Blog: Reaching Internationals in Your City
It’s truly amazing how God has brought the nations to the United States. Have you realized this? Hundreds of people groups (including unreached peoples) are living among us in big cities around the states. Something fascinating about these groups is that oftentimes they gather together in communities. Pockets of New York City have thousands of East Asians living together in community, and they’re living there needing the gospel! My own city of Oklahoma City hosts over 100 different people groups, which is one of the reasons why I moved here. People crave community and desire to speak in their heart language, so it makes sense as to why they would move to the same areas, right? So here now is the question – how do we reach those internationals?
How do we reach anyone? Let’s look to scripture for guidance and for answers! In Luke 10, Jesus gave His followers a mission, told them what to do and what not to do. “After this, the Lord appointed 70 others, and He sent them ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was about to go. He told them: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. Now go; I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves. Don’t carry a money-bag, traveling bag, or sandals; don’t greet anyone along the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they offer, for the worker is worthy of his wages. Don’t be moving from house to house. When you enter any town, and they welcome you, eat the things set before you. Heal the sick who are there, and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near you.’ When you enter any town, and they don’t welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘We are wiping off as a witness against you even the dust of your town that clings to our feet. Know this for certain: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.” Jesus gave them clear guidelines. What does He say first?
Pray. We can do nothing without prayer. Prayer is our connection to the Father, interceding on the behalf of others. He then gives that clear command to “go,” and informs them of the danger they’re entering. As we are going to reach people, wolves will inevitably come and seek to devour, but remember that Jesus promises to be with us always (Matt. 28:18-20). In verse 4, they’re instructed not to bring anything extra with them, followed by a command to not greet anyone on the road. Interesting addition, right? Why would He instruct them in this way?
Dependency on the Father was what Jesus wanted. As they were traveling house to house, they were to trust in the Lord to provide. The command to not greet anyone denotes the sense of focus on the mission at hand. Don’t get distracted on the way.
Continuing on, when entering a home, Jesus says to bring peace, proclaim the Kingdom has come, heal the sick. Remain where you are welcomed. Why is that part important? What if there are others who will welcome me? Jesus instructs them to remain if they are people of peace. Why would we move on from people who desire to follow Jesus? They need to be taught and instructed, so the Great Commission task can continue with faithful laborers! If they’re not welcomed, then they are to move on. Don’t beg people to come to the Lord. He’s preparing who He’s preparing. Earnestly seek those people of peace.
This passage of scripture gives us a way to reach people. The pattern He set was sending them out two-by-two. Why would we not follow the models Jesus set in place? He gave us those models for a purpose. As we seek to reach people in our cities, especially internationals, we first need to find them. Pray, go out, and do as the Scripture says. We won’t have all of the answers to every question, and that’s okay. We must first seek to obey what Jesus has told us to do, and the Holy Spirit will guide us to what’s next.