Strangers Next Door

The following is an excerpt from “Strangers Next Door: Immigration, Migration and Mission” by J. D. Payne.

SAMUEL AND YOUNG CHO ARE A MIDDLE-AGED Korean couple living in Lutherville, Maryland.[1] Korean is their heart language and English is their second language. A few years ago, the Lord used this couple to begin Nepal Church of Baltimore, after they met a Nepalese waitress and her family. Recently, the Chos also planted a Bhutani church in Baltimore.

The Nepalese, whether from Nepal or Bhutan, are considered among the world’s least reached peoples . . . and they live in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

In 2008 the Chos took a short-term mission trip to Nepal and visited the families of the church members living in Baltimore. In Nepal, one family invited other family members to hear Samuel preach. Several people came to faith and the Antioch Church in Jamsa was planted. By the conclusion of the trip, over two hundred people had made a profession of faith in Jesus.

Did I mention the Nepalese are considered among the world’s least reached peoples . . . and they live in Baltimore, Maryland, USA?

Shortly after returning from their first missionary trip, the Chos decided to take a second trip to Nepal to minister to refugees and also to travel into India. After finally arriving in a Jhapa refugee camp in southeast Nepal, the Chos were able to locate relatives of members of the Nepal Church of Baltimore. During this visit the Chos were able to share letters and gifts from family members in the States. One of the family members living in Nepal made a profession of faith in Jesus.

While on this second missionary trip, the Chos were able to plant two more churches and to observe two hundred Nepalese, three hundred Bhutanese, and thirty-five Indians make professions of faith in Jesus.

And it began when Koreans in living in Maryland started evangelizing and planting churches with Nepalese living in their neighborhood.

What if more believers like the Chos took seriously the need to cross cultural barriers and take the gospel to the least reached peoples living in the Western world, where the challenges to getting the gospel to the people are not as daunting as trying to reach them in their homelands? What if more kingdom citizens living in Western nations recognized the Great Commission opportunity set before them—that the Sovereign Lord has moved the world into their neighborhoods so that such peoples may become his followers?

Imagine the global possibilities if churches would serve, share the good news, plant churches, partner with, and send the least reached peoples of the world back to their families, tribes, villages, and cities as missionaries. Believers living in the West have dreamed and talked about these possibilities for some time. While some churches have moved beyond talking and are doing it, far too many kingdom citizens remain oblivious to the needs in their neighborhoods and the Great Commission potential that exists.

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