The registered association Bintumani e.V. supports a hospital and the use of renewable energies in Sierra Leone.The International Christian Revival Church enables children to attend school in Ghana and die African Women and Youth Organization trains women and young people to shape and further develop their neighbourhoods. Three examples among many make clear: Migrant churches and their members are enormously active internationally and developmentally.

At different levels and in various forms migrant churches and their members are initiating and supporting development projects in their home countries. The migrants send more money back to their home countries than the total budget of the institutional development cooperation: “440 billion dollars – that is how much migrants from developing countries transfer to their native countries each year. This is treble the amount coming from state development aid.” (Süddt. Zeitung [a widely read German newspaper] 26.02.2016) This figure does not apply to Europe directly but is calculated worldwide – nevertheless these financial flows clearly indicate that migrants are having an impact on their countries of origin.

This engagement has attracted little public attention in Germany and has still not been systematically evaluated. It is likely though that it frequently has to do with tailored projects. The reason is that members of migrant churches know well the contexts in which they are operating and have maintained wide ranging connections. As cross border commuters between their country of origin and their host nation they are very well suited to build strong bridges between cultures and between people in different life situations. The knowledge and abilities they have acquired as a result of migration make them experts for the exchange of diverse resources.

Miscalculation and bad planning regularly occur as a result of cultural and language barriers in the official development cooperation and greatly reduce its efficiency. This is now less likely in countries of the global south where social work is sustained by migrants, who as such are able to view situations as insiders. Consequently, this informal development engagement complements and expands the total package of international development cooperation with significant accents.

Migration churches are irritated by stereotype 'third world images' in German and European minds. The truth is Christian migrants from so called developing countries do not behave for the most part as needy supplicants nor as objects of Christian social care but as confident Christians with a strong motivation to share their faith in word and deed.

They see their central calling as helping to shape the world in terms of the gospel. This involves both Christian social work and missionary activity as well as living out a shared responsibility in the fight against poverty and the threat of violence in their countries of origin.

The increased public recognition of their active contribution to more global justice is important in correcting the one-sided picture of need and dependence and in further developing ecumenical relationships between Christians from every continent in terms of a reciprocal giving and receiving: “Each one should use whichever gift he has received”. 1 Peter 4,10)

The cross cultural and international bridge building manner of migrant churches is their special gift and is producing fruit for the wholeness of the body of Christ and the world.
And here it becomes tangible:
Three leaders from migrant churches report on the engagement of their church and its members in the field of development.

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