Strangers in a Strange Land: Ministry to Diaspora and Sojourning Peoples

This issue of Mission Round Table looks at ministry to “Strangers in a Strange Land,” people in migration or living outside their homelands.

Loving the stranger begins with loving the God who loves the stranger. Only as we get to know the strangers in our midst can they become our friends. And only as we share Christ with them can they become, not strangers and aliens, but family members.

We need to be aware that the movements of people bring opportunities for the gospel to flow in multiple directions. Moving gives some people an opportunity to encounter Christ for the first time and others an opportunity to take Christ to new locations. People who have encountered Christ on foreign soil and begun to grow in faith need to be prepared for the challenge of transitioning back to their home countries. Deeply contextualized discipleship is thus an essential part of mission to the strangers.

Browse articles in this edition of Mission Round Table

Missional Migration

This paper looks at migration as an ancient reality and a growing trend. It addresses the important question of what happens when migration is missional. Lightyear is a social researcher working in Southeast Asia, training governments in good practice and churches in cross-cultural mission. Missional Migration Mission Round Table Vol. 12 No. 2 (May-Aug 2017): [...]

Hopes, Dreams, and Dangers: Nepali Young People and the Next Generations of the Church in the UK

This paper discusses the findings from interviews conducted with different generations in a Nepali church in the UK, the challenges they face and how they responded to build bridges and work together to relate to the majority culture and their traditional community. Richard Evans is a Lecturer/Tutor at All Nations Christian College in Hertfordshire, England, [...]

Mission to, through, and from Diaspora: Foundations and Demonstrations Drawn from International Student Contexts

In this paper, Terry McGrath and Victoria Sibley-Bentley shares insights gleaned from years of ministry to international students in New Zealand and highlights the opportunities for the gospel to flow in multiple directions. Terry McGrath is the Lausanne Asia-Pacific Regional Facilitator of the International Student Ministries (ISM) Global Leadership Network, Senior Consultant of ISM New [...]

Multi-dimensional Discipling for Diaspora Communities: Partnership between Host Church, Ethnic Church, and Parachurch Organizations

This paper presents case studies to discuss how host churches, ethnic churches, and parachurch organizations can work together to engage in multi-dimensional discipleship for people who first encounter Christianity while away from their home countries. Carolyn Kemp joined OMF International in 1993 and was a church planter for several years in Manila’s slums before joining [...]

Preparing Diaspora Converts for their Return to East Asia

This paper presents an overview of returnee challenges and discusses how to reduce defection among returnees in issues they commonly face. Practical suggestions on preparing returnees for the transition before they return to their home countries. Dr. Stuart Bullington served as a missionary in East Asia for nearly eleven years, where he ministered among Christian [...]

“Going Home is Not What I Thought It Would Be”: The Unique Challenges Faced by Returnees

This paper looks at how cultural values of overseas students from China affect them, discusses the common challenges to adjustment faced by returnees, and offers practical suggestions to help prepare them before they return. “Going Home is Not What I Thought It Would Be”: The Unique Challenges Faced by Returnees By Pete Mission Round Table [...]

Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their Return

This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their time abroad. It offers direction on how to help Japanese friends adjust to life away from home and face the prospect of return. With his wife Alison, Graham Orr served in OMF Japan [...]

International Friends

This is a personal account of how a lay person can delight in God’s love by loving the international students she befriended over the years. Claire McConnell is the Archivist at the OMF International Center in Singapore. Before coming to Asia she taught mathematics and science in a Northern Ireland grammar school. She has enjoyed [...]

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