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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Missions Beyond: The Diaspora Chinese in Africa
by Gong, Wenhui, Ph.D., Biola University, 2020, 254; 27831084
Abstract (Summary)

Diaspora is one of the megatrends of globalization. Chinese make up the largest diaspora group in the world with about 46 million people spread across the globe and 2 million in Africa. The diaspora Chinese have abundant resources including personnel and finances to access different cultures. Little research has been done to discover how diaspora Chinese Christians become involved in cross-cultural missions. The purpose of this grounded theory qualitative study is to understand the perceptions of diaspora Chinese Christians living in Africa concerning missional engagement with the indigenous population. This study’s findings are drawn from interview data collected from 35 participants (located in South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania) who had resided in Africa for more than 1 year, had been Christians for at least 6 months, were regular worshippers at a local church, were currently involved in church ministries, and over 21 years of age. The central understanding to emerge from this study is that African diaspora Chinese Christians’ anthropological identity and faith foundation explain their perception of missional engagement with the indigenous population. This study’s findings show that all participants pursued success and experienced challenges of coming to Africa, settlement, and cultural conflicts. The participants shared their rich and varied experiences of conversion stories, diaspora church struggles, and discipleship experience, which formed the faith foundation for their missional engagement in Africa. Their missional engagement involved 3 categories: (a) Word preaching, (b) heart caring, and (c) deed action, in 6 ways: visiting and caring; practical help; school and education; business as mission; evangelism and Bible studies; and house church planting. Concerns involve breadth (more people need to be involved and those involved need to do more); depth (basic foundations and operations systems are lacking); and sustainability (plan for propagating or passing on the work to the future). Cultural transformation, identities of diaspora Chinese in Africa, theological analysis on Chinese pursuit of success, Bible-based discipleship, and skilled leadership contributing to strengthen or hinder their missional engagement are discussed. Finally, diaspora Chinese worldview transformation and missional engagement using the Chinese Diaspora Mission model are proposed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Starcher, Richard L
Commitee: Sanchez, Jamie, Sappington, Thomas
School: Biola University
Department: Cook School of Intercultural Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Asian Studies, Theology
Keywords: Africa, Chinese, Diaspora, Discipleship, House church, Mission
Publication Number: 27831084
ISBN: 9798643196600
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