 million residents that were born outside of the United States. More than 1 in 5 foreign-born residents in Houston were born in Asia.
Our city is the refugee settlement capital of the USA. At least 70,000 refugees have been settled in Houston with approximately 3,000 to 5,000 coming every year! Many of these refugees are more connected globally than locally. Refugees come from all over the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Vietnam. Over 60,000 Urdu speaking Pakistani’s live in Houston.
Houston, Texas has become a snapshot of the unreached people groups in the 10-40 Window and an image of what many cities in the US will look like in the future! If you are being called into overseas or local missions, there is no better place than Houston to practice language learning, church planting and the other necessary skills you will need inside the people group you are going to. Come learn to make disciples of the diaspora!
Is God calling you to China or Vietnam? Houston features one of the largest China-towns in the USA! You can take the opportunity to learn and practice the language with native speakers, eat the foods and shop in thousands of stores.
Perhaps God is calling you to India or South East Asia? Houston and its suburbs of Katy, Pearland and Sugar Land are becoming more well known in India and Pakistan than inside the United States. Doctors, engineers, IT workers and all kinds of other professionals are moving into the Houston metro area because of the strong economy and diversity. Are you wanting or needing to learn Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil or any of the other major languages in the South Asia region? Then we cannot think of a better location than Houston, TX to do that! Practice your new language while shopping, eating and speaking of Jesus with your neighbors!
To learn more about our other GFM locations, please visit our Atlanta, Richmond, Sydney, Australia, and South Asia pages. As God provides more laborers in the future, we hope to add new GFM locations in other multi-cultural cities as well.