Autor: Sadiri ’Joy’ Tira
Category: Capacitación en Evangelismo, Diáspora
On Dec. 23 or 22 (read Part 1) I met Mr. Randhawa, a Punjabi man, in the mall. We had coffee and I gave him 11 The Jesus Film DVDs. Over the course of a week we saw each other again. Yesterday, when we met I asked, "Did you have the chance over your busy week to watch the Life of Jesus? What did you do with the 10 other DVDs? Why did you ask for that many?" His reply was, "Mr Tira, yes I watched the ’movie’ and I enjoyed it. The translation and narration were very clear in my Punjabi language. I will watch again. It is a very good documentary film. As for the rest of the DVDs, I sent five copies to India and I gave three to my friends here in South Edmonton. I am keeping three for myself. Why do you want them back?" I responded, "No no no no, of course you can keep them and I am glad that you have shared eight out of the 11 copies. If you want more let me know, OK?"
A hah! This man watched the Jesus film! Also he will watch it again! Mr. Randhawa sent five copies to India after he first viewed the film! He approved of what he saw so he is keeping three copies of the "movie" ---that "Gospel" or a book of the New Testament in electronic format. That is the gospel according to Luke. It is right in his home. I hope his family members will see it and themselves will watch it. The founder of C.C.C., the late Dr. Bill Bright, defined success in evangelism as: "simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting results from God." So, I took the first step. Now I can rest and leave the rest of the working to the Holy Spirit. However, I will keep walking with this man and I will keep buying him a cup of chai at Starbucks because I am hoping that someday he will reciprocate my gesture but offering a homemade "chai." Our friendship has just begun! Our journey just started. Dealing with Diasporas require authentic relational building. I must be ready to give more DVDs just in case he will send more to Punjab. The themes of transnationalism and "borderlessness" are as true to diaspora missions as they are true for identity formation in today’s world. The ripple effect of reaching the Diaspora has a far-reaching impact that is beyond my reach. This man now has become a distributor of the greatest film on the life of Jesus Christ, i.e. the Good News or the "wondrous story." Doxology must be offered.
Before I sign off. I have more to say about "Giftive Mission." As in the past three years, in the most multicultural city of the world, Toronto, this Christmas season, I know of many Believers who intentionally gave gifts to new immigrants. For example, a Chinese church in Toronto, The Jesus Network, the Mississauga Prayer Group, and the Toronto Filipino Ministerial Fellowship worked in concert to give gift bags to new immigrants containing blankets, kids toys and books, and a copy of the Jesus DVD. These groups have been resourced by an Alberta-based Christian Foundation to distribute the Jesus Film in various languages. Close to half a million DVDs have been given to diaspora groups this past three years. But this is more than just a distribution campaign. All individuals involved are seeking for authentic relationships making sure they become credible witnesses of Jesus Christ. Gift giving is a strong bridge for authentic and lasting relationship. Giftive Mission combined with Relational Missiology, therefore, are powerful ways of Christian missions.
To read more about Giftive Missions and Relational Missiology consult these two publications:
CHRISTIANITY ENCOUNTERING WORLD RELIGIONS: The Practice of Mission in the Twenty-first Century by Terry Muck and Frances S. Adeney (2009. Baker Academic). See specifically Part 4 "Giftive Mission" pp. 301-377.
RELATIONAL THEOLOGY AND RELATIONAL MISSIOLOGY by Enoch Wan (EMS Occasional Bulletin Vol. 21 No.1)
Not to be cliché, but I believe that Christmas is "all year long". Why stop at Christmas to practice Giftive Missions. Let us mark this New Year by planning to give the gift of God’s grace (be it in printed form or electronic format) to the many diasporas within our reach all year long. In this simple but meaningful way, the Whole Church can actively participate in bringing the Whole Gospel to the Whole World.
**Photo: "Getting ready for Giftive Mission with The Jesus Film and gifts" (Chan, 2011)
Sadiri Joy Tira (D.Min., D.Miss.) is the LCWE Senior Associate for Diasporas; Vice President for Diaspora Missions at Advancing Indigenous Missions (AIM); Director of the Institute of Diaspora Missiology at Alliance Graduate School (Philippines); and Diaspora Missiology Specialist at the Jaffray Centre for Global Initiatives at Ambrose University College (Canada).