community to learn from mission together. We learn from what God is doing and we learn from what others are doing. We can learn, observe and grow by spending time with diaspora leaders in the UK.
However, there may be small ways we can start to offer support to them. As we do so, there may be the beginning of an opportunity to humbly learn how God has been at work in their cultural context.
I have always been aware that I don’t love what I don’t know. If we approach diaspora leaders prayerfully, being sensitive and humbly respecting the work of God in and through their lives, we will be able to see our love grow for them, and learn at the same time.
They may need help filling in a form, opening a bank account, finding the right school for their kids, finding a job. Small actions can have a huge impact in their lives. When I was studying theology at Spurgeon’s College, Jean, an amazing Christian from our small church in Farnham Common, asked me to repair various things at her house. She offered me delicious food at lunch, and also money to pay my bills, not to mention the great encouragement of our conversations, which I will never forget.
The CMS newspaper, The Call, recently included a feature entitled “We went to learn, not to help”. This told of the humble example of a group of four people from Winchester diocese who decided to visit Rwanda with the aim of being influenced by the way mission is developed in Africa. We could all learn from this example and we might not even need to leave the UK to engage in this kind of cross cultural learning. Start small: this is a very famous phrase inside CMS, because it is one of John Venn’s principles for mission. Diaspora communities face many physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Most the people coming from abroad are dealing with fear, homesickness, tiredness, isolation and disorientation. They may be missing their loved ones, or they may be missing having someone understand their jokes. We need to be sensitive to their situation.
Conclusion God has given us a huge opportunity to use CMS’s knowledge of crosscultural mission on our doorstep here in the UK. We are trying our best to make the most of it, and we would like to invite you to continue to learn with us. We also invite you to pray and participate as the CMS community continues to grow. CMS has served the nations by sending more than 10,000 missionaries in its 220 year history. Now God is blessing the UK by sending the nations here to strengthen the Church. What a privilege to join diaspora communities in what God is doing!
C HURC HM I SSI ONSOC I E T Y.O RG
Information and inspiration for members of the Church Mission Society community.