The United States and Canada have welcomed more than 50 million immigrants, many of them from countries closed to Western missionaries. SEND’s Diaspora | North America workers minister to these displaced people.
Diaspora comes from the Greek verb “to scatter.” Jesus’ parable of the sower features the root of this word; some of the scattered seeds wither, others flourish and reproduce. Many diaspora people — refugees, economic migrants, international students and government workers — have arrived in North America, where we have the chance to sow the seeds of the gospel.
SEND's diaspora workers live among the unreached in several distinct ethnic communities and engage people using diverse approaches that reflect the complexities of each group’s culture. Our overall vision is to share the love of Christ with diaspora people and see reproducing churches established within their communities both here and abroad.
Many of the immigrants that we work with are very open to talk about spiritual things, though they come from very different religious backgrounds. Being overseas, they are in a place where it’s safer to examine other belief systems. Refugees in particular may have witnessed horrific acts performed in the name of God, which can make them feel nervous about pushy "religion." They need to experience real love, care and friendship.