About 40 Christian practitioners and leaders representing a variety of organizations serving refugees, internally displaced peoples, and asylum seekers gathered in one of the most diverse square miles in the continental U.S. April 9th to discuss growing trends in refugees living in cities and how to assist them in whatever stage on the refugee highway they are experiencing.
As I look back on this past year and consider what it means to plant and pastor through the COVID-19 pandemic, what I feel the most is gratefulness. God helped us aim to build something healthy in our church that could outlast pressure.
Sitting on the banks of the Hoogly River, Kolkata is home to approximately 15 million people. Being the major metropolis area of eastern India and the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, Kolkata has seen many immigrants from surrounding states as well as native Bengalis settling here over the years. While having a complicated history, present-day Kolkata is a mixture of its British-influenced past and proud Bengali cultural heritage.
Smoke smoldered from the white smart phone moments after it had been repeatedly smashed with a hammer. The man who had destroyed it swiftly buried it at the side of an ignominious back road of Kaleton, and drove off. That phone represented the last connection Ava had with family back home. She had given it to a friend to destroy so that her husband couldn’t find her or their children, after they had fled her home country.
Berlin, a city of tragic lows, global influence and new beginnings. From the horrors of Hitler and the Nazis, to the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, espionage, prisoner exchanges and the recent refugee crisis, Berlin has often been front and center on the world stage.
There is one missing pearl from the works of Roger S. Greenway that seems to have vanished from existence. We at Radius Global would love to bring it back. As a matter of fact, it is important that we do so. In ‘Calling Our Cities to Christ’, Greenway discusses the role of the local church as the primary space for effective evangelism in the changing neighborhoods of urban areas.
Cities will continue as vital centers of human commerce, social interaction, and innovation. While there is no doubt that the pandemic will alter some aspects of city life, the long-term impact is overstated. We need cities and cities need us.
God loves cities. And if God is the chief builder and architect of the city, then He desires His people to love them as well. Dr. John White, a seasoned professor and missiologist, helps us to grasp this reality by supplying a list of 16 biblical reasons for engaging cities with the gospel.