Diaspora Engagement Closes the Loop on Global Missions
With global migration at an all-time high, the nations are coming to our own cities and communities creating an unprecedented mission opportunity for all South Carolina Baptists. According to the United Nations International Office of Migration, there are currently over 280 million people living outside their country of birth. These are immigrants, refugees, students, business people and others.
In the US alone there are over 45 million which represents 13 % of our population.
While the percentages are fewer in South Carolina, closer to 5.2%, this still represents over 270,000 foreign born in our state. In upstate SC alone, hundreds of refugees have come in the last year from at least 8 different nations and added to non native born people who have moved into our state from other places around the USA, the numbers are surely in the thousands. There have been 3200 refugees from Ukraine alone that have moved to SC since the war began in 2022.
Many of these newcomers are from restricted access countries and when we love them and help them assimilate into our communities, it creates very natural bridges to gospel conversations. There are many stories of SC Baptists who have befriended newcomers and eventually those people have become followers of Jesus and as they have grown in their faith, have in turn reached out to family and friends back home with the hope of the gospel
In this way, the missions loop is closing as we reach people God is bringing us from the nations in our own back yards. Please pray all SC Baptists would continue to “show hospitality to strangers” so that no matter where we are, we are “reaching the nations” with the hope of the Gospel.
About the Author: Robbie McAlister works for the SCBC as a People Group Strategist on the Send Team.