D is for DIASPORA
From refugees seeking safety on Europe's shores to Indian entrepreneurs spreading their business savvy across the globe, the opportunities to reach the unreached are greater than ever before.
A Saudi Arabian student was loading his luggage into a friend's car, about to fly home after completing his studies in the United States.
"I cannot take this one back home," he said, gesturing to one of his bags.
"Why not?" asked his friend.
"My parents sent me with this suitcase full of gifts to thank people when I visited their home. It is still full."
This true story was shared at last week's NextMove Gathering, where 30 missions leaders gathered to identify the challenges our agencies face in working among the global diaspora - the tens of millions of people on the move globally, living outside of their country or culture of origin. Some are on the move for positive reasons (international students, business opportunities, etc.) and some for negative reasons (refugees, political asylum, war, etc.). In either case,
their displacement often creates a greater opportunity for the gospel to spread from "reached" to "unreached" in ways that would not be possible otherwise.
While the scenario above happened in the US, the truth is that the vast majority of migration is occurring in the global south and in Europe. Think of the potential for the spread of the Gospel in the tens of thousands of Evangelical Christian Filipinos moving into the Middle East to find employment, or the refugees from "restricted access" countries flooding into Europe. How can the church be equipped for this type of people movement? What are the roadblocks and challenges that hinder us from doing so? What do we need to do differently in order to be more effective? These are the questions that need to be asked in our day--seeking the God of wisdom to give us answers as we are led by the Spirit to those he is calling to himself.
As a result, maybe more students will go home with empty luggage, carrying instead the life-giving message of Jesus.
Check out the Intro to the A-Z Series!