Many people in missions circles are familiar with the terms “praying”, “giving”, and “going.” Recently, however, there has been a lot of buzz about diaspora missions and the role of “welcoming” when it comes to living out the Great Commission.
The book, You Don’t Have to Cross the Ocean to Reach the World: The Power of Local Cross-Cultural Ministry, gives an interesting historical perspective about how the Good News of the Kingdom has generally spread through bilingual, bicultural people. What if along with sending our missionaries and going to the ends of the earth, we also made a habit of welcoming and sharing the love of Christ with the many foreigners and diaspora peoples that are coming to our country? A lot of these people have extended families (oikos) back in their native countries and the gospel could spread among their own people via technology or as they return home.
When reading the story of the early church in Acts, we see that the gospel spread quickly from Jerusalem to many Gentile nations because it was a multicultural city, where diaspora people from all over the world gathered. Today, many cities have become “melting pots” and have a lot in common with Jerusalem as cultural, economic, and religious crossroads. Immigrants, refugees, and international students from many different countries are arriving to locations across the globe. This could be an amazing opportunity to share the good news with unreached people groups and others that have never heard the name of Christ!
The first few weeks and months of time in a new culture can really shape people’s experience and view of their new country. Have you ever noticed how a lot of the people that you met during freshman orientation in college ended up being your closest friends over the next four years? So, what about the internationals that are coming to this country? Shouldn’t followers of Jesus be the first ones to reach out and greet them at the airport, help them get accustomed to life here, invite them over for a meal, help them out with English, teach them about our culture, and ultimately show them God’s love?
Global Frontier Missions really believes that diaspora missions and reaching out to the nations and unreached people groups that are scattered throughout the earth are a very strategic part of fulfilling Christ’s final commandment. We have started locations in Atlanta and South Asia in order to reach out to Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and others from all over the world. Let’s reach the diaspora peoples that God is bringing to us!