Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 15, 2014

It’s A Small World After All

Fifty years ago, Disney introduced “It’s A Small World” — a now-famous ride offered at five Disney theme parks around the world. The ride features at least 240 figures representing children around the world. The song “It’s A Small World” is played roughly 1,200 times per day at this popular Disney attraction. The lyrics to the catchy tune remind us, “There’s so much that we share / that it’s time we’re aware / it’s a small world after all.”


The lyrics to Disney’s song are even more true today than they were fifty years ago. It is indeed a smaller and ever-shrinking world. Faster modes of transportation have made it easier than ever before for people to travel beyond familiar horizons. And, advancements in technology have made it easier for people around the planet to connect, regardless of whether they ever leave their own borders.

One thing is certain, the movement of people from place to place is greater today than at any other time in the history of the world. In 1914, Edward Judson, the son of pioneer missionary Adoniram Judson, remarked, “Our Heavenly Father deemed it wise to put in the hearts of the heathen to come from all parts of the world to our shores, paying their own expenses.” Judson was aware of the presence of nations among us in his day.

In the hundred years since Judson spoke those words, immigrants from the least-evangelized parts of the world are now coming to America. Technology enables these immigrants to maintain close ties to their countries of origin — something not possible in Judson’s day. Technology has also paved new roads for the gospel to make its way through those who are reached on our shores back to their countries of origin. With the nations among us, Christ-followers today have unprecedented and strategic opportunities to be a part of God’s plan of redeeming the nations to Himself.

The nations are migrating to urban areas all over the United States, including Houston. Every week, 2,300 new people move into the greater Houston area. And, more than one-million people who call Houston home are born outside of the United States, represent more than 300 people groups, and speak more than 200 languages. We must be aware of the fact that the nations are in our own communities. Having that awareness ought to awaken our sense of responsibility for the nations.

Reaching the nations among us means that as Christ-followers we must learn to think and live as foreign missionaries at home. The immigrant has one foot in their country of origin and the other foot planted in America. As Christ-followers, we must have one foot in America and learn to plant the other foot in the diaspora — the nations among us. We must take the initiative to think like a missionary and to look for ways to build bridges of love with our global neighbors.

As I was writing this blog today, a couple from Eritrea stopped by the church. They were driving by and felt compelled to come in. A coincidence? Not at all. A divine appointment? Yes. I shared with them that I had just returned from Ethiopia where we are engaging with refugees from Eritrea. This shared concern has now connected us. We have agreed to stay in touch. As a Christ-follower, I must have a dual citizenship that includes being a citizen of the diaspora. God reminded me again this afternoon, that it is indeed a small world after all.

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