An estimated 140 million Africans live outside of the continent of Africa
Bringing the Good News of Jesus to Africa’s hardest to reach people does not always mean a move to Africa.
Today, millions of Africans live outside of Africa: in North America, Europe, and around the globe – the African diaspora. There are pockets of Sudanese in Nebraska, Moroccans in the Netherlands, and Senegalese in Spain. Reaching out to these populations, and others like them, is called diaspora ministry.
God’s original call on Africa Inland Mission (AIM) was to go to the ‘Inlands’; Africa’s unreached; those who have yet to hear of the saving gospel of Christ. Many of those people groups remain unreached because they are difficult to access; because of their geographical location or increasingly, because adherence to Islam means that traditional mission work is not possible in their countries. But now, people in those locations are coming to us.
Thousands of Africans are journeying every month. Some are moving for economic reasons, some are escaping political oppression, and others are seeking to avoid religious persecution. Africans also come as students or as international employees.
AIM’s Diaspora Outreach Teams serve in strategic communities where significant populations of ethnic Africans live, and we seek partnerships with Christ-centered, biblically-based churches. Working in cooperation with these churches, AIM missionaries have a unique opportunity to build relationships and share the hope of Christ with people groups we would not normally have the opportunity to work among.
Diaspora [dahy-as-per-uh] : any group that has been dispersed outside its traditional homeland
Our Vision : Multiplying followers of Jesus among all African peoples in the diaspora
Whether they are economic migrants, international students, undocumented immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers, one fact remains the same – They are the new neighbors our churches are called to love.
Though AIM has had a long history of ministry to diaspora Africans, the growing trends and a new perspective on missions is causing us to increase our efforts. First and foremost is our desire to come alongside the church in North America and Europe to equip them for effective outreach. Currently AIM has workers who have “moved in” to African immigrant neighborhoods in several cities in Canada, Europe, Brazil, and the USA. All of these workers partner with local churches to extend the gospel by reaching out to these communities in practical ways that demonstrate Christ’s love. Whether it’s at home, work, clubs, moms and toddler groups, ESL classes, or at-risk youth mentoring, these workers want their African friends to know and experience life with Jesus.
Being able to speak their language and having lived in their countries of birth, many of these AIM workers are a crucial bridge between the local church and these new neighbors.
We desire to see these unreached people groups embrace the good news of Jesus and to form new communities of faith in their heart language and culture. Those coming from these groups need a safe community. They need the gospel to be translated in living color as grace is being extended.
The best way AIM is going to see this realized is by coming alongside the local church in the neighborhoods and cities where African immigrants are finding their new life. We want to train and mobilize everyday believers to “move in” and live as missionaries embracing and understanding their new neighbor’s culture. Going to the unreached, and being as Jesus on the diaspora road.
Opportunities to Serve
Short term summer teams in Malta or Spain
Our summer “Dream Teams” run for two weeks and will allow you to witness diaspora ministry through established Church ministries while participating in real ministry yourself. You will be engaged in sharing your faith in an intentional manner alongside your teammates. You’ll make connections with Africans entering Europe to seek a better life, and introduce them to Christ. Many of the people you meet will come from a Muslim background and you may be the first Christian they’ve met. The summer team is also a good way to gain experience in reaching those of other faiths and to understand the complexities and challenges migrants face as they move to seek a brighter future. And you will be encouraged to see how Christians elsewhere demonstrate their love for Christ, through a generous spirit of hospitality and a commitment to make Christ known to others as you work alongside national believers. Applications for each summer team are due by the end of March.
Full term opportunities around the globe
AIM’s Diaspora Outreach Teams serve in strategic communities where significant populations of ethnic Africans live, sharing the hope of Christ in word and deed. Talk to an AIM Mobilizing Office near you to learn more about current opportunities.
Full term diaspora ministry can include:
- One-on-one evangelism and discipleship
- Equipping local believers to reach out to the African diaspora
- Language learning / ESL
- Practical assistance for immigrants and refugees such as driver’s training and citizenship classes
- University Student Ministry
Catch a glimpse of our summer Dream Team ministries in this video.
“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…” [Acts 17:26-27]