May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
What is Diaspora Returnee Ministries?
A crisis comes for many East Asians moving back to their home country as Returnees. In the face of many challenges, only an estimated 20% of those who go home professing faith in Christ link with a local church. Diaspora Returnee Ministries disciples East Asian returnees with tools to prepare them to thrive in challenging environments as Christians in their home country. They seek to nurture them toward a fruitful, Christ-centered life, addressing issues and pressures they may face back home. They also facilitate connections to communities of believers in their home countries. Join us this month as we hear stories from DRM and pray alongside them.
*Note: names and sometimes locations have been changed to help protect privacy.
SUNDAYS • Surprise SMS
“Hi Fiona*, I want to let you know that I prayed and made a decision last night and I am a Christian now. I decided to follow him and serve him as his child.” This text was from Li Hua* who was attending an Easter camp. Li Hua had been part of Fiona’s weekly seeker Bible study group but had continually questioned God’s Word. She seemed to resist the idea that she needed to let God have authority in her life, so this Easter text message both surprised and delighted her friend and Bible study leader! Praise God that Li Hua was baptized this year as a confident believer in Christ. Thank God for His power to help us submit to His word and trust His salvation. Pray for those who lead Bible studies for seekers to continue to faithfully proclaim the gospel even when students show no evidence of faith.
MONDAYS • Swindled!
Over the past five years that Xiao Dan* has lived in Nairobi, he has been taken advantage of many times. Money and supplies were stolen from his office. Money was taken from his home. When one of the Kenyan workers in his company requested money for the medical bills of a family member, he gave him the money, but he later found out that he had been swindled. As a result of these experiences, Xiao Dan became very wary of Kenyans. Now he has met a Kenyan Christian who is teaching him English and seeking to introduce him to Kenyans and Chinese Christians who will be faithful witnesses to him. Slowly, he is overcoming the negative stereotypes he has developed about Africans and about “Christians.” Pray that Xiao Dan would move from suspicion to trust and would see the difference the gospel makes in the lives of both Kenyan and Chinese people. Pray that negative experiences when living overseas would not close people’s hearts to the gospel.
TUESDAYS • Singaporean beach fun
“A really fun day out, so much fun. Thank you teachers, pastors, brothers, and sisters, for allowing us to hang out. It was fun. Thanks a lot.” This Vietnamese construction worker expressed his delight in joining a beach outing organized by local volunteers. The workers live in an enormous dorm complex, separate from residential areas in Singapore and very far from home. The beach trip is just one of the ways churches in Singapore are demonstrating God’s love and building bridges into their lives. Food, fun, and invitations to church services at special times like Christmas and Easter, alongside English classes, help make connections with people who may have never been inside a church or met a Christian before. Pray for God to use such outreaches to open the hearts and minds of Vietnamese workers to consider Christ. Pray that Vietnamese migrant workers would take the gospel back to their friends and family when they return home.
WEDNESDAYS • Who will marry you now?
“But who will marry you now?” her parents kept asking. Tania* wrestled with this question after coming to faith while studying in the UK. As she prepared to return home to Vietnam, she was determined to marry a Christian. Upon her return, she met and married Tony*, a Christian! Today, they are living in a new suburban housing development, seeking to start a church. The small group that meets in their apartment on Sundays is the only one in a large area. They have vision from the Lord, but it is a challenging and lonely road. Praise the Lord for Tania and Tony and for the ways He has given for Vietnamese returnees like Tania to live for Him and make Him known to others. Pray for other returnees to trust God for all areas of their life after they return, including the difficulty of finding a believing spouse.
THURSDAYS • A pivotal weekend
Although he was only in Cambridge (UK) for one year, during that time Hakura* put his faith in Christ. In just a few months, his life was changed, but how would he now live as a Christian in Japan? He had never even visited a church in Japan. How would his wife (who stayed in Japan) accept his faith? Attending a Japanese Returnee Retreat before he moved back to Japan was pivotal in helping him to make the transition back to Japan as a Christian. Since returning to Japan, he has joined a local church, though his atheist wife is worried about his new faith. Pray for Hakura to continue to grow in faith and for his wife to decide to follow Jesus too. Give thanks for returnees like Hakura who have been strengthened as disciples through retreats like these around the world. Pray that those who attended the Returnee Retreat this past summer would also connect with the church back in Japan and thrive as believers in their homeland.
FRIDAYS • A promising start
When Ming Zhu* returned home after 10 months of study in the UK, she returned as a Christian. Shortly before leaving the UK, she attended an online Returnee Retreat where she was introduced to a church in her home city. She quickly connected to that church upon her return. She later introduced another believer she had met at the retreat to her new church when that student also returned from the UK. After a few months back home, Ming Zhu was baptized! Her Muslim father had initially refused to speak to her because of her newfound faith, but in the end, he and her Buddhist mother attended the baptism! Pray for Ming Zhu to continue to grow in faith and for her family to follow Jesus also. Pray for other returnees to quickly connect with local churches when they arrive back home and for their new churches to support them through the process of settling back in their home country.
If you know a believer planning to return to Asia who could benefit from returnee preparation, or would like to learn more about returnee preparation, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SATURDAYS • Blessed to be a blessing
Though she has a full-time job and cares for a young family, Crystal also spends 5 hours per week using her media and communications skills for ministry to East Asians on the move. She knows how challenging it is for Returnees to be strong in the face of the many pressures they face back home living as Christians. She yearns that more and more returnees will thrive as disciples of Jesus, making Him known back home or wherever the Lord takes them. Using her Communications and Media skills, Crystal helps to motivate and equip the church to welcome East Asians, disciple them and support them in returning well-prepared. Thank God for the many like Crystal who offer their professional skills to help East Asians on the move. Pray that God will raise up others to use their vocational skills or avocations (photography, cooking, event planning, video-making, website development, project management, IT support, accounting, etc.) to strengthen the global church.
Click here to download the September 2023 Prayer Powerlines.