By Vicki Brown
The traditional view of missions is Western Christians sending missionaries to nations in the East and South, but these days missionary work is more of a two-way street, with missionaries coming from Africa, Asia and Latin America and Eastern Europe and going to places including the United States.
Many minister to people from their homelands who have immigrated to America for a variety of reasons. Persian World Outreach, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship partner, works worldwide to assist Iranian Christians and has helped plant several churches among Iranians in America and across the world.
Mich and Pat Tosan coordinate the effort, which also does a lot of translation work and assists those who feel they have been called to the ministry. Although started in California, Persian World Outreach now is based in New Jersey.
CBF also works with Robert Owusu of the Ghana Baptist Convention. In addition to serving as pastor of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Atlanta, Owusu coordinates the convention’s network in the United States.
The Ghana Baptist Convention sent Owusu as a church planter-facilitator specifically to plant churches that will affiliate with the convention, he said.
“The churches have, as their primary target groups, Ghanaians and (other) Africans, though we seek to expand our mission to other ethnic/racial groups in North America,” he said. His church also reaches nationals from Nigeria, Liberia, Togo and The Gambia.
Owusu has started work in Houston, Oklahoma City and Atlanta. He locates a target group, finds one or two Ghanaians interested in helping and then enlists families. A CBF church is recruited to accommodate the group rent-free for at least a year.