May 2017

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What is a Global Gateway City?

by David Garrison, guest writer from Global Gates

What does global gateway city mean?
The first city called a Global Gateway was New York, and few could argue that however we define it this is a good example. But that can also be a problem in some situations.
So what are the key elements that constitute a “global gateway city”? Despite the temptation to begin with the three constituent words: 1) global, 2) gateway, and 3) city –let’s look at the Global Gates’ vision statement, which reads: “reaching the ends of the earth, through global gateway cities.”
“Global gateway cities’’ are defined by their potential for “reaching the ends of the earth” for Christ. This means we must add “the ends of the earth” as a fourth component to clarify our definition of “global gateway cities.” Let’s begin!

Ends of the Earth
First, let’s examine “the ends of the earth.” This is a theological term that derives from Christ’s Great Commission words in Matthew 28:20 (“...and lo I will be with you always, even to the ends of the earth.”) and more particularly in Acts 1:8 (“...you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”) In both instances, “the ends of the earth” refers to peoples that have not yet received the gospel, not to a geographical location. Translated into the 21st century, then, “the ends of the earth” refers to the world’s least reached people groups, particularly those language communities and populations who have yet to receive the good news of Christ’s salvation.
It the mission of Global Gates to reach these least-reached, unevangelized populations for Christ in these cities. With the object of global gateway cities clearly defined as “the ends of the earth,” let’s now turn our attention to these three remaining words, “global, gateway, cities.”

Global
“Global” is less about the size of a city than about its content. A city, large or small, becomes globally significant when it contains an “ends of the earth” (unreached) people group within it. So we must limit our list of global gateway cities to those that contain a substantial population of least-reached peoples.

Gateway
There are two key aspects to the second term: “gateway.” First, gateway is about access. A city may have a large “ends of the earth” people group within it, but if that city is itself closed or highly restricted from a gospel witness, then it is hardly a gateway city. One can share Christ in Chicago, but not in a city like Ashgabat that does not allow freedom of religion. Second, “gateway” conveys relationship with the people group’s community of origin. Diaspora ethnic groups that are generations away from their place of origin with no ongoing relationship with their place of origin are not effective gateway communities. For example, third generation Russian Jewish people who have never been to Russia or speak Yiddish would not qualify.

Cities
Finally, the word “city” is important, not because Global Gates is primarily an urban mission organization, but because cities are where we have the greatest concentrations of least-reached, “ends of the earth” people groups we are seeking to reach. This time it is the size of the least-reached population that matters most. A handful of diaspora individuals in a suburb or small town lacks the gravity to warrant a full-time Global Gates missionary engagement. That is, until the people group’s largest concentrations in global gateway cities have been addressed.
At the same time, we must not ignore where the concentration of least-reached people groups reside. In the case of Paris, France for example, costly urban housing has pushed immigrant populations to the suburbs surrounding Paris. For this reason, we must consider that Paris together with its suburbs constitute a significant global gateway city.

Resulting Definition

Our resulting definition of a global gateway city then would be a city with a sizable population of least-reached, “ends of the earth” people groups who are both accessible to Christian witness and through whom their home populations overseas could be impacted with the gospel. This list would begin with New York City and quickly be followed by Western Hemisphere cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Francisco, Detroit-Dearborn, and Minneapolis. It would also include anywhere else where these criteria of special urban concentrations of least reached people groups can be contacted with the gospel. The goal is to reach them both locally and through them to impact their home populations overseas.
As a result of recent population migrations, Europe is filled with global gateway cities. They include London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Marseilles, Athens, and Rome. Due to their restricted nature, Istanbul and Moscow would be less valuable as gateways. For the same reasons, Middle Eastern and North African cities such as Beirut, Cairo, Tunis, and Algiers—though containing large “ends of the earth” people groups—would fall short as “gateway” cities due to their restricted nature.
Asia’s immediate candidates as global gateway cities would include many Pacific Rim mega-cities such as Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. Other Asian urban giants such as Kuala Lumpur, Yangon, and Saigon would probably fail the gateway test due to their restrictions on Christian witness despite the existence of sizable “ends of the earth” populations within them. Tokyo, Taipei, and Manila, though fairly open, have a relatively small “ends of the earth” diaspora population. Shanghai, Mumbai, and Kolkotta, would be possible global gateway city candidates. Sub-Saharan Africa has a number of global gateway cities including Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Abidjan, and Cape Town.
Clearly the 21st century is abundant with global gateway cities. These cities exhibit patterns of human migration that have resulted in the very ends of the earth being brought near to us. God has made available to us through these “gateways” a means of reaching the world’s least reached peoples and a new and unprecedented avenue to fulfill the great commission in our lifetime.

Let’s Pray!
• Pray that believers in North America will take advantage of this opportunity to reach the nations from the US and Canada.
• Pray that those who go will exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit to the lost, and live as Christ’s ambassadors.
• Pray for workers to be thrust out not only for Global Gates but other diaspora-oriented mission organizations.

From the Editor

by Keith Carey

Dear Praying Friends,
As I finish editing this prayer guide, I am struck by how many people groups we are praying for that are nearly impossible to reach for Christ in their homelands. Twice we will pray for Tibetans. A famous missionary, William Carey, once described them as being in an isolated spiritual stronghold. The Tibetans are not alone. The Somalis in Minneapolis, the Saudis in San Diego, the Rohingyas in Houston, the Yezidis in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Ahishka Turks in Dayton, Ohio and the Afghans in the San Francisco Bay Area all fall into this category. And that does not include all the unreached people groups in New York City (NYC) that can’t be reached in their homeland.
Global Gates is doing something about this need. This month they picked out which people groups in specific cities in the United States we should pray for. Regular GPD writers had a light load this month as the Global Gates staff members wrote about the people groups they are lovingly reaching in the USA. Much of their work is in NYC, but they are requesting prayer for people groups in the “Global Gateway cities” of Washington DC, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Greater San Francisco, and Toronto, Canada.
Please pray that these people groups being reached in North American cities will also be reached in their homelands where there are numerous barriers to the gospel.