Author: Allan Lee
To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.
A response to Sadiri Joy Tira’s "The Diaspora Dollar"
Dr. Tira has aptly highlighted the relative prosperity of many people living in diaspora in comparison to those who are “back home”, which could potentially represent a significant, strategic source of funding for Kingdom ministry - in their homeland, where they currently live or in other segments of their diaspora. I have observed some factors that can greatly hinder the full realization of that impressive potential.
In areas receiving “people on the move” much mobilization work is yet needed to awaken the established Christian community to the incredible opportunities God has brought to their doorstep, and to equip them to in turn disciple and equip those becoming followers of Jesus from within the diasporas. Such discipleship includes the challenge to invest their time and resources in advancing God’s Kingdom.
This mobilization task can be slow and difficult as it involves confronting and changing deeply rooted stereotypes and prejudices and convincing individuals, ecclesiastical bodies, and missions entities to embrace new paradigms for cross-cultural ministry. But as we make progress in the fulfillment of this task there is the potential for exponential growth in Kingdom-building activity as both local Christians and those in diaspora discover the roles God has for them in this special time in history.
Allan Lee, originally from New York State, has been serving as a missionary since 1986, primarily in the border region of Northwestern Mexico where segments of the diasporas of some 100 native Mexican people groups converge. He pioneered the use of vernacular ministry resources in the region and continues to be a key advocate for getting mother tongue Scriptures into use. Since 1992 his focus on one particular people group has evolved into his main role, tracking their extensive diaspora throughout Mexico and the US, networking with native speakers and others ministering to them, producing and distributing Christian resources in their native tongue, and developing creative outreach strategies. He also developed and coordinates the Department of Missiological Principles and Models of the Missions Cooperation of Mexico (COMIMEX).