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DIaspora Groups in Europe

Autor: Thomas Hieber
Fecha: 10.02.2012
Category: Diáspora

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Publicado originalmente en inglés

Once again thanks for your insightful article on todays Diaspora issues,Joy. I agree with you that the whole UPG and UUPG needs to be redifined in the light of Diaspora movements. Just one example as I am working with the South Asian Diaspora in Europe....

The Gospel has been preached and churches have been planted in the Punjab      (North India) yet we have thousands of Punjabi people in Europe( and other Diaspora places) that live together in clusters - like Northern Italy at least 60 000- that qualify as UUPG in an Italian and European context. They are an ’unengaged unreached people group’ in Europe.There is hardly a vibrant local Italien church around them with a mission vision and the missionaries working in Italy are working primarily with the Italien people. Who is going to reach them? If we go by the clasical definition of the UPG’s or wheather they live in the 10/40 window we will not engage with them.

Unless we redefine our mission strategy thinking we will not be able to bring the God News to all people in our life time.

One possible workforce that God is preparing in the Diaspora right now are the second and third generation Diaspora believers. The kids of those that first came to our countries and that are bi-or tri cultural by nature. They move with ease between the host culture and their parents culture and they do not define their ethnicity by their parents background. We are seeing right now a whole new group of young believers that have broken down the culture and racial barriers that are so often still seen in our societies ( and churches)

One of our tasks should be to strengthen these initiatives and encourage them to take a lead in speading the gospel in their generation. Where I live right now a group of these young people have started a network called ’Young Leaders United’. They want to work together with all denominations as they come from various denominations and cultural backgrounds. They want to serve the people and be a blessing to our city (Berlin) They are an inspiring example of unity in the body of Christ!

We, as older leaders and pastors, need to give them our support and blessings and help them to get a plattform for their vision and passion. If we fail to do so we will lose a whole generation of bi-cultural young people ( coming from all the major world religions)

In our inner cities we have almost 50 % of young people below the age of 20 that are bi-cultural. They are different fromt the first generation diaspora people that came and they are different from the host cultures young people but they understand both of them. They are the bridge builders to both cultures. To me these young leaders are one of the work forces for the Diaspora and it’s many opportunities.

Palabras clave: Diaspora, South Asians in Europe, 2nd Generation

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PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Adnahsar (1)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

I agree that many people forget about the thousands of people who have been displaced and are no longer in their home countries and seem more likely to focus on the home country and the people still living there. I would never have imagined that many Punjabi people lived in Italy, let alone a specific area of Italy. It does not make any sense to me that the Italian people have not found a way to reach out to these people that have no other resource for learning about God in the country that they were displaced to. I agree that it must be up to the people currently living there and the people who visit there to set up some sort of diaspora mission in order to reach this large group of unchurched people.


03.12.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo harek (2)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

Thank you for this insight!  Youth are certainly an untapped source for spreading the gospel. It is a tragedy that many churches do not utilize or equip them.  Whether churches realize it or not, not only
are youth a vital part of the church, they are the future.  How we encourage them to take initiative, use their gifts, and to really make the gospel a part of their identity (and not that of their parents) determines the future health of the church.

I am most intrigued about bi-cultural youth.  With more people in
history living outside of their homeland, it is a great opportunity for
Christians to in essence “make disciples of all nations” within their own communities.  However, I fear that many Christians
(at least in America) are not currently prepared to interact with people from different cultures, much less share their faith with them.  I am hopeful that bi-cultural you can help bridge that cultural gap since they are “culturally fluent” both their parent’s and host cultures.  They have great advantage in diaspora missions.


09.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Graeper (15)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica
@ harek:

harek, your posting makes me wonder what we need to do in our churches to better equip our young people to share their faith with others in their communities and even in the communities where they may find themselves in one day. Our youth today have many more outlets for reaching folks in other cultures without even leaving their homes. With Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other social medias out there our youth are in touch with other cultures. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if as a church we were equipping our youth with ways to share their faith on the social media sites?


16.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo James_Loewen (0)
Francia
@ Graeper:

One of the biggest challenges in the context of Europe is that our christian youth are educated in a post-christian environment that teaches that all system of belief are valid. If I’m not mistaken, whether we’re speaking about German, French, Italian, Spanish or British youth they all hold this view. As Christians we are in complete opposition to it so Christian youth are forced into a pluralistic mentality.


Back in the day "when I was young and growing up in my mono-cultural Western Canadian Mennonite cacoon" the guys that were the most effective evangelists in my high school were that ones that were passionate about what they believed and understood the lostness of their classmates. I think it’s the same today, the youth that will effectively reach out to their generation are those that are fooled by the pluralism of their culture and have a passion for their lost friends and neighbours. Using FB, Twitter and the like are just avenues to communicate. We can equip this generation by transmitting the passion we have for the lost along with some ideas on cross-cultural communication. But the essential is passion for the lost - my neighbour is going to hell.


17.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Graeper (15)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica
@ James_Loewen:

James, Thank you for your reply. I agree with you that, it will be those youth who are passionate about what they believe and have a burning desire to save their friends through sharing the word of God, that will be the ones to reach their lost friends. It would be nice if we knew what that secret button was to push that would get all our youth and adults fired up for God and spreading the gospel.


17.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo harek (2)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica
@ Graeper:

Graeper, I do not have a simple answer to how the church could insight passion in our youth.  I am certain there are some churches who are trying.  I agree with James_Loewen that passion is a key factor.  Youth will have to care enough and to realize that they themselves can make an impact in the Great Commission now (and not when they are older).  I think that social media can be used as a tool, but I do not think many people have been saved through a post on facebook or a tweet, etc.  In another conversation here, the discussion is about relationships.  Youth as well as ourselves must become intentional in our relationships.  Please correct me if I am wrong, because I am still learning myself, but I think relationship is the root of discipleship which is what we are called to do in the Great Commission.  Yes we can convert people in a revival, youth camp, wherever, but if we don’t have a nurtured relationship with that person, discipleship will be impossible.  I don’t know if youth have more outlets for reaching people in other cultures, rather than different outlets that non-youth may not possess or take advantage of.  The bottom line I think is that we need to disciple our youth, by being intentional in our relationships with them.  In the process of pouring our lives into them, we will hopefully spark a thirst and passion for God which should describe our lives and cause us to love others.  That will mean that we must say “no” to other stuff that may try to get in the way of the discipleship process sometimes.  Then ideally, the youth will better know how to disciple others because they better understand the importance of relationships, and will share their passion for God and others with whom they disciple which could very well be people of different cultures since as you mentioned, they do have outlets to them. 
   


17.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Graeper (15)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica
@ harek:

harek,


I agree with you that discipling youth and anyone really, starts with building relationships. As our youth meet people through camps, traveling, or school functions they are better able to stay in touch with those new friends and to build on those relationships with FB, twitter, and whatever other social media sites are out there. It is so much easier for our youth today to stay in touch and to build on relationships then it was say 15 yrs ago. If the churches are working with youth on how to disciple to other people then those youth can do that through their building friendships on FB and twitter. I’m not saying that those media sites will save someone but it sure does make staying in touch with those friends easier.


21.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo harek (2)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica
@ Graeper:

In that sense, yes, youth can and do use social media to stay in touch with friends they meet through school, travel, etc. However, I do question how much those relationships can survive or grow when all their interactions are through technology.  I worry that the quality of relationships are deteriorating because they are being made and maintained in social media sites.  Because of that atrophy, that directly affects the quality of the discipleship that could come out of those relationships they have with each other.  Many of the relationships youth create that must be maintained through social media sites are between youth from different backgrounds (and possibly the diaspora).  In my opinion, the question is how can our youth effectively build relationships and disciple their peers of the diaspora when they normally only use social media sites to stay in touch?     


24.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo harek (2)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

Thank you for this insight!  Youth are certainly an untapped source for spreading the gospel. It is a tragedy that many churches do not utilize or equip them.  Whether churches realize it or not, not only
are youth a vital part of the church, they are the future.  How we encourage them to take initiative, use their gifts, and to really make the gospel a part of their identity (and not that of their parents) determines the future health of the church.

I am most intrigued about bi-cultural youth.  With more people in
history living outside of their homeland, it is a great opportunity for
Christians to in essence “make disciples of all nations” within their own communities.  However, I fear that many Christians
(at least in America) are not currently prepared to interact with people from different cultures, much less share their faith with them.  I am hopeful that bi-cultural you can help bridge that cultural gap since they are “culturally fluent” both their parent’s and host cultures.  They have great advantage in diaspora missions.


09.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo harek (2)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

Thank you for this insight!  Youth are certainly an untapped source for spreading the gospel. It is a tragedy that many churches do not utilize or equip them.  Whether churches realize it or not, not only
are youth a vital part of the church, they are the future.  How we encourage them to take initiative, use their gifts, and to really make the gospel a part of their identity (and not that of their parents) determines the future health of the church.

I am most intrigued about bi-cultural youth.  With more people in
history living outside of their homeland, it is a great opportunity for
Christians to in essence “make disciples of all nations” within their own communities.  However, I fear that many Christians
(at least in America) are not currently prepared to interact with people from different cultures, much less share their faith with them.  I am hopeful that bi-cultural you can help bridge that cultural gap since they are “culturally fluent” both their parent’s and host cultures.  They have great advantage in diaspora missions.


09.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo harek (2)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

Thank you for this insight!  Youth are certainly an untapped source for spreading the gospel. It is a tragedy that many churches do not utilize or equip them.  Whether churches realize it or not, not only
are youth a vital part of the church, they are the future.  How we encourage them to take initiative, use their gifts, and to really make the gospel a part of their identity (and not that of their parents) determines the future health of the church.

I am most intrigued about bi-cultural youth.  With more people in
history living outside of their homeland, it is a great opportunity for
Christians to in essence “make disciples of all nations” within their own communities.  However, I fear that many Christians
(at least in America) are not currently prepared to interact with people from different cultures, much less share their faith with them.  I am hopeful that bi-cultural you can help bridge that cultural gap since they are “culturally fluent” both their parent’s and host cultures.  They have great advantage in diaspora missions.


09.04.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo James_Loewen (0)
Francia

Excellent article on reaching the unreached diaspora. The impact of youth that have been touched by the Gospel is enormous within their people group. As you have stated they are bi-cultural and understand far better how to communicate with their people than we as outsiders ever will. God is on the move among the diaspora in Europe! Keep up the good work.


06.03.2012
PhContributeBy
Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Graeper (15)
Estados Unidos de Norteamérica

I appreciate your article on the issue at hand of being able to reach out to the Punjabi people located in Europe. As I have worked with young people all of my life I agree that we do need to reach out to them and allow them to be useful tools in spreading the gospel to all ages. We do not need to let their age be a hindrance in spreading the gospel. In fact, the vitality that many young people have today for Christ needs to be shared with all ages of folks and needs to be encouraged. Just imagine the bridges that we can build to all kinds of cultures and the work forces created for the Diaspora and the opportunities there.

In my experience in working with young people, if you don’t get their attention now then they will find something or someone that will. Why not grab their attention for Christ and let them run with it.


12.02.2012

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