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More People on the Move: A year of Mobility and Mass Migration

Author: Sadiri Joy Tira
Date: 09.01.2012
Category: Diasporas

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Originally Posted in English

During the Lausanne III or Cape Town 2010 gathering of world evangelical leaders concerned about accelerating world evangelization, I spoke briefly about the great opportunities of reaching out to the 214 Million International Migrants.  I also mention the predictions of migration experts that this "global diaspora" would accelerate.  Who would have imagined during CT2010, that just a few months later massive migration would take place in North Africa, the Arabian Gulf, and Japan, caused by political upheaval, violence, and natural disasters?  Right now, if we combined all the International Migrants, they would constitute a nation larger than the population of Brazil, the 5th largest nation in the world.   Including the Internal Migrants, there are close to 1 Billion People on the Move.

How do we see all this through the lenses of Global Missions and World Evangelization?  Is the global Church prepared for this phenomenological population shift?  Do evangelicals have a biblical understanding of hospitality?  (Hospitality is more than just potlucks or coffee and Dunkin donuts -- unfortunately this is the understanding of many in the West!)  What strategies do we have in most if not all points of entry and border doors of our countries?  If the local congregations are not prepared, it is perhaps because the leadership is not prepared.  So how are the Bible Colleges, Seminaries, and Divinity Schools in Universities preparing clergy and missionaries if their missions/evangelism curriculums do not address these global issues?  Can denominations address this global issue if they keep insisting a dichotomized approach to missions i.e. "foreign vs. home missions"; "from here to there" instead of " from everywhere to everywhere";  "land locked instead of non-spatial (e.g. planting church only on land, concentrating only in the mega-cities while forgetting to plant churches on the ocean); leaving the work primarily to so-called "International Workers" instead of motivating, mentoring and mobilizing the ordinary migrant "Kingdom Workers."

If you have not yet read the latest International Organization for Migration (IMO) World Migration Report 2011 download it for FREE.  I would encourage every missions educator and denominational leader/specialist to access and analyze this report. I would encourage you to read this report prepared every year and ask hard question on how the global situation impacts the way you do missions.  Missiologists and Missions Strategists should be some of the first to read this along with the political and social scientists or the human rights and ecological activists, or government policy makers and legal experts.

My friend Dr. J.D. Payne, Lausanne/Global Diaspora Network Subject Matter Specialist (SME) and professor of Evangelism and Church Planting at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary posted his observations about this global trend in his blog "Missiological Thinking" (  He lists 5 Key International Migration Trends for 2011 (see original post).  BTW, I asked Dr. Payne to serve as SME along with two other experts Dr. Tuvya Zaretsky of the Jews for Jesus (he also is an administrator at and Mr. Sam George (  I would encourage you to read their work and visit their websites because they all periodically address global migration/diaspora issues.

Keywords: migrants, diaspora, 2011, Payne, International Immigration Organization, Zaretsky, George

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Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down PastorSteve (1)
United States

Hospitality is surely a critical factor in reaching out to migrants from the myriad of cultures. Being from the southern United States (where we did to be know for our hospitality), I feel that we are more often just hospitable then generous in our hospitality. What I mean by this is that we are typically pleasant on the outside, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are warm and welcoming on the inside ... especially to those in cultures we do not understand. I think true hospitality has to have components of genuine love, giving of oneself, and humility. It is traits such as these that allow us to welcome others, seek to understand their cultures and themselves, and then create relationships of trust and respect ... that, hopefully, lead to faithful witnessing opportunities. 

Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down UshaGTN (0)
United States

Thanks for the information in this article.  I am attempting studies in diaspora missions and seeking more information and connections regarding diaspora missions in usa amongst Asians, specifically Indians.

Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down lounisambassy (0)
United States

yes i agree that why a miniaster full time

if i receive a good support financial i will sttart immediatly


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PhContributeBy Sadiri ’Joy’ Tira 
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada

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