Puma Pardeshi was born a man without a country and spent much of his life in a refugee camp in Nepal. Bhutanese by heritage and Nepali by birth, yet unwelcomed in either country, he eventually resettled in Grand Forks, N.D., where he became the pastor of his local Nepali fellowship.
While looking for a church building to meet in, he met Terry Tuinder, senior pastor of New Life (Grand Forks Foursquare Church). Despite a language barrier, they found a way to work together to share the church building and develop a friendship.
However, when it came to facilitating Pardeshi’s desire to become licensed and to have his fellowship join Foursquare, things stalled. The language barrier and lack of Nepali licensing resources made these steps almost impossible to navigate until recently when the multiethnic coordinators from the Atlantic, Northwest and Central Districts collaborated to provide a Nepali language cohort where Pardeshi was able to join three other Nepali-speaking licensing candidates to learn in their own language. During this time, he shared his amazement that God had brought him from being a man without a country to being a contributing part of The Foursquare Church.
Pardeshi’s story embodies the mission of the district multiethnic coordinators. They work in practical ways to welcome leaders from diverse ethnic and language groups into Foursquare, then partner with each language and culture to equip and empower leaders so that the Good News continues to expand to new people, places, cultures and languages.
As followers of Jesus, we understand that diversity is not just ensuring that everyone is allowed at the table. It is more than equity. It is about becoming whole.
Additionally, they resource local pastors and congregations, like Terry and New Life, by linking them to our global Foursquare family, our national ethnic networks as well as to language and culture resources that empower each church to reach and partner with every part of the diverse communities to which God has called them.
In Ephesians 2, Paul made it clear that we need one another other in order be whole: “Together, we are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through Him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by His Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22, NLT).
As followers of Jesus, we understand that diversity is not just ensuring that everyone is allowed at the table. It is more than equity. It is about becoming whole. We need one another to be who God has called us to be, to reflect the image of God that one day will be seen complete with none missing when the great multitude gathers around the throne “from every nation and tribe and people and language” (Rev 7:9).
So, what are some practical issues your district multiethnic coordinator can assist you with?
- Church building sharing
- Culture- and language-specific licensing and leadership development
- National ethnic networks
- City and neighborhood demographics
- Unreached people groups in the U.S.
- Cultural IQ training
- Reconciliation and justice training and resources
- Immigrant fellowships and congregations joining Foursquare
- Translation strategies and resources
- Religious worker visas
The multiethnic team contends, believes and works for this wholeness that will be realized when everyone is participating at the table, being who God has created them to be.
Are your wheels turning on the ways the multiethnic coordinator in your district might be able to help you, your church, a future leader? Visit your district’s webpage, and then reach out to your multiethnic coordinator. They are ready and excited to stand with you, contend for you and assist you in practical ways.