Look at this small group of people in this picture. These are church leaders we are training from a church here in Dallas which is made up of several different nationalities: Chinese, Africans, Hispanics, and many more. In the 15 years we have been doing ministry with internationals in Dallas, we have figured out something. Cross-cultural work is hard! There are just so many cultural barriers, not to mention language issues. Although we see fruit and have had unbelievable experiences, we are constantly learning how to do it better because our heart is to reach all people groups here in Dallas. Ministry in a multicultural city like Dallas can be very complicated. It is not like going to a foreign country as a missionary and reaching one people group, which is difficult in itself! But in the DFW area, there are around 300 people groups! With the complication of so many people groups, comes amazing opportunity and potential that I pray you all will see.
Did you know Dallas has become one of the most diverse cities in the United States? From right here in Dallas, we can truly affect the world through discipleship and church planting. We can make disciples and plant churches in other countries from right here! Now with access to the internet, most international families living here in America can Skype their families and friends back home. Most of the refugee families who we know do this. Also, Dallas has one of the biggest international student populations who are going back to their countries. But to reach other people groups in other countries, discipleship and church planting has to start here by reaching out to all people groups in DFW.
In our experience and observation as missionaries in Dallas, the most common way that we see internationals trying to be reached is by mostly white-American believers. Please hear me say, it needs to keep happening! We do it too as a ministry and will continue to do so! But I truly believe more effective ways to reach internationals need to be happening as well.
We feel like God is showing us another way, which is to train Christians of other nationalities on how to make disciples who make disciples within their own people groups by starting small groups who discover God together. We are currently connecting with so many Christians of other nationalities for the purpose of working together to start these groups among all people groups in Dallas. So along with our work to reach people ourselves, we are also training Christians of other nationalities (including Americans) to reach their own cultures. It is such a blessing and we are full of excitement! Below are some pictures of our trainings and we are preparing for many more this summer. Please pray that we will connect with all people groups in the DFW area and pray that a discipleship movement will happen here in Dallas!