All believers are sojourners—in exile, on our way to our eternal home, living in the already but not yet. We have all had the sense of not fitting in, of being different from those around us, of trying to figure out our place in the world.
This feeling is sharpened for believers who have had to flee their country. Since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, more than 11 million of its 17 million people have had to leave their homes. Thousands ended up in refugee camps in neighboring Lebanon, where churches are offering assistance, and where conversion from Islam to Christianity is allowed under the law. Others were able to resettle in countries such as Canada and the United States, where Christian organizations and churches are working to care for many of them.
In a similar vein, we see churches caring for the Chinese diaspora—helping their congregants as they struggle with their identity and opening their services to other languages in order to reach their neighborhoods. Hispanic churches become family and cultural centers for believers away from home, and we hear testimony after testimony of these churches energizing majority culture congregations around them. In a very visible way, this is the gospel at work—a glorious reminder of our spiritual citizenship and a powerful spearhead for gospel advancement.
Ways to pray:
- Thanksgiving for the care and belonging that diaspora churches provide
- For pastors to know how to serve their unique congregants, while also serving the communities where they’re planted
- For a kingdom mentality in Christians around the world, that we might wait eagerly together for our true home with Jesus
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28–29
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