Brothers and sisters in Christ:
Today we divert to reading the following passage of an executive summary. Changes are already in place for those who are ready to walk with Jesus in this last week of the passion. All we need is a step of faith.
“Diaspora mission is a kairos opportunity.”
Diasporas from Cape Town 2010 to Manila 2015 and Beyond
Sadiri Joy Tira
According to the United Nations Development Programme, there are over 214 million international migrants—people living outside their country of birth. Caused by multiple factors, both voluntary and involuntary, diaspora is a complex issue that is changing world demography, economies, policies, cultures, and societies.
The current global phenomenon of diaspora is a God-initiated and God-orchestrated missional moment in contemporary history. The mass redistribution of people has profound implications for missions strategy. Recently, global diaspora movements have caught the attention not only of government policy makers and social scientists, but also of missiologists.
Global diasporas, particularly diasporas and missions, were a highlighted topic at the Third Lausanne Congress in Cape Town in 2010. One of the issues discussed was how to minister to, minister through, and minister beyond diasporas or scattered peoples. Global diaspora missions were embraced and integrated into The Cape Town Commitment.
Lausanne III highlighted ministering to and mobilising the diaspora people. However, this push came primarily from practitioners. Therefore, there arose a need for a collaboration of academics and practitioners in the study of diaspora and missions. Furthermore, informed discussion of diaspora and missions was also needed through a growing body of literature. In anticipation of the challenges and opportunities presented by this need, the Lausanne Movement leadership tasked the Senior Associate for Diasporas to form a wider organization.
The Global Diaspora Network (GDN) was organized during the conclusion of Lausanne III in order to broaden the diaspora network and project the diaspora agenda beyond the event. The GDN headquarters/secretariat office was established in Manila.
The GDN has been instrumental in the formation of Diaspora Institutes at various theological training institutions. There are also increasing numbers of evangelical students in doctoral programs of various seminaries who are writing diaspora-related dissertations. Their research and writing will be major contributions to the growing body of diaspora missiology literature.
The GDN will convene the Global Diaspora Forum (GDF) from 24-28 March 2015 in Manila. The purpose of this global gathering of diaspora missiology scholars and practitioners is to assess and advance diaspora missiology five years after Cape Town 2010. The vision of the GDF 2015 is: to gather the key evangelical leaders to engage, discuss, and mobilize the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world, specifically to the people on the move.
The Lausanne Movement and GDN are hoping that more than half of the key evangelical seminaries around the world will offer a course on diaspora missiology as a result of GDF 2015, thus catalyzing the global church to embrace diaspora missions. More information about the forum may be found on the Global Diaspora Network website, www.globaldiaspora.net.
In particular, after GDF 2015, the GDN will be publishing a comprehensive compendium on diaspora missiology to promote it as a respectable academic field, alongside other existing disciplines.
While many agencies are responding slowly to the realities of diaspora, there is a gradual realization of the strategic value of diaspora missiology for reaching the ‘global peoples’.
Diaspora mission is likely to accelerate as academics and practitioners implement diaspora missiology following Cape Town and the Manila Global Diaspora Forum. Diaspora mission is a kairos opportunity. I am thankful that the Lausanne Movement’s embrace of diaspora missiology is stimulating the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world, particularly to the diasporas—the scattered peoples.