Tripping over my own feet trying to learn Scottish Highland dancing, I marveled that I was learning this in China, taught by a Portuguese-Canadian. We moved on to Tibetan dancing — much easier — and then square dancing, the Virginia Reel.
This Diaspora Dance creates hilarious moments of learning, and is also a catalyst for communicating the gospel.
Last night I went to a lecture “Missions, Migration and Multiplication Movements” offered by Dr. Robert Cousins of Tyndale Seminary and Dr. Narry Santos of Greenhills Christian Fellowship. The focus of the lecture was on the growth of the immigrant church in Canada. Dr. Santos told the story of growing a church in his native Manila, and yet seeing family after family relocate to Canada. So Dr. Santos moved to Toronto to build a church. God spoke to him: rather than build a Filipino church, Dr. Santos was to build a “multi-cultural, multiethnic” church, one that reflects the diversity of Toronto and of Canada.
I really enjoyed the boldness of Dr. Santos and his church-planting network in Canada. I also enjoyed hearing from Fletcher, a pastor planting in Surrey BC who is from Malawi, and from Lydia, a missions mobilizer from Trinidad working in Canada. Lydia believes it is good for Canadians to have diaspora Christians in their midst, because immigrants are not afraid to share their faith on the bus or metro or anywhere. Boldness is simply a part of who they are. This is great for us in Canada, as our culture tends toward the opposite; we can fear sharing our faith as we may offend someone.
This month teams of Inter-Varsity students go out to do the diaspora dance, learning new steps and moves from our global Christian family, and teaching some of our own. One team goes to East Asia, one to the Middle East, and one to Haiti. Another team hosts global partners from the Middle East North Africa region to do outreach in Canada. One team works in partnership with Indigenous youth in Canada. And another team will definitely be doing the Virginia Reel at camp with kids from a variety of backgrounds at our camp partnership.
What’s great about the Diaspora Dance? Though it has it’s awkward moments, it’s hilarious, joyous, and besides, it’s all about the learning and relationships anyway!
Time to hit the dance floor!
director of missions IVCF
Mission Pilgrims is the call to live all life as a mission road following Jesus, growing as disciples as we go making disciples.
I host this blog but will involve many other contributors who are walking in Jesus mission with their lives, including:
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship staff and students, campers, alumni, teachers, engineers, doctors, business, social workers, bakers, and candlestick-makers. Jesus calls all in His life-long mission pilgrimage whether its across the street or across the world.
For more extraordinary stories of our short-term missions, go to Extraordinary Stories