Expressing the Invisible Heart of God: The Story of the Village Christian Community and Their Encounter with Bhutanese Refugees in Las Vegas

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p>In this dissertation, I describe the story of Bhutanese refugees resettling into Las Vegas, Nevada and their interaction with The Village missional community seeking to express the missio Dei, in order to bring a greater understanding to the plight of refugees and to make recommendations as to how the church may engage in the plight of the resettling refugee and have a greater missional focus towards their needs.

I begin with an introduction in the background of this research, as well an overview of the worldwide refugee crisis and a short history of refugee resettlement in America. A short overview follows of the nation of Bhutan and its internal struggles that led to the expulsion of its southern citizens. I also give a brief history of The Village and its own experiences working with refugees, as well as their initial encounter with Bhutanese resettling into Las Vegas. Through a series of interviews, I analyze the stories and interaction between the Bhutanese and the Village Community. What then follows is an overview of the key obstacles facing the Bhutanese in their attempted resettlement. After this, a review of precedent literature is presented regarding globalization, spirituality and justice, with a particular emphasis on the writings of Daniel Groody, as well as exploring other texts of missional ecclesiology. This section concludes with focusing finding solutions and responses to the Bhutanese dilemma. A section follows on Organizational Leadership and Change Theory writings, specifically with an emphasis on the work of John Kotter's change dynamics. This closes with a summary of the Bhutanese/Village experience. Finally, a Conclusion and Recommendations section includes a brief discussion entitled "Why the Village?" followed by applications to the larger community and contexts, along with research conclusions and recommendations for further research. This concludes with addressing possible questions that may remain regarding participation in refugee resettlement.

Mentor: Elizabeth L. Glanville, PhD

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Doctor of Missiology

First Advisor

Glanville, Elizabeth L.

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Church work with refugees; Refugees; Village Community (Las Vegas, Nev.); Missional church movement


Missions and World Christianity


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