The Lord hears and answers. Praise the Lord!
We thank God for a fruitful Global Sikh Consultation. Sixty invited missions leaders and researchers from four continents gathered together. Besides the valuable networking at this first-ever, Sikh-focused event, other significant outcomes include the drafting of the Edmonton Appeal, the formation of the Lausanne Sikhism Working Group (which will be incubated under GDN) and the beginnings of a prayer network focused on Sikhs. May the Lord equip His Church to lovingly proclaim the good news to and disciple Sikhs around the world.
We also thank God for the eye-opening South Asian Diaspora Consultation in Bangalore, India. This gathering was an excellent start to the conversation of how South Asian churches can more fully embrace diaspora movement for God’s Kingdom. Please pray that the Lord will raise up a champion to continue the discussion.
Thank the Lord for the many diaspora missiology related books which were released in 2019 or are scheduled to be released in 2020. The revised compendium as well as Hybridity, Diaspora and Missio Dei should be available by mid-2020. May these resources stir hearts and minds to Spirit-led engagement with diaspora people and issues.
Prayer requests from Global Diaspora Forum participants
Happy 2020! This year is full of many evangelism and discipleship initiatives, including increased scripture engagement through the Year of the Bible and increased prayer and personal witness through Go2020, to name just two global ones. Please pray that as individuals and communities resolve to draw closer to Christ this year, they will clearly see His vision for the movement of peoples. Pray for 2020 to be a year of spiritual breakthroughs among and through many diaspora groups.
Travel within and into China for Chinese New Year (January 25) is the world’s largest human migration. As surveillance of individuals and restrictions against churches in China have significantly increased in the past year, please pray for Christ-followers in China to be filled with and emboldened by the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:24-31). Pray also for churches abroad to effectively communicate the blessings of God’s family to diaspora Chinese.
Christ-followers throughout the globe will join in prayer from January 27 through February 10 for the Buddhist world. The 2020 Buddhist World Prayer Guide includes a clear invitation to pray for and engage with diaspora Buddhists. Please pray that as people use this prayer guide, the Lord will provide opportunities to share the love of Christ with Buddhists.
Please pray for the Refugee Highway Partnership European Roundtable that will meet February 3-7 in Malmö Sweden. Over 200 participants are expected to participate in an array of workshops and networking opportunities. Please pray that the network will be a place for the wide range and spectrum of ministries offered by European Christ-followers among refugees and asylum seekers. Ask God to increase the diversity of leadership involved with RHP.
GDN’s next consultation will be held in Cape Town in late August. The aim for this gathering is to assemble 120-150 people from across the continent in order to review and discuss Africans in diaspora and diasporas in Africa from a scholarly standpoint and later publish a resource on the subject. Please pray for the selection of presenters as well as provision for conference fees and visas for participants.
An updated GDN website will be launched soon. Please pray that this tool will lead to stronger connections and clearer communication both within and outside of GDN.
We invite you to thank the Lord for our brothers Sadiri Joy Tira and Tetsunao Yamamori. Dr. Tira has retired from the GDN Executive Team and completed his term as Lausanne Catalyst for Diaspora while Dr. Yamamori has retired from his role as Senior Advisor of GDN. We thank God for their humble leadership in shaping GDN and diaspora missiology. May the Lord richly bless these men and their families.
The GDN Executive Team is looking to expand. May the Lord clearly guide the search for new team members, the building of new relationships and the next steps for GDN.
On the Move: Venezuelans
According to UNHCR, over 4.5 million Venezuelans live outside of Venezuela. The country’s economic crisis has led to a lack of food, medicine and other supplies previously common, such as toilet paper and electricity. More asylum seekers were from Venezuela than any other country in 2018; many Venezuelans who are likely eligible for refugee status have applied for other legal statuses in hopes of obtaining jobs and healthcare more quickly. Venezuela has one of the lowest church attendance rates in Latin America and foreigners have much difficulty obtaining religious visas. This so-called Venezuelan exodus could give millions of people new opportunities to hear the good news of Christ.
Please pray that many in the Venezuelan diaspora will come to know the Lord as their rock, salvation and fortress (see Psalm 62:2). Pray that they will know the unshakeable faithfulness of the Heavenly Father. Ask the Lord to protect and defend those who are vulnerable to trafficking, violence and exploitation.
Ask God to bless the many nations which are hosting Venezuelans who are fleeing. Pray that the Lord will provide in miraculous ways for the areas of Brazil, Colombia and Peru with large numbers of Venezuelans. Pray for churches to make the most of this gospel opportunity among Venezuelans; pray that through this experience, many Latin American Christ-followers would also be moved to reach out to other immigrants.
Strategic Gathering: Macau
Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China, is known as a “City of Sin.” The economy is based on gambling, especially by mainland Chinese tourists.
Thank God for Macau’s religious freedoms. Pray for the Spirit to strengthen the churches and make them eager to reach out. The first Chinese Bible was translated in Macau; pray that the Word would “speed ahead and be honored” among mainland Chinese, other tourists and immigrants (see 2 Thess. 3:1). Pray for those who have been trafficked from the mainland or from Southeast Asia to find healing in Christ. Pray for Indonesian and Vietnamese domestic workers to know the watchful care of the Creator. May Macau be a City of Hope.
(Information gathered from Operation World and UNHCR)