Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Reaching Diaspora Peoples of Europe - July 2013

In this Szymanski News and Update I want to unpack something that is often not a popular topic, reaching M*slms.

In the west today there are plenty of people, both non-believers and believers who are not very happy with efforts to reach M* people with the Gospel. I can understand those feelings however pushing through those natural responses I look to a day described in Revelation 7:9… “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
I am part of an innovative group that has identified 142 unengaged M* people groups located in the many countries of Europe. We have accurate numbers of how many live in each country but are not sure what cities or better yet what areas of the city they live in. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of diaspora peoples some who have fled their home country while others simple moved for other reasons. We do know God has brought them to a free Europe for a purpose. It would take massive amounts of money to send people physically to the country to research each group so we are working to develop a methodology using social media platforms to identify these unreached groups. If successful a paper will be presented at a national mission conference in 2014 as it may have broader implications.

So, how are we planning on doing this? Census data research will only get us so far. We know the types of groups living and working in these nations but their exact location needs to be researched. So we are attempting to use social media and Internet forums to see if we can develop a methodology that brings more precise living locations for us to work from. Once this data is developed we’ll work to roll out a mobilization plan to the mission world for engagement. We want people to move to these communities. Love, live with and introduce these groups to Jesus.

Why Europe? Europe is a free region of the world and many of these groups, if they would remain in their home nation, would be out of reach of the gospel. In the Book of Acts; 17:24-27, it appears that God moves people to nations for His purposes and salvation… The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”

Why Diaspora? Diaspora peoples have a variety of needs that permit people to interact with, befriend, and build relationships with as we actually care about them. As we live out our lives together our lives are a book to be read and build creditability for discussion. Knowing the Holy Spirit is always at work we trust Him to draw and save.

Please pray for our efforts. A major university is considering approving a semester lab to develop the methodology. A colleague and I have raised the necessary monies for the lab and oversight but as you can imagine this will also be a spiritual fight. We have already felt resistance so if you can remember us as we move forward I would appreciate it. Feel free to contact me directly for more detailed information.

Mark Szymanski

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