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The Diaspora Dollar: A response

Autor: Dr T V Thomas
Fecha: 29.02.2012
Category: Diáspora

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Publicado originalmente en inglés

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. Joy Tira focuses on a widely held myth by people especially in developed countries of the West that Diaspora people, particularly migrant workers are a burden to host nations. This sentiment is frequently expressed in tough economic times. What is often forgotten is that most migrant workers were recruited to be employed because they were needed for their skills and expertise in the host countries. It is a well-known fact that migrant workers and First Generation immigrants are hard-working and they help build the infrastructure of society, stimulate the economy and contribute to the Gross National Product of the host countries. The myth of migrants being a burden to host countries is largely unfounded and needs to be dispelled as Dr. Tira does.

The level of poverty of migrant workers and First Generation immigrants varies greatly depending upon their income levels which are job- specific and region-specific. A construction laborer in a Gulf country is paid differently from those who are paid in Afghanistan, Canada, Singapore or Ireland. Professionals whose degrees and qualifications are duly recognized earn different amounts depending upon whether they are employed in Australia, Germany, Nigeria or Brazil. Usually the immigrants earn more than their counterpart migrant workers from the same country. Even migrant workers generating the lowest income in the host countries are often not as poor as their colleagues in their homelands. Therefore, poverty is relative.

The statistics that Dr. Tira supplies from the December 2011 World Bank Report are quite staggering. The total official remittances of migrant workers flowing back to developing countries is $351 billion. Yes, the vast percentage of these funds is sent to sustain the nuclear and extended family, some goes as relief and emergency assistance in disaster situations and some goes to support their “spiritual homes”. What is not mentioned are the significant amounts some send back to finance political causes. I anticipate the might of Diaspora dollars will only increase with the escalating growth of Diaspora movements.

Dr. Tira’s primary focus is to address the stewardship of the largely untapped “collective” financial resources of the Diaspora Christian communities. Tira is biblical in his emphasis and practical in his four proposals.

  1. By equipping the Christian communities to be stewards of God-given resources.  Such teaching needs to be done early in their participation in the group. Even the poorest can learn to give to the cause of Christ. Remember, Jesus’ commendation of the “widow’s mite” (Mark 12:41-44).
  2. By developing a Great Commission mindset which includes a global view of God’s mission. They need to be engaged in missions to their own people but also go beyond their own people group or nation.
  3. By contributing to the advance of God’s Kingdom by supporting credible mission initiatives.
  4. By fostering partnerships between Diaspora Christian communities and their homeland churches. Serious care must be taken that unhealthy dependencies are not created, nurtured or encouraged. The migrant workers and the First Generation immigrants are most likely to respond to mission opportunities back in their homelands. The Second and Third Generation will be less inclined to do so.

Palabras clave: Lausanne, diaspora, OMF, TV Thomas, migrant workers, poverty, assistance, support, stewardship, mission, partnership

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

I consider it to be a blessing when person’s from any country are able to have a job be self sufficient and support their families. I think when one is able to accomplish this task they become a productive citizen, able to contribute to their neighborhood, and rear good families. On the other hand when one is not given the opportunity to work and become productive then they sometimes contribute to the crime in the neighborhoods and neglect their families. 

Donnie Thurman Sr.


11.06.2012

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