Missions Catalyst 09.08.04 – Practical Mobilization

In This Issue: What Might Global Migration Mean for Us?

  • Turks Move to Philadelphia
  • Time for International Students

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

Practical Mobilization by Shane Bennett is published once a month.

Turks Move to Philadelphia

By Shane Bennett

Throughout history God has brought people he wanted converted into the presence of his servants so they could find him. In fact, Paul told the intellectuals on Mars Hills in Acts 17 that, “. . . God made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek him, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him.” A clear-cut example of this is currently underway between a relatively unknown people group and a single city in the U.S.

An unreached group known as Meskhetian Turks have suffered extensively under the heavy hand of various governments , from Stalin’s to post-Soviet Russia to the Republic of Georgia. They have been shuffled from place to place and persecuted wherever they are.

Recent intense negotiation has resulted in an amazing opportunity for many Meskhetian Turks to relocate permanently to the U.S. Up to 10,000 are expected to take the opportunity. Most initial re-settlement will take place in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

For mobilizers the key question is “How will the Church in the U.S. respond?” And further, how can we help that response? Here are some thoughts:

1. Read up and pray for the Meskhetian Turks who are moving into the range of the Church. A good place to start is the on-line article by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Pray for the churches and Christian agencies in Philadelphia to respond with love and action to this move of God.

2. If you are near enough to Philadelphia, contact Lutheran Children and Family Service (1.877.700.5237) to see how you and your church can get involved.

3. Use this example to encourage research into similar situations in your area. How is God working in your city in line with Paul’s assertion in Athens to put people in certain places so that they might seek and find him? How can you encourage others to respond to these situations?

Time for International Students

From: Shane Bennett

This week marks the traditional end to summer in the U.S. For many, Labor Day, an official holiday, marks the last chance to visit the lake, go camping, or barbecue with friends in the back yard. With the end of summer comes the beginning of school. From five-year-olds going off to kindergarten to post-doctoral students returning to their studies, it is back-to-school time.

Of particular interest to mobilizers are the hundreds of thousands of students who will start or continue studies in a foreign land. America will host over half a million international students this year. Many of these are leaders, or future leaders, from strikingly under-evangelized lands.

According to an International Students, Incorporated volunteer, “When international students arrive, everything is new. They need someone to prepare them for how things are done, how we think, and the easiest ways to adjust to our culture. They need someone who is truly going to be their friend.”

International students provide an opportunity to imitate Jesus and to honor Old Testament commands to care for foreigners in our midst. They also give us and our children a great chance to revel in the beauty and the wonder of different cultures.

How can mobilizers respond?

1. Get involved yourself at your local university. Call, e-mail, or, better yet, visit the international student office. Find ways to befriend international students and begin to do it.

2. Act as a bridge between your church and the international student community. Demonstrate by your personal action how your church can befriend international students. Develop processes that people in your church can follow to invite students into their home. Plan now for families in your church to host international students for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or whatever holidays are important in your land over the next three months.

3. If you live where there are no international students, consider other ways in which you can connect with visitors from unreached people groups who temporarily live near you.

Questions? Problems? Submissions? Contact publisher/managing editor Marti Smith.

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